We are pleased to have several students be juried into Discarded to Divine this year.

Discarded to Divine is a charitable event showcasing the talents of professional and aspiring designers who transform discarded, donated clothing into one-of-a-kind couture creations and exquisite home décor which are auctioned to benefit those overcoming poverty, homelessness and domestic violence.

Naz Saeed

Naz Saeed is an interior designer who is also taking classes at Cañada College. She co-founded Zansus Purses with Sushanta Bhandarkar. This year Zansus Purses rescued, cleaned and reused an Ann Taylor pillow cover and some wonderful green silk fabric to create a clutch based on the Girl with Pearl Earring, the new exhibit at de Young museum (the theme for this year’s Discarded to Divine)

You can see Zansus Purses entry from 2012 here and 2011 here.

Michelle Paganini


Michelle Paganini made a commitment to herself about three years ago to wear recycled clothing and buy as little “new” retail as possible, and she’s doing well with that goal. She uses her sewing skills to rework or “upcycle” thrift store clothing.  Michelle has been a fan of Discarded to Divine for years and was thrilled to submit her first entry, a coat, which sold for $300! Michelle’s design was one of six worn on a live model at the reception. She has been pursuing her passion studying with Ronda and the staff in the Cañada Fashion Department for the last four years.  She is working towards degrees in Theatrical Costuming, Custom Dressmaking/Small Business, and Technical: Apparel Industry Oriented.  Outside of classes, Michelle Paganini works as Regulatory Compliance Consultant to the Medical Device Industry specializing in Quality Assurance.

Laughing Flower

Laughing Flower
Laughing Flower takes discarded sweaters and elegantly remakes them into long coats. She is graduating this semester with two certificates, one in Theater Costuming and one in Custom Dressmaking/Small Business.  Laughing Flower is creating unique upcycled garments for adults and children.  She is selling them through her Etsy store and at fairs in the Bay Area.  This is the second year she has participated in Discarded to Divine