Faith on the runway

CCO student shares the gospel at New York’s Fashion week

This September, MollyKate Cline was the Youngest Designer accepted into the prestigious New York Fashion Week.

Her six-piece line, “L’histoire de Dieu” (God’s Story), was designed to showcase Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration. MollyKate knows this story well. Her life has followed a similar pattern.

When she was a child, her dad committed suicide. She was adopted by her mom’s new husband. And with a new reality and a new last name, MollyKate had to adopt a new identity. 

“When I became MollyKate Cline, I felt like a new person—one I didn’t know,” she remembers, “So I started changing my hair and making my own clothes. I thought that my new name sounded like a fashion designer’s name, and just a couple of months later, I had my own sewing machine and was wearing my own designs to school.”

“My dad never got to go to college, and because of this, he always said that he wanted me to go. I knew at ten years old that I needed to go to college for fashion design.” 

In the fall of 2016, MollyKate entered the Columbus College of Art & Design as a fashion major. Already a talented designer, writer, and anti-suicide advocate, MollyKate had also attended weekly church groups in high school and asked Jesus into her heart, but the pieces never quite came together. 

At college, MollyKate was ready to figure out what things would be important in her adult life, and faith was a definite priority. But MollyKate felt insecure around Christians. She just couldn’t seem to “catch up” with the Biblical knowledge they took for granted.
Then, through CCO campus staff member Randy Stratton, MollyKate learned about the Jubilee conference. At Jubilee, MollyKate discovered God’s story in a way that made sense.

“In just three days, I knew more about the Bible than I had ever learned in my whole life!” MollyKate says. “Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration was the perfect way for me to understand the Gospel narrative and take in the most information. I left with a brand new outlook on life and have completely dedicated my life to Jesus since leaving Jubilee.” 

MollyKate began meeting weekly with Randy and attending a local church, where she was baptized on Easter Sunday. And as she learned more about God’s work in the world, MollyKate began to reimagine her work in fashion design. She began to plan and sew a six-piece fashion line in order to share the Gospel narrative. 

When her Jubilee-inspired line was accepted into New York Fashion Week, she used recycled fabric from her summer internship to honor God’s creation, printed out a poem to give to spectators, and explained the message to her models backstage. To her great surprise, all of her models—chosen for availability, hair color, and measurements—were Christians.

“When we discovered this, the models had all just had their makeup done and I told them not to cry,” MollyKate remembers. “But we were so emotional, and then with about five minutes left until showtime, we prayed together backstage, and I think that was the best part of the whole show!”

 In the audience, Randy Stratton marveled at the positive response to MollyKate’s line. 

“I often tell people that working in ministry is like having a front-row seat to the work God does on campus,” he says. “What a profound experience it was to actually sit in the front row as God’s grace walked the runway for all to see.” 

—Jen Pelling