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By: Alex Alford There is no doubt that the Baylor apparel design and merchandising programs stand among the best. Not only do the faculty and students within the program know this, but national recognition proves it. The apparel design and merchandising programs at Baylor University have ranked high in multiple publications. has Baylor ranked No. 12 in their poll of top 75 merchandising schools in the U.S., published May 9, 2013. On the same site, Baylor’s design program is ranked at No. 24. Likewise, in 2012, ranked Baylor’s apparel design and merchandising program at No. 19 in their poll of the best fashion schools in the Midwest. When ranking these programs, the critics look for a couple of things. According to, “The criteria we used in making our various “top” list consists of the following, in no particular order:

academic reputation, admission selectivity, depth and breadth of the program and faculty, and geographic location. A team of three people spent over two months reviewing over 200 fashion programs across the US in preparing the rankings.” For Dr. Jay Yoo, assistant professor and researcher within the department, there are multiple aspects that he believes sets the department on top as one of the best in the country. One of the key features is the technology. As one of only three schools to have a new textile design printer, Baylor is up to date with the cutting edge technology that many schools are not able to provide. Dr. Yoo give the technology credit and he also believes it helps to set Baylor students and the department apart. Lecturer Patricia Hassell and a colleague of Yoo agrees whole-heartedly when she says, “I love our students. We have some of the greatest students in the world.” However, what both agree on most, is the devotion of the faculty to make the department

succeed and more importantly make the dreams of the students become a reality. It is easy to look at the surface and see the technology, the ranking, the alumni success and rank Baylor high solely based on those things alone. However, what really sets the apparel design and merchandising department apart is the dedication of the professors and the influence they have in the lives of their students. Ms. Hassell noted, “We dedicate a lot of time to it. I’m here nine hours a week outside of class time to make the labs available to our students so they can come in and use the machines, and so that they can have someone to answer questions.” This dedication of the professors goes further than the classroom. Their goal is to play an important role in their student’s lives. This leads to successful alumni who want to give back to the school in hopes

of making other student’s dreams and hard work become a reality once they walk across the stage at graduation. graduation. “We are totally dedicated to our students,” said Hassell “We keep up with our students after graduation. We are here for them. We are partners with them. I feel as a professor, I am a partner with each of my students to try and get them to where they want to be in their career. However, the department isn’t through, we are still aiming to grow our national recognition and prepare more students for the apparel industry. “Now we are getting a reputation at a national level,” said Yoo. “We are always aiming to raise the profile of the program and keep drawing in students.”

By: Courtney Carter Every year, the Baylor disciplines of apparel design and merchandising join efforts to put on a fashion show. The purpose of this show is to highlight the hard work of many talented students. The fashion show is a self-sustaining production, funded mostly by ticket sales. Last years show was completely sold out, with 400 in attendance. Cotton Incorporated provided additional funding and was a key player in the budget. However, in years to come, the FCS department is looking for other avenues of funding to offset the ticket cost as the key budget provider.

able to see their hard work being showcased,” reflects Hannah Maynard, a design major whose senior collection was showcased in the previous show. One major benefit of this fashion show is the opportunity for students to work with those who have their best interest in mind. Victoria Newton, who had an internship at Juicy Couture during the summer of 2013, was able to develop her collection alongside her best friends.

“My favorite part of the show was getting to show“A lot of people don’t understand how much it costs case my senior collection that I created over the just in materials and in labor to hire people to set up semester and putting everything I learned in these the curtains, runway, to have a videographer, and for 4 years into my vision,” recalls Newton. “It was photographer,” stated also great getting Lorynn Divita, profesto do this along"The best part about the sor in the department. side with my best Baylor apparel show was “All those people are friends and fellow compensated, even the designers.” watching every students' students, because we hard work come together.” believe that creative Every year the endeavors like singing, students develop videography, and design have value and deserve to a theme for the fashion show. Last year the theme be compensated just like in life.” was Cirque de la Mode. To achieve a successful show and desired reactions, the students will work The show is entirely composed of student ideas and roughly 20 hours the weekend before in order to creations. The theme of the show is developed in the bring everything together. FCS 4596 Fashion Trend Analysis and Forecasting class through a competition among students com“I think that the 2013 Baylor Fashion Show was so plete with a vote. Likewise, garments that appear on different from previous years because the Cirque the runway are designed throughout the year and de la Mode theme was carried throughout the encome from all levels of talent. Furthermore, during tire production. From the tickets to the props, what the show, student volunteers help with everything made this show so special was the overall theme from music to makeup. that pushed the show to being one of the best if not the best fashion show Baylor has ever seen,” stated “The best part about the Baylor apparel show was Dr. Divita. watching every students’ hard work come together. The girls backstage did a fabulous job with hair and The department fashion show is a tradition that will makeup while keeping everyone in the perfect orcontinue on throughout the years. der. The teachers put in more time than they will ever be paid for and the design students finally were

By: Hailey Cowan Baylor apparel merchandising and design students are required to complete an internship in order to graduate. They must work at an approved site choice for 240 hours in order to receive four academic credit hours.

Although most of the internships are nonpaid, students are blessed with the opportunity to intern for companies in places like Dallas, Houston, New York and California.

The apparel merchandising program coordinator, Dr. Rochelle Brunson said, “One of the first things they [student interns] do with their supervisors is to sit down and come up with an objective sheet, and develop four objectives. And that is what guides their internship… If certain objectives aren’t met, then their grade could potentially reflect that, but sometimes the supervisor might say, ‘hey look, it’s my fault she didn’t meet that objective, I never taught her to do that.’ Which lets me know that she didn’t meet the objective inadvertently.”

“I went to New York this summer and visited 10 of my students” Brunson said. They are all nonpaid, and of course people say, ‘it’s not fair because we aren’t making money,’ but think about it, they don’t really need to be paid because of all of the people who really want that position.”

"they don’t really need to be paid because of all of the people who really want that position"

At the end of the semester students do a final presentation where they address their objectives and tell the class if/ how they reached each one. Students pass the class based on a midterm and final evaluation of their internship. In addition to their evaluations, Dr. Brunson said, “The students will turn in weekly reports with their successes, challenges, and maybe something they faced that they weren’t sure about and how they handled it.” They also log their hours and relate the work they did that week to their class material. They do lessons throughout the semester as well. ”

Brunson said that she feels the weekly evaluations are good for the students because it gets them writing about their internship often. She said it allows them to see what they are learning.

“Some students say, ‘is it best to go to New York or California?’ You have some students that do it and if they can go and stay for three months in an unpaid internship and be able to live there, then they’ll come back with one of two things: either they will feel it is really what they want to do, (to stay in New York and live there and work), or they say, ‘it was nice, I’m glad I did it for 3 months, but I don’t think I want to live there.’ I always say if you think that is where you want to be, then it is better to try and figure it out now rather than wait until later,” said Brunson. Baylor apparel design and merchandising students tend to do well in their internships. They are often chosen over others for impressive positions. “I had one student who was a design major, she not only got one of the three intern positions at Juicy Couture, she got the ONLY design position, “Brunson said. “She met so many people, on the last day she had lunch with Tim Gunn—the guy from Project Runway, and they had a really good visit. Now she knows what she wants to do.”

By: Alex Alford Opportunity is everything, a philosophy that Baylor professors within the apparel department understand and implement. They make an effort to provide students with limitless opportunities throughout the year through Baylor Apparel Profesionals (BAPs). BAPs is a group open to anyone in the Baylor apparel discipline, who wishes to participate in outside activities. President, Madison Zucker said the goals of BAPs are to “make it more appealing to fashion majors and minors, to increase the number of members and to bring in informational and inspiring speakers that help the men and women of the apparel department to pursue their careers and dreams.” Dr. Lorynn Divita, associate professor in the department and BAPS advisor believes there are many benefits of student involvement in BAPs.

Angela Swanner, the vice president of Sephora inside JC Penney, believes the program is a great resource for students: “Any time that you can have a student that can build a network to help them answer questions about where they want to go and what they want to do it is going to be beneficial to everybody.” However, BAPs is not only about providing opportunities for the students on campus. “Our big event is career day,” said Dr. Divita. “Career day is the largest gathering of industry professionals and students in the whole U.S.. It is bigger than in New York and Chicago and BAPs students attend career day in Dallas. “

"If used to their advantage every student can benefit from the opportunities that BAPS provides"

“The major benefit of Baylor Apparel Professionals is providing them with a major networking opportunity with real world professionals with major corporations that enables them to get a better idea of what their future career path will be like. But our goal is to also help them make connections when they do their own internship or job search… it [BAPs] can be an excellent resource if students take advantage.” The program provides students to hear from those in the professional world and to gather insight to what real world professionals are looking for. “We frequently have alums that come back and speak from many different companies.” said Dr. Lorynn Divita.

While at career day the students are given opportunities that the classroom alone does not provide.

“Students are treated to a day of seminars from industry members,” said Dr. Divita. “And then the major event at the end is a competitive fashion show where our students submit their garments and they are reviewed by a panel of professionals. Those garments that meet the criteria and are the best in their division are able to walk the stage with professional models from Kim Dawson productions.” Baylor Apparel Professionals is growing every year. Currently half of the students who have apparel merchandising or design as their major are part of BAPs, and that is just in the first month. The hope is for the program to continue to grow throughout the year. Dr. Divita would like for 100 percent of the students to be a part of it, the benefits of the program are definitely worth it.

Photos: Curtis Callaway

By: Alex Alford When thinking of technology, many think of the newest iPod or computer gadget. However, in the fashion industry, technology takes on a whole other design. The technology within the Baylor apparel merchandising and design program makes them one of the best. Baylor is fortunate enough to have two major pieces of technology, which enable the students to be better prepared for the apparel industry. One is the digital fabric printer. Baylor acquired it with funds donated by Phil and Susan Parker. Janie Fader, professor at Baylor University believes that Baylor is lucky to have the printer, and she gives a lot of credit to the Parkers. “We are really lucky to have it, the Parker family has been really supportive and has purchased this for

us. They have spent a lot of money and we are really blessed by them,” Fader said. The digital fabric printer sets Baylor apart when it comes to apparel design programs throughout the country. “We are one of two schools that have this specific printer,” said Fader “We are known for our technology, we have more technology than any other university. It is one of the main reasons we are ranked high.” Not only does this enable the students to print better and more intricate designs, they are becoming better prepared for the changes coming to the design industry. “More and more design companies are getting this, it is changing the way that people design fabric,” Fader said. “In the past, people didn’t do digital printing, they screen-printed, and a lot of people still do. But when you do screen printing, every different print requires a different screen, which means more money so you are limited in the number of colors, but this type of technology is changing the way people design because they have an unlimited number of colors so it allows for more creativity and more flexibility in the number of colors.”

Along with the digital fabric printer, Dr. Rinn Cloud uses a body scanner to keep Baylor up to date with the cutting edge technology in the industry. “The body scanner is a relatively new technology that people in the area of apparel have been studying,” Cloud said. “Now it is becoming more and more apart of the research that people are doing.” The body scanner not only scans ones body, but it also allows for multiple measurements to be made. Dr. Cloud uses this technology in her personal research. “My research is on protective clothing,” said Cloud. “And one of the issues with any type of protective clothing is how it is going to fit and where on the body it adds bulk because that creates difficulty with task completion if you add bulk to parts of the body. Furthermore, this technology is becoming implemented in the virtual fitting area of designing clothes as well. “One of the directions this piece is going is for virtual fitting purposes,” said Cloud. “The idea being

that you can have your body scanned, you can create an avatar of your body on your phone, you can go to the store and scan a QR code on a garment and it will bring up a picture of you in the garment on your phone. It is supposed to show not only what the garment will look like, but also the fit. So when you scan the QR code it is going to look at your body dimensions and it is going to suggest the best fit of the clothing that is out there.” Dr. Cloud believes that this cutting edge technology is going to be the norm for students in the future, so the fact that they are able to become familiar with it is volatile. “It’s a piece of technology that most of the apparel design product development programs have. It keeps us up to date with other schools and it’s a technology our students are going to have to be familiar with when they get out in the work world. It is the leading edge to what is coming. They are all familiar with what it does, what the capabilities are and where it is going to be going.” When it comes to the design industry, things are constantly changing. The ability to be up to date with all the newest technology is yet another benefit of the Baylor apparel design and merchandising programs.

By: Alex Alford Traveling to New York City may seem like the typical fashion program destination. However, add Montreal into the mix along with a visit to Kate Spade and it definitely induces a lot more excitement. Last year, the Baylor apparel design and merchandising students amd faculty traveled to New York and Montreal where they were able to meet with many professionals in the apparel industry. There were 24 students and three faculty members. The students get a first hand look at the industry they are studying. They began their trip by spending a few days in Montreal, Canada. They were able to visit Aldo Shoes, a company that designs and produces shoes. They have over 750 franchises and they were able to tour and see the process of design, display and marketing of their shoes. They also have the opportunity to go to Telio, a fabrics manufacturer based in Canada. Once they left Montreal, the group traveled to New York City where they visited multiple apparel design and merchandising industries such as Lord & Taylor, Makins, Cotton Inc., Shoshanna and Kate Spade. Dr. Mary Simpson, one of the accompanying professors believes that the opportunity for students to view different professions within the apparel world benefits them. “They are able to get a first hand look at how they would see themselves in a professional situation,” Simpson said. “And when professionals talk to them they get a reality check on what a current professional employer is looking for when they would hire someone their age. “ For sophomores like Hailey Sands, a merchandising major from California, this was especially important. “I got to see careers that I thought I was interested in, and then realized I wouldn’t like them as much,” said Sands. “And also I was able to see other careers that I had never even considered before and saw that I would be interested in pursuing.” Next year, the department will be traveling to Europe to visit design houses and professionals of the industry across the Atlantic Ocean. “In Europe, we see a lot of old world type of items that normally people wouldn’t be making here,” Dr. Simpson said. “We go to design houses and real established couture houses. We are able to go ahead and see the products that are going to be coming out a year and a half or two years from now. We see the future, so to speak.” Not only are their cultural benefits for going oversees and experiencing a different world of apparel, but there are also many job benefits as well. Whether it is New York, Montreal or Europe, the disciplines of apparel merchandising and design summer study abroad program has benefits and experiences that many will cherish for the rest of their lives.

What is your job title and role?

What is your job title and role? “My title is Director of Marketing for Neiman Marcus Last Call stores and website.”

“I handle promotions and marketing advertising and communication for the 37 outlet stores and four-year-old website. I manage a team of four people directly but also work closely with media buyers, merchants, store teams, mall marketing partners, advertising publications, PR, bloggers, and social media teams internally to execute our marketing strategy. Day to day I handle coming up with promotional events and messages to drive traffic and sales for our brand.”

What attracted you to this company?

What attracted you to this company?

Michelle Devore

“I think the brand’s reputation for excellent service was very attractive; we have a culture of giving customers “the best of the best.” When I thought about the kind of company I wanted to work for, I couldn’t think of a better mission/direction. I also wanted to work in Texas; Dallas is one of the few places outside of New York or LA where you can work for a company who does high end fashion.”

Did baylor equip you for your career?

did baylor equip you for your career? “Definitely. I think my mix of a business minor and fashion design/merchandising gave me a great foundation to build on and contribute in my role at Neiman Marcus because of the mix of tasks I listed above.” “Costume History with Dr. Purdy, Principles of Design and Merchandise Planning and Control with Dr. Divita, Textile Science with Dr. Lusk, even Visual Merchandising all come in handy on any given day in bits and pieces.”

What prepared you most for your career?

What prepared you most for your career? “I think that my best preparation was the hard work that went into preparing presentations for classes. I do presentations every week if not more. Getting experience pulling those together so often was great. I also think the internship was amazing for me. I interned in a wholesale fashion showroom and thought that was what I wanted to do with my career. Thankfully the internship gave me wisdom and experience to realize it was not what I wanted and pushed me to find another path, which led me to Neiman Marcus.”

“The key is finding a fashion job where the glam outweighs the gloom on most days"”

Best advice received at baylor?

Best advices you received at baylor? “I remember Dr. Divita asking us on our first day of merchandise planning and control class who wanted to be a buyer and to raise our hand. And then on the last day of class asking the same thing. I was one of the few who had my hand raised on the first and then again on the last day. (P.S. I’m still not a buyer)” “Now I see that it was really a metaphor for a fashion career of any kind. Every fashion job has its glamorous side where you might get to travel to New York or attend events or see fashion shows, but all fashion jobs also have not-so-fun sides like running reports in excel or proofreading copy for typos. The key is finding a fashion job where the glam outweighs the gloom on most days. I’m lucky to be able to say that is what I have found at Neiman Marcus.”



What is your job title and role?

What is your job title and role? “My job title is Merchandising and Creative Coordinator. I oversee the day-to-day tasks in the design sector of the studio and work with Abi in creating our Fall and Spring collections, as well as smaller capsules, such as Resort and Holiday. I also work with our custom clients, which is a great source of revenue (and a lot of fun) for us. Because we are a small company, everybody gets to experience a lot of everything. I hire and coordinate the interns for the company. I am partly involved with production, such as planning for styles that will be produced, sourcing fabric and working with our contractors and vendors. I also help with sales at our studio, trunk shows and pop up shops here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

What attracted you to this company?

What attracted you to this company?

Kelsey Kool

“I first applied at Abi Ferrin because I knew I wanted to move to Dallas. After further research on the company, I started to see how passionate Abi was about the Freedom Project with Sak Saum helping local women who are abused and neglected, and empowering all women in general. This immediately drew me in and I knew I had to apply. I got the job as an intern, which turned into a full-time job, and the rest is history! ”

Did baylor equip you for your career?

did baylor equip you for your career? “I felt very prepared for the job after my education at Baylor. The long hours in the sewing lab definitely taught me that design is not for the weary or faint of heart! We have a lot of long hours during design season, but it’s all worth it in the end. Our textiles classes were also very important and useful. Even though it’s a lot of memorizing and understanding the science of fibers and fabrics, I use that knowledge every single day. The sewing classes

helped me understand construction, which is critical when dealing with our contractors and in-house sewers. Finally, as our head patternmaker, I have to say that all of the patternmaking classes helped tremendously. I may be a bit biased, but I feel that our design classes are the best in Texas! I also have a minor in business administration, which helped round out my education. I believe that those classes were very important in forming my professional standards and opinions.”

“The long hours in the sewing lab definitely taught me that design is not for the weary or faint of heart."

Best advice received at baylor?

Best advice you received at baylor? “All of my professors would tell us that a garment should be finished well enough so that we could wear it inside out. Although it seems silly, I fully believe that having that point of view makes a garment stand out in a sea of low quality options. It also is a reminder every day to not take short cuts just because they are easier -- in the end, a quality piece is going to sell far more than something that looks cheap just because of the interior construction. Our design professors also stuck to the rule of not accepting any work late or unfinished, even if that meant having a single button unsewn. Making punctuality and follow-through a priority has helped me more than anything in my job. I feel that I am taken very seriously and my opinion in the company matters because of these small, but fundamental ideals. These are just a couple examples of the many things I learned from my professors. I loved my time at Baylor and I know I wouldn’t be in this position at my company if it wasn’t for my amazing professors.”



What is your job title and role?

What is your job title and role? “I work for Haddad Brands, which is a children’s wear apparel design company that caters to big brands like Nike, Jordan, Converse or Levi’s. I work on the Levi’s Boys Global team as Associate Designer. More specifically, I’m second on a four-person design team that focuses our designs towards our global customers in China, Australia, South America, South Africa as well as Canada and Mexico among others. We gather feedback from our Levi’s correspondents in San Francisco and using that as well as taking into consideration what is needed for our global customers (which can be drastically different than USA market), we put together a line that meets everyone’s needs. I love what I do because everyday is a challenge. Learning what is expected in the global market has opened my eyes to a broader view of how I look at designing a collection. Each new country has it’s own view of the Levi’s label and it can make my job that much more interesting and challenging in some cases.”

What attracted you to this company?

Jenna Jerome

What attracted you to this company? “I never planned to be a childrenswear designer, though my time in New York has played out that way. Before I started at Haddad, I had worked as a freelancer in childrenswear for J. Crew for several months and really enjoyed my time there. Later, I was approached for a similar position freelancing at Haddad Brands. I accepted it with enthusiasm because I loved the Levi’s brand and also because I had prior experience in childrenswear that I had enjoyed. It worked out very well because within a couple of weeks I was hired for a full time position.”

Did baylor equip you for your career?

Did baylor equip you for your career?

“Baylor more than prepared me for my career. I received a well-rounded education, which has helped me take on the unexpected in my daily work activities.”

What prepared you most for your career?

what prepared you most for your career? “The programs for Textile Science have been the most beneficial for me. Especially in my current job dealing with denim, enzyme washes, chemical treatments, etc. I have to know specifics about the weave and content of the fabric we use and the processes that go into making our denim. I remember those courses being particularly difficult to get through. However, in hindsight, I see now how much of an impact it has made.”

“I loved my time at Baylor and I know I wouldn't be in this position at my company if it wasn’t for my amazing professors"

Best advice received at baylor?

Best advice you received at baylor? “I made sure to spend a lot of time with Dr. Lusk who was the head of the design program at the time. She always kept me on my toes, putting me on the spot, quizzing me at unexpected times and ‘elling it to me like it is.’ One of the first dresses I designed, I hastily hemmed the skirt and when I presented it to her, she noticed right away and told me that the dress could be Neiman Marcus, but this hem is Walmart. Since then, I always think about what she said if I ever have the urge to cut corners to save time.”



What is your job title and role?

What is your job title and role? “I am the Director of International Store Operations. The purpose of my role is to ensure a consistent customer experience in our stores across our international markets. My mighty team of two manages our store design process, associate training and new market launches - just to name a few responsibilities. You can think of my role as a “connector” between many functions, all for the purpose of exporting the brand look and feel into our international retail stores. I LOVE my job. I have been at kate spade new york for over 9 years - first hired as a sales associate and then moved around the office working as a training manager (overseeing product and sales training) and supporting store operations in the USA. I joined the international team nearly 4 years ago and have been compelled by the people, the culture and the challenge of growing a business in a very diverse world. It is extremely fascinating.”

What attracted you to this company?

What attracted you to this company?

Brennan Lowery

“I pursued kate spade new york as a brand that i could identify with - one of beautiful product, a unique place in the market and a personal customer experience. I have always loved the story of the brand and the marketing as well. I must say, it is the people that have kept me here so long. It’s the most creative, lively, passionate group of individuals. It was a great move, for sure.”

Did baylor equip you for your career?

Did baylor equip you for your career?

“Like many alumni, my time at Baylor was marked by a number of developmental experiences - both educational and personal. I attended two summer study tours with the department - once in Europe and once in Montreal/

New York which helped expand my view of the fashion industry and allowed us to explore the beauty of our industry where the “magic” happens. Baylor and the FCS department also allowed me (and several other students) to complete internships in London through a partner school. Being immersed in the London fashion industry (while traveling Europe, of course!) encouraged me to think and dream bigger. Plus, it solidified something my family knew all along - I was made for the big city.”

What prepared you most for your career?

what prepared you most for your career? “I learned there is MUCH to inspire us if we will open our eyes, seek to expand our sphere of understanding and simply give ourselves permission to be wowed. I also learned, above all things, people are MOST important - they are the greatest resource in any organization and the Lord’s most treasured creation.”

“For me, a career has not been about climbing a ladder, but rather making an impact on people and for a common goal."”

Best advice received at baylor?

Best advices you received at baylor? “During my time at Baylor, I spent most of my school hours with Dr. Lusk, Dr. Purdy and Ms. Green. Each of these ladies were extremely human and real with their students. I appreciated most their dedication to us as students - learning the most we could in and out of the classroom. And, there were always lots of laughs with these ladies!



Courtney Carter Public relations 2014 Hailey Cowan Public relations 2014 alex alford Public relations 2015

Baylor FCS 2013 Apparel & Merchandising Magazine  
Baylor FCS 2013 Apparel & Merchandising Magazine