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UT Fashion Alumni

Caroline Kieschnick, 2007 apparel design graduate and product design and production manager for the Hollywood Ranch, a line of children’s wear.

By Brittney Herson and Jasmin Sun

F

rom designing couture lines to working for fashionable favorites like Urban Outfitters and Betsey Johnson, graduates of UT’s Apparel and Design program have become integral players in the fashion industry. Below, textiles and apparel alumni share musings, insights and career advice they have gathered from their experiences in the fast-paced industry. Caroline Kieschnick Major: apparel design, graduated 2007 Job: Product Design and Production Manager for children’s line, The Hollywood Ranch Orange Runway: After graduation, I… Caroline Kieschnick: I traveled throughout Europe and was able to use my travels to be inspired creatively by all of the beautiful scenery. When I returned home I started my own dress business and sold the dresses at local shows. I then started working for Hel-

ena and Harry IV Co. in Dallas where I interned while I was in college. I designed dresses for Neiman Marcus and high-end boutiques worldwide. After a year with Helena, I was hired for a position at a new children’s design company [The Hollywood Ranch] that was looking for someone to step in and grow the company. It is an amazing, whimsical line with tons of ruffl es and rhinestones. It was such a wonderful fit and I really had my hand in everything with the company. OR: How did you get your current job? CK: I loved getting to create the line with the owner of the company. We had the best time looking for fabrics and putting outfits together. We could be as creative as we wanted and we never held back. We really took children’s wear to the girliest, frilliest and most playful styles you have ever seen. Within a year and a half we traveled to markets all over the U.S. and are now sold in over 300 stores and still growing. We really built this from the ground up and had so much fun doing

it. I love the traveling and selling, and seeing stores get excited about our clothes is so fulfilling. While it isn’t always fun and games, we strive to stay positive and motivated to overcome obstacles. Fashion design is best described as a crazy roller coaster. It is never easy but it is very rewarding. OR: What are your future goals, career-wise? CK: I truly feel as if I have reached my ultimate goal. I am designing for a company that continues to grow. I love it like it is my own [company] and it really is a dream job. OR: Could you describe what a typical day is like? CK: I check orders, check the

status of fabrics, complete retail orders to be picked up, visit manufacturers to make sure they are on task and sewing outfits correctly, meet with pattern makers and this is all before lunch. We have very full, packed days. All of which we work very diligently to get everything completed. We have amazing people working for us that care and work just as hard as we do. While we are working hard, we make it a very fun environment. We have music playing and some times we break into dance moves and singing. We try to make it really light hearted. The walls are baby pink and everything is cow print. OR: Who is someone that you

aspire to be like? CK: Honestly, my grandfather is my role model. He is the kindest gentleman I have ever met. He has encouraged me and motivated me for as long as I can remember. He is incredible and has the most genuine heart. I am very lucky to have him in my life and to have grown up under his influence. OR: Describe your style. CK: GIRLY!!! I love bling, ruffl es, bows...big bows. All of our dresses have huge bows with glitter on them. Bright patterns, animal prints and polka dots. I also love very tailored styles. The best part of being in children’s wear is anything goes. Kids aren’t worried about their hips.

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SPring 2010

Ross Bennett, UT textile and apparel alumnus and designer.

OR: Advice for aspiring UT textile and apparel students? CK: Find something that you truly enjoy doing. Designing is really something that we are all passionate about. It is such a God-given talent and use it to your best ability. Enjoy this time as a student and soak up as much as you can. I wish them all the very best and know what an exciting time it is. Nothing can compare to that night [the senior runway show]; congrats. Ross Bennett Major: textile and apparel Job: Designer — Ross Bennett Orange Runway: After graduation, I… Ross Bennett: I started my own line. It all began with a dress that I designed for a show and it was a Gore-Tex dress and 100 percent waterproof. The show’s producer wanted to buy the dress right away, and I started producing shows August 2008 at the State Fair of Texas. My whole collection was on display. I have my first Austin show coming up in a few weeks, and Miss Texas will be walking in one of my designs. It’s just nuts, I started from nothing; it’s all so exciting. OR: Do you have a favorite memory on the job? RB: My favorite memory would be the first time I saw my stuff go

down the runway, I couldn’t believe it was my clothing going down a runway in front of 200 people. It’s a natural high — people are like “wow you made all this.” It’s amazing and as you get older it just gets more and more fun. I was a wreck my first show. But you get more confident as you go. And seeing people’s faces is amazing. I haven’t had funds to finance models for my shows, so I’ve worked by not having any fittings, and it has really taught me to pay attention to my patterning and angles for my measurements. When I first started up, I had to carry my sewing machine with me everywhere I went. OR: What are your future goals, career-wise? RB: I hope to help build Austin’s fashion scene, so I would like to stay here. I want to keep growing my business and get into more limited doors like Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. I also hope to eventually open up a younger line. I’m just starting a more ready-to-wear line, and I would love for this to continue. OR: Could you describe what a typical day is like? RB: In addition to my own label, I also help design a Web site for St. Bernards Sports. I wake up at 8 a.m. every day, and work on the site during the day, and do most of my designing from 10 p.m. to about 3 a.m. I don’t really sleep. I

always have clothing, fashion and designs on my mind. I will wake up in the middle of the night and just go sketch. It’s what I love to do. OR: Who is someone that you aspire to be like? RB: The person who really drove me to do all of this — the late Dr. Ardis Rewerts. She was the greatest mentor I have ever had in fashion. She sculpted me as a person and as a designer. She engrained the professionalism in me. I dedicated my senior collection to her, we used to butt heads a lot, she was so hard on me, but I would not be here today if it wasn’t for her. As for my favorite designers, they would be Oscar de la Renta and Christian Dior. OR: Describe your style. RB: Classically tailored, 1950s old-Hollywood inspired, clean lines and organic. I make lots of my own clothes. OR: Advice for aspiring UT textile and apparel students? RB: Try to start your own business. The harder you push and the more networking you do, the more people will recognize you. Don’t back down if you are living on Ramen noodles and have no money. It’s hard, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do, if you love what you’re doing. Suck it up and do it. Suzie Rapp Major: apparel and textile design, concentration in business, graduated 2002 Job: Buyer for Urban Outfitters Orange Runway: After graduation I… Suzie Rapp: I moved to New York and interned in the design department at Marc Jacobs collection. After that, I started a leather handbag and accessories company with a college friend, Amy Posavek, as a side project. We ended up going full-time with it. It was such an exciting experience. We sold to several great stores from American Rag in LA, Calif. to Anthropologie. Funding is always a challenge when you start a company. During its four-year span I also worked various other jobs — as an account executive at a shoe showroom as well as an assistant buyer at a boutique. OR: How did you get your curContinued page 5

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SPring 2010 S

Chris Pham

Sketching Award Winner By Ann Choi

U

T textile and apparels senior Christopher Pham’s fashion illustrations came in first place in Dallas Career Day’s Fashion Illustration competition April 9. Pham’s winning work stood out amongst the works of students from 42 colleges and universities and will serve as promotional material for the Fashion Group International, Inc. Orange Runway: How did you hear about the competition? Christopher Pham: I heard about the competition through the University Fashion Group. The group mentioned competitions that students could enter that included designing, constructing and submitting actual garments that would go into a fashion show at Dallas Career Day, as well as the first fashion illustration competition hosted by Neiman Marcus. This was actually the first time I have ever entered any of my own artwork in a competition. OR: What was the theme of your illustrations? CP: Well, I knew that the illustrations were going to be used in promotional ads for Neiman Marcus

as well as the hosting organization, Fashion Group International, so I really wanted my illustrations to have a dramatic, emotional feel. Something that would elicit a reaction from people and the judges. I was really inspired by some of my friends too. A lot of them [my friends] were encouraging and were great to bounce ideas off of and give me input as well. OR: Did you hand-draw your illustrations or were they computer-generated? CP: My illustrations were handdrawn — about 17 inches tall by about 10 inches wide. I actually had to work on all five of them throughout spring break at a motel in Louisiana. I am on UT’s club rowing team, Texas Crew, and we go on a training trip to Natchitoches, La. for an entire week every spring break and train three times a day to prepare for our spring racing season. Between waking up at 5 a.m., trying to fit three practices in a day, and getting to bed before 9 p.m., I had about 30 minutes of free time each day of the break to work on the drawings. OR: How does it feel to win the first place? CP: I actually thought that I wasn’t

Chris Pham sketches

going to even get to show my work. I had misread the directions on the size requirements of the entry and had made them too big. I had expected to get to Dallas and not even get to see my work displayed. But when we got to the World Trade Center in Dallas, they were on display. So I thought that was a good sign. It felt really great to win first place. One, because it was the first time they had ever had a competition like this; two, because it was sponsored by such a huge retailer

like Neiman Marcus; and three, because it was a great opportunity to bring recognition to the fashion design program at UT. UT isn’t really known for its textile design program. We have graduates that have gone to do great things and work with some of the best designers in the business. And it’s about time that UT got counted among the best fashion programs in Texas. That was probably the best thing about winning first place. OR: What is your plan after

graduation? CP: Hopefully, I’ll have a job in New York or London working as an assistant or junior designer. As for my dream job, I want to change peoples’ attitudes about fashion. I think it’s a common misconception that fashion and fashion designers only care about skinny girls and color palettes — and that other people can’t be fashionable. I want to be able to Continued page 10

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Fashion Alumni

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rent job? SR: My company was closing and a friend of mine who worked at Urban recommended me. I interviewed over the phone and fl ew up to Philly and I started two weeks later. I have several great friends that work at Urban and I get to travel the world with them. I would say that is the best part of my job. I also really love collaborating with people and creating products, though it can be very challenging. The hardest part for me is public speaking. Even though I have to speak publicly several times a month, it still shakes me up. OR: What are your future goals, career-wise? SR: I want to continue to gain experience and strengthen my skills and knowledge. I would like to eventually head a team or utilize all my experiences to manage my own company. OR: Could you describe what a typical day is like? SR: Analyzing sales, strategizing, collaborating, negotiating, and creating products — I would say those are the main things. OR: Who is someone that you aspire to be like? SR: Career wise, I would say my general merchandise manager, Sun. She is well spoken and smart, she listens and has a great sense of product and style. OR: Describe your style. SR: On an average day you would see me in my Helmut Lang tank top, distressed/torn jeans, and my favorite nude ankle boots from Urban. I’m pretty laid back. I love simple pieces with great design details. OR: Advice for aspiring UT textile and apparel students? SR: Get as much experience as you can while you are in school — take internships, volunteer at shows, work in the business — it helps to have that experience when you get out. The fashion industry can be very competitive. Lauren Polt Major: apparel design, graduated 2005 Job: Owner and designer of chicka-d

Orange Runway: After graduation I… Lauren Polt: I moved to New York City to intern for the bridal line Jim Hjelm. I was hired to be the assistant designer once my internship ended, then became an art director for both Jim Hjelm and Alvina Valenta. OR: How did you get your current job? LP: I had the idea for chicka-d [my clothing line] in college but wanted to live and work in New York so badly that I decided to wait. After two years there, my friend Daniel and I decided the time was right to start and we never looked back. I stayed in New York long enough to design the first collection then moved back to Austin. Since the beginning, there were certain milestones that I was always looking forward to. Every time one happened, I was in shock and completely elated. The first was seeing the initial production run come in, the second was seeing my designs on the racks in stores, the third was seeing a girl at a football game in a chicka-d outfit. Those were amazing experiences. The hardest part of my job is the stress that comes along with running a business. It’s a lot of pressure and there are not enough hours in the day to do everything. My favorite part of the job is seeing the hard work pay off and the feeling of accomplishment when something amazing happens. I tend to get way too excited when I hear good news. I jump up and down a lot and luckily Daniel is the only one who has to see it. OR: What are your future goals, career-wise? LP: I definitely already have my dream job. I just want to keep expanding the chicka-d brand so that one day it’s a household name! OR: Could you describe what a typical day is like? LP: It changes every day. It can be anything from dealing with production to Web site work to packing and shipping orders. For me, there’s only one time each year that I’m able to sketch and design so I try to enjoy that time as much as I can. OR: Who is someone that you aspire to be like? LP: My Grandma Sylvia: because she always found humor in every Continued page 6

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Spring 2010 S

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Minna Kao

situation and loved to stand out. I hope I never become so serious that I can’t laugh at myself. OR: Describe your style. LP: My style on a daily basis is simple, casual and comfortable. When I go out though I love to get all dolled up. I love crazy high heels and unique dresses. I try to wear pieces that no one else has. OR: Advice for aspiring UT textile and apparel students? LP: Network, network, network — meet as many people as you can. It will get you further than you will ever imagine. Minna Kao Major: textiles and apparel, graduated 1998 Job: Opened a bridal couture business: MinnaK Orange Runway: After graduation I… Minna Kao: I studied abroad and apprenticed in Paris. I also continued my education at Parsons School of Design after a few years of working in New York. OR: How did you get your current job? MK: I got my current job as production coordinator through a friend. I started my own collection as fashion designer through persistence. My favorite part was when I had my first fashion show through Nolcha, a company who represents emerging designers. My other favorite moment was when I had some pieces sold at Kleinfeld. And of course it was always exciting to receive edito-

Lauren Polt

rial and credit on Martha Stewart online, Brides New York. I wouldn’t say any part of having my own line is hard. It can be a challenge, but I love being in the moment. I would say the difficulty lies in holding two jobs. I am grateful for just being able to do what I love. OR: What are your future goals, career-wise? MK: I’ve achieved what I need to achieve so far. I love what I do and where I live. I aim to continue this by putting one foot in front of the other. OR: Could you describe what a typical day is like? MK: As a production coordinator, I mediate between client and our Hong Kong office via e-mail and phone. I do a lot of pricing, and problem solving, and am involved from development to when the goods ship. It’s interesting and keeps me on my toes. As the designer, I source inspiration through many mediums, and sketch often. I always have a sketchbook. I work on patterns as well as work with patternmakers, local sample mak-

ers, and shop for fabric and trims. I wear many hats. As a small business owner, I am in charge of coordinating my photo shoots, promoting my own brand, and contacting buyers, bloggers, and editors as well as my own bookkeeping. It’s a challenge, but all worth it. OR: Who is someone that you aspire to be like? MK: Oprah. I don’t expect to be at that caliber, but why not aim high so you always have an inspiration? OR: Describe your style. MK: Modern and clean with a twist OR: Advice for aspiring UT textile and apparel students? MK: It’s not my quote but Todd Oldham quoted this in Daniel Vossovic’s book, “It’s your attitude. You can get there by whatever path you choose. But the thing that’s really important to tell everybody is this: Don’t listen to anybody. Don’t listen to me, don’t listen to you; listen to yourself. Forge new pathways”. Tara Stein


ORANGE RUNWAY

Spring 2010

with so many extremely talented people in my career so far. I have learned so much from all of them and they have all had a significant impact on my life and career. OR: Describe your style. TS: Trendy, feminine, preppy with a modern twist! Right now, I’m loving menswear looks for women. OR: Advice for aspiring UT textile and apparel students? TS: Follow your dreams. I have definitely learned that nothing is impossible with hard work and dedication.

Major: apparel design, graduated May 2006 Job: Associate Handbag Designer at Fossil Orange Runway: After graduation, I… Emily Zinser: I got a paid twomonth trial internship at Fossil to see if I was right for the assistant designer position and I ended up getting it. After I spent a year and a half designing men’s belts, I heard about an opportunity in women’s handbag design. After completing a design project, I got the assistant designer job in the handbag department. I had been there for almost two years before

Emily Zinser

I was promoted to associate designer. OR: What is the hardest part of your job? EZ: In my company the things you design have to be appealing to real women in order to sell well. The hardest part of my job is giving our customer all the function she wants out of a great handbag, but still inserting a little fashion in there to catch her eye and make her feel special. That way, we can take care of both her needs and her wants. OR: What is your favorite part of your job? Continued page 15

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Orange Runway: After graduation, I… Tara Stein: I moved to NYC to start work as an assistant designer for Betsey Johnson. OR: How did you get your current job? TS: I found my current job at Kay Unger through an online fashion industry job search. I was asked to interview with the design team and was hired shortly thereafter. OR: What is the hardest part of your job? TS: The hardest part of my job is being able to stay organized and focused in such a fast-paced, constantly-changing industry. OR: What is your favorite part of your job? TS: My favorite part of my job is being able to work in the heart of the garment industry doing what I love. OR: What are your future career goals? TS: My future goals for my career are to continue to work in the fashion industry and continue to grow and learn as much as possible. I’m extremely thankful for the amazing opportunities that I have been given so far in my career. I look forward to the future and all that is still to come. OR: Could you give a descrip-

tion of what you do at work daily? TS: A typical day at work for me involves communication with our overseas factories, preparing for and attending design meetings, sketching new concepts, working with in-house patternmakers, drapers and sewers, putting together packages to request new samples from our overseas factories, meeting with local fabric/ trim vendors and running errands in the garment district. OR: Who is someone you aspire to be like? TS: I have been fortunate enough to have encountered and worked

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FASHION SHOW

2010 High Voltage Collections By Ann Choi Photos by John Foxworth

H

igh Voltage is the name and describes the amount of energy emitted from the 32 student-made collections for this semester’s UT textile and apparel senior runway show on April 29. Karen Bravo, fashion show associate director said, “They’re [the seniors] knowledgable in modern fashion and technology; they create high voltage, energetic designs, so it’s really reflective of the group.” The show, which will feature 139 outfits, will open with a collection of designs from the fall semester that include eco-friendly fabrics and new design technology. “We wanted to be more environmentally conscious in designing,” Elizabeth Wong, textiles and apparel senior and the president of University Fashion Group, said. The annual fashion show is produced by the Division of Textiles and Apparel’s University Fashion Group in the School of Human Ecology and is fully underwritten by the University Cooperative Society under the leadership of President and CEO George Mitchell. This year, Cobalt Blue Salon will style the hair and Sephora will apply the makeup. “The girls went to Fashion Week in New York and said they liked the ‘40s updated wave at the big runway shows,” Cobalt Blue Stylist and Event Coordinator Brandy Veysey said. “Twelve stylists will style 32 models’ hair in two hours.” Veysey said that she and other stylists from Cobalt have attended the last three UT fashion shows, and that they are excited about the opportunity to participate. “We want to give back to the community and put our name out there,” she said. Makeup artist Erik Soto, a member of the Sephora pro team who applied makeup for 14 runway shows including Pete Wentz’s and Kim Kardashian’s at this year’s New York Fashion Week, said the current runway trends are bold colors like fuchsia, green and yellow paired with colorless, shimmer-free gloss on the lips — so that is what the audience is likely to see at UT’s show. Eve Nicols, director of the fashion show, said the process for the show helps prepare students for the apparel industry. She said students participate in every aspect of the design process from conception to completion including cutting patterns and constructing the garments. Since last fall, more than 120 fashion group members have been preparing for the show. Wong described the process as intense. “Basically I dedicated my whole life to this,” Wong said. “A lot of late hours and early mornings I had this semester… it’s been rewarding.” The show, which is expected to attract 4,800 spectators, will take place April 29 at the Frank Erwin Center. This year, browse the The Daily Texan’s Fashion Alley, which is up the escalator to the center’s mezzanine level before the show. Beginning at 6 p.m., boutiques, salons and other Austin businesses will be showcasing their products and services for guests. The exposition of students’ work from all programs in the division, including the historical textile and apparel collection, digital printing and retail merchandising, will start at 7 p.m., and the show will begin at 8 p.m. Admission is free.

Marla Boeer

Hometown: Brenham, Texas Inspiration: Strong females. I was actually watching “Terminator II” over the break and that’s where it came from. Dream job: Anything where I can do freelance design — or really what I want to do is be a milliner, a hat maker. A creative position where I can make enough money to do whatever I want. Celebrity: Chole Sevigny for anything. An event where I could do something ridiculous – like Bjork when they put her in goose feathers. Someone who would let me do something like that.

Emily Briggs

Hometown: Splendora, Texas Inspiration: Mariachi bands, I just love Mexican culture, so I wanted to take aspects of Mariachi costumes and put them into everyday wear. Dream job: I’d like to be a stylist, an editor, a creative director – there are so many things I want to do in the fashion industry that I feel like I should just do them all. But styling is really fun. Celebrity: I’d like to dress Nicole Richie for the Golden Globes because it’s elegant but at the same time the Globes is not as serious as the Oscars, so you can have more fun with it – throw in a print of something.


Emily Brillant

Hometown: Born in New Orleans, but grew up in Annapolis, Maryland Inspiration: I was inspired by a dress worn by Eva Longoria, bright red and long with a scalloped neckline. Similar to my evening gown. Dream job: I’d like to work my way up to creative director with a designer and hopefully start my own company one day. Celebrity: Kate Hudson, I have loved her ever since she was in “How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days.”

Kara Conner

Hometown: Richmond, Texas Inspiration: I based my designs on pirates… at the beach. Funloving pirates. Inspiration for dress: For this design I wanted it to be like someone has gone into their great-grandmother’s closet and found a bunch of Victorian garments, torn them apart and re-created this great new dress. The name of my dress is actually “Arsenic and Old Lace.” Dream job: I’d love to be able to design costumes for Broadway. It would be a lot of fun. Celebrity: I’d love to dress Maaya Sakamoto for a music video. She’s so cute and petite.

Mirta Carbajal

Hometown: Crosby, Texas Inspiration: I was doing some bridesmaid dress shopping with my sister who is looking for her wedding. We were picking out our dresses and it was just really difficult finding anything that wasn’t the same style and made of polyester or satin. And I thought about what I would want for my wedding or what I would want my sisters to wear on my wedding day. And that’s where it branched off. I found this beautiful purple chiffon and it inspired me to braid and drape. Dream job: Of course designing, but styling would be something I’d enjoy doing. Celebrity: Rachel Bilson for a movie premier wearing a dress.

Lisa Husberg Hometown: Joshua, Texas

Inspiration: I was inspired by Native American design and geometric patterns. And I wanted to do a modern take on that. Dream job: I want to act or own my own bakery. Celebrity: I would dress MIA, she’s a female rapper and I would put her in a crazy patterned jersey dress – maybe a little bit more feminine than what she’s usually dressed in, but a lot of different colors coming together. Really bold and bright, but classy at the same time.

Continued Page 12


Chris Pham

UT Fashion Internships

Continued from page 4

By Sheri Alzeerah make people see fashion for what it really is: a form of selfexpression. I think that it’s very easy to write fashion off as expensive clothes that nobody wants to wear. But when you think about it, fashion is something that everyone puts on themselves. Whether it’s a T-shirt or a $10,000 dress, everyone puts fashion on. And the type of fashion they choose to put on themselves is the ultimate form of self-expression.

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Chris Pham, senior UT textile and apparel major, won the Dallas Career Day’s Fashion Illustration Competition April 9. He competed against students from 42 other colleges and universities.

ork i n g sideby-side with the world’s top fashion designers, these four seniors take Orange Runway behind the scenes to share what they learned from their internships with the industry’s most notable style mavens. From London to New York to Austin, these style pros shine a light on the highprofile world of fashion internships. Amanda Winski, apparel design senior Betsey Johnson, New York, 2009 Orange Runway: When did you first become interested in fashion? Amanda Winski: “I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t interested in fashion. I’d play Barbies solely to dress them up and do their hair. I loved playing dress up, and I started drawing designs when I was about 12. I also got voted ‘Most Likely to Become a Fashion Designer’ in sixth grade.” OR: How did you go about landing the internship? AW: “First, I went to the careeradvising center a lot. They were so awesome in helping me with my resume and cover letter, so I submitted those online along with a drawing or two that I’d done. I found out a couple weeks later that I got an interview. I also got really great advice and insight from a girl who’d interned there in the past. The interview was well-received, and I got the internship. I was so excited.” OR: Describe a typical day on the job. AW: “I was learning new things everyday. I’d say the thing I probably did the most was a lot of technical flat sketches. I loved doing the more detailed evening dresses. I got to sit in on a lot of meetings, which determined which garments made it past the sample stage.

That was a really interesting process. I loved that I got to add my two cents in these from time to time. I also got to help with the planning for the Hong Kong fashion show as well as The Art of Fashion in the Hamptons exhibit. I loved going to work every day. There was almost always something going on.” OR: Who is your fashion icon? AW: “I definitely lean toward the fun, flirty clothes and bright colors. Of course, Betsey Johnson. I’m also a fan of Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. They’re all about creativity and youthfulness.” OR: What is your favorite trend this season? AW: “Oh dear. I’m not a very ‘trendy’ person. I’m more about having a personal style. Sure, I’ll take a look at what’s in, but I definitely decide for myself if it’s awesome or just ridiculous. Then again, ridiculous things are sometimes what I end up loving.” Alexandra King, apparel design senior Linda Asaf, Austin, 2008 La Petite Salope, London, 2009 Diane Von Furstenberg, New York, 2010 OR: How would you describe your style? AK: “It’s edgy with a glamorous

twist. I am inspired by disco and rock-and-roll a lot, so you can always see those elements in my designs. My clothes aren’t very girly, but they’re sexy and fun. I like my clothes to make a woman feel powerful and ready to do whatever she wants.” OR: What was your most memorable experience at La Petite Salope? AK: “I remember one day when the designer was working on creating an outfit and she had me sewing up samples, she noticed my sewing skills and recognized how hard I worked and she personally commended me on that and told me it was going to be disappointing when I had to leave them. It was one of the biggest compliments I could ever get. I think any aspiring designer loves to be commended on their hard work by someone they look up to.” OR: Describe a typical day on the job at La Petite Salope. AK: “I would arrive at the studio at 10 A.M., then hang out for a bit and drink some tea while everybody got their tasks organized for the day. Then they would give me something to do like sewing a sample, making accessories, cutting fabric or drafting a pattern. Some days, I would have to go out to the factory across the city to drop off Continued page 14


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Kat Salvante

Hometown: Killeen, Texas Inpsiration: “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” I used Willie Wonka as the main character. I used one of the scenes with a mushroom bottom and mushroom top and an oompa loompa. Dream job: I really want to get into athletic wear. Celebrity: I would dress Sienna Miller for shopping out and about around town, or maybe for a concert. I’d put her in different pieces, some jeans or maybe shorts, a cool top and lots of accessories. Something easy and versatile.

Jill Lancaster

Hometown: Austin, Texas Inspiration: I got a lot of my inspiration from nature, especially trees and wood grain. I love the way that colors and textures mix in nature. I actually hand-painted wood grain onto one on my dresses. Dream job: I’d love to be a stylist. Celebrity: Zooey Deschanel for a concert or some fun party. I’d put her in a funky little dress with some ankle boots. Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas Inspiration: The Beatles. My dad raised me on classic rock, so it was the “Sargeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Band” cover. So all the bright, neon colors, the military-inspired. It’s just fun. Dream job: Move to New York and work for some big fashion houses, and eventually have my own line. Celebrity: Blake Lively from “Gossip Girl.” Any event she would do, an upper Eastside art party, or runway, and I just want to do one of her cute little outfits. I have an eclectic style, so mixing new with old.

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Ashley Westerman

Hometown: Montgomery, Texas Inspiration for collection: Barbie meets a carnival. I like bright colors and ruffles and bows and fun colors. Dream job: I want to have my own line and be the next Betsey Johnson — she’s my favorite designer. Celebrity you would dress: I would dress Katy Perry for one of her performances. I would put her in a pink dress with polka dots and lots of shiny tulle.

Hometown: Sugar Land, Texas Inspiration: I’ve always been very inspired by menswear and how structured it is, but I also like femine, flowy pieces. I think it’s a nice combination. Dream job: I’m also a business major, so I think something that would involve fashion marketing would be really awesome for me. I would very much enjoy that. Celebrity: I listen to this singer, Diane Birch, whenever I’m sewing or designing. So I would probably want to dress her because her music really inspires – it’s really happy music. So I’d probably dress her for a concert. I’d put her in something cute and girly, but kinda tom-boyish, like a boyfriend blazer.

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UT Fashion Internships duction process. I was always told Continued from page 10

why the things I was doing were important, which made me feel like I was contributing, no matter how minute something may seem.� OR: What did your internship teach you that you’d like to pass on? AK: “I learned that there are many little things that have to be done to produce a successful fashion collection and that every job is important, small or large. Hard work always pays off, and you should never complain about doing something seemingly monotonous or unimportant because you don’t know how much

and/or pick up a sample. Sometimes I would go to the factory with the production manager to pick up a set of garments to be shipped to a boutique. We would have to check each piece for any flaws or clip any threads and attach hangtags. I would usually finish around 6 P.M., sometimes sooner. Every day was different, but it was always busy and quite fun. I was never bored, and I didn’t mind doing some of the tedious tasks because I knew what role they played in the whole pro-

people appreciate what you do for them. You have to put in time and energy before you get to do the fun stuff.� OR: Where do you see yourself in ten years? AK: “I hope to have had a job or two maybe in London or New York, working for a designer. Then I hope to have come back to Austin to start something of my own. My dream is to pioneer a new era of fashion in Texas and become known as a great designer with my clothes all over the nation or better yet, the world.�

Spring 2010 S

Elizabeth Ruiz, textiles and apparel design senior Carlos Campos, New York, summer 2009 OR: When did you first become interested in fashion? ER: “I got my hands on my first ‘Teen Vogue’ magazine when I was in the seventh grade. I always tried to dress up and look different from my peers, but I had never been exposed to the fashion industry. I became instantly fascinated by the glamour and the concept of keeping up with style and trends.� OR: How would you describe your style?

ER: “It changes day to day, but it’s definitely always edgy. I love to mix feminine styles with tough elements. Right now, I’m really into the bohemian/rock-and-roll look and am currently obsessed with mixing pastel colors with black shades.� OR: How did you go about landing the internship? ER: “A friend recommended a fashion internship website (http:// fashion.net). I sent out my resume to several companies, interviewed for a few, was offered a couple internships, and chose one. It was definitely harder than I thought.�

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ORANGE RUNWAY

Spring 2010

UT Fashion Alumni Continued from page 7

EZ: My favorite part of the job is researching at the beginning of a new season. I love looking for trends and inspiration. Also, seeing a real person with the handbag I designed is really a great payoff. OR: What are your future career goals? EZ: I definitely want to progress along the path I am on — I love accessory design. I would like to be a manager so that I could mentor new designers and help them reach their creative potential. However, I really enjoy my current job and haven’t planned too far ahead. OR: Could you give a description of what you do at work daily? EZ: It depends on which day you ask me. Some days I am brainstorming or researching new concepts for the upcoming season. Other days, I’m sketching and “spec-ing” handbags for the current season. Sometimes I sit in meetings where our team decides which products make it into the line and which ones get dropped. Some days I might be making corrections on a handbag design and then communicating with the overseas factory about those corrections. We have four overlapping seasons a year, so you have to be able to multi-task! OR: Who is someone you aspire to be like? EZ: I would love to be like my mom. She didn’t have a creative career but she has an extremely creative mind and is always using it to think of new projects to do in her spare time. She loves her career in nursing and strives to be outstanding in her field, which is something I really admire. She always has time for family but when she is on vacation she can really let go and relax. She has struck a pretty great balance in her life and I want to have that for myself. OR: Describe your style. EZ: I love quirky cute design and vintage. I appreciate playful color and pattern mixing. I try to buy only pieces that I really love and leave items that are just “eh” behind on the rack, no matter how much they are marked down.

OR: Advice for aspiring UT textile and apparel students? EZ: Pay attention to your CAD classes. I use Illustrator every day to sketch a handbag, and I also use Photoshop a couple of times a week. It is expected of new design hires in our company to have computer skills. Even people who have been in our field for years are now expected to learn because it is just impossible to do this kind of work without using these programs. It will be expected of you in every position you apply for when you graduate, so take it seriously because your competition for fashion design jobs will have this skill and it could make the difference in a hiring decision. Also, try to really enjoy school while it lasts. It is the only time—unless you start your own business—where your designs get to be all your point of view. Once you get a job, you will be designing for a customer who has different needs or taste than yourself, which is an exciting new challenge. Amanda Cruz Major: textiles and apparel design, graduated 1998 Job: Research and Development Manager at Talbots Orange Runway: After graduation, I… Amanda Cruz: I moved to New York with another UT fashion alum. I first got a temp job at a

small company, which led to a fulltime position as a design assistant a few weeks later. I stayed there for almost five years working in a few different departments within the company. I left my job there to work in fabric research and development at another clothing company for four years before I came to Talbots. I’ve been working here for two years now, still doing fabric research and development. OR: How did you get your current job? AC: My current boss and I worked together at my last job. Once she came here, she saw an opportunity for me here as well. OR: What is the hardest part of your job? AC: There are two parts. The first is meeting deadlines. If one team in the organization falls behind on a deadline, it has a domino effect and can put everyone behind schedule. Secondly there are pricing challenges. So many factors can affect the price of fabrics. Right now, the cost of cotton fiber is rising and becoming a major concern. We need to stay within a certain pricing structure to maintain our quality, integrity and importance to our customer. OR: What is your favorite part of your job? AC: My favorite part of my job is the travel — going places I might not have been able to go to on my own. I have been to Hong Kong, China, Japan, South Korea, Tai-

Page 15

wan, Indonesia and India to research fabrics. OR: What are your future career goals? AC: I honestly don’t know what I want to do next. OR: Could you give a description of what you do at work daily? AC: First, I read through 100 or so new e-mails, which are mainly from our overseas offices and mills and address any issues. Next, I meet with internal teams to address any issues regarding holiday 2010 or spring 2011 fabric development such as quality, color,

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Orange Runway 2010  

An Advertising Supplement of the Daily Texan

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