Aspire

FACING THE FUTURE THROUGH REFLECTION, INNOVATION, AND INSPIRATION

As our global economic climate transitions and shifts towards unchartered territories, the world our graduating class of 2020 is entering into provides uncertainties and challenges beyond our current understanding. We, as a University and as a Fashion Design Program, are looking towards finding opportunities to innovate and adapt the talents and skills our Fashion Design graduates have, by exploring new industries and businesses that would benefit from hiring our newest class of fashion design students. Industries are quickly pivoting their business models and need to strategically plan for reinventing the way businesses will run and operate due to COVID-19. More important to businesses now are these designers who have been educated to think creatively, problem solve, and develop forward-thinking innovative solutions.

As we approach week five from being off campus and adjusting to a virtual learning environment, I wanted to reach out to the Senior graduating class of 2020 and get some perspective on how they have transitioned their learning as well as provide them with an opportunity to inspire others experiencing similar times. Understanding the final work load and efforts our students are putting in to graduating, I had a healthy appreciation that I may not be getting any responses back, however, not to my surprise, several students managed to take the time to share their thoughts and motivational words with you today. It is important to be able to express concerns and feelings during these times, it is equally important to remind our students that we can also reflect positively on the experiences that have been given and to take a moment to inspire others around us and seek opportunity amidst challenges.

 

Carly McAndrew – Senior Fashion Designer, Class of 2020
PORTFOLIO: https://www.behance.net/mcandrew521d2e

Considering the fashion industry has had to pivot their business models and strategy due to COVID-19, where in industry do you see yourself playing a valuable role?

People are going to be reluctant to make purchases given the current state of the economy, so designers have to develop a product so enticing that it will convince people to spend. Aside from that, online platforms should be elevated to be more inviting, and companies are going to have to introduce alternative ways to engage with the customer, now that brick and mortar is out of the question.

What has been your favorite memory during your time at Jefferson?

My favorite memory during my time at Jefferson would definitely have to be my time spent abroad in Rome, Italy. I learned so much from professors Esther and Antonella, producing some of my best work, all while having the opportunity to travel around the world.

What words of encouragement would you give the graduating class of 2020?

Continue to create. For me, even though we’re not required to complete our physical collections, I’m still trying to do so. I’m hoping it will give a sense of closure to senior year and be a valuable asset to my portfolio.

Kim Nguyen – Senior Fashion Designer, Class of 2020
PORTFOLIO: WWW.KNKIMPNGUYEN.WEEBLY.COM

Considering the fashion industry has had to pivot their business models and strategy due to COVID-19, where in industry do you see yourself playing a valuable role?

I think I would be well suited in the technical design or even the more business-oriented side of the fashion industry. Now that we’ve had collective global trauma from COVID-19, I want to focus on helping bring back a sense of normality and renewal, but in a way that makes it affordable and accessible to those struggling.

What has been your favorite memory during your time at Jefferson?

My favorite memory during my time in Jefferson’s fashion design program is, coincidentally, my worse one; I did two all-nighters in a row to finish my red dress for Pattern I. Out of all my years at Jefferson as whole though, my fondest memories lie in creating and leading the Asian Students Association for the past 2 ½ years.

What words of encouragement would you give the graduating class of 2020?

This isn’t the first or last struggle in your life. It’s okay to be upset, but how you learn and grow from this moment will prepare you for even bigger and better things in the future. Enjoy the little moments now!

Alyssa Diamond – Senior Fashion Designer, Class of 2020
PORTFOLIO: WWW.BEHANCE.NET/DIAMOND487C5D5

 

Considering the fashion industry has had to pivot their business models and strategy due to COVID-19, where in industry do you see yourself playing a valuable role?

I see myself doing well working individually with a specific task and given an idea. Making mood boards, graphics, silhouettes, etc.

What has been your favorite memory during your time at Jefferson?

Going to studio knowing it’s a safe, relaxed environment where I can focus but also socialize.

What words of encouragement would you give the graduating class of 2020?

Push yourself to do the best you can with the resources you have. Find your comfortable mediums and use them to your style.

Marin Bunner – Senior Fashion Designer, Class of 2020
PORTFOLIO: WWW.BEHANCE.NET/MARINBUNNE73C

 

Considering the fashion industry has had to pivot their business models and strategy due to COVID-19, where in industry do you see yourself playing a valuable role?

I still hope to get into technical design, and develop ways to make fashion more sustainable. I think COVID-19 will send the fashion industry into a more conservative time, with fabric, sales, etc. Helping a company start to conform to this would be a fun challenge.

What has been your favorite memory during your time at Jefferson?

My favorite memory during my time at Jefferson has to be the studio hours with my friends. Developing bonds with so many talented designers that double as friends. One minute we are asking each other for help or feedback and the next we are giggling joking with each other, running to get food, or playing around.

What words of encouragement would you give the graduating class of 2020?

This is not the end.

Anna Hutchinson – Senior Fashion Designer, Class of 2020
PORTFOLIO: WWW.BEHANCE.NET/HUTCHINSON4C05

 

What has been your favorite memory during your time at Jefferson?

Studying abroad in Italy was by far one of the best experiences during my time at Jefferson. I got hands on experience with the instructors & also had the opportunity to travel around the world!

What words of encouragement would you give the graduating class of 2020?

We will get through this crazy ride, just to stay positive when we can and take time to focus on ourselves as well.

 

 

I want to thank our fashion designers for their time and providing all of us with a better understanding of how our students are doing. Even as we continue to approach significant milestones that my not be honored and celebrated in a traditional fashion, knowing our students and the boundless creativity that they possess, I am optimistic that they, along with family and friends, will come up with innovative solutions to celebrate and honor their amazing accomplishments. We must empower the newest generation of young and talented professionals to approach the next phase of life with confidence, patience, and take on any and all challenges using the skills and education that they have been given to fill a need, inspiring them to think globally about how they will add value, not only in the fashion industry, but anywhere they see opportunity.

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