Old Navy recruiters visited campus on Tuesday, September 24th from their headquarters in San Francisco to introduce their industry sponsored project to fashion design juniors. In addition to sharing their insights on the industry and talking a bit about the Old Navy customer and market, the meeting served as a kick-off event for their “We are Family” project.
The project challenges junior level fashion students to create a collection of eight total looks that adhere to Old Navy’s “all-American”, family-centric brand identity. After visiting an Old Navy store and doing their initial market research, students will identify a concept for the brand’s summer 2020 delivery. Guided by the seasonal concept, they will focus on two separate customers from the Old Navy family (i.e. women, plus, maternity, men, boys, girls, toddler, baby) and develop four complete looks per customer. Included with a board showing their concepts, students will also have to submit a complete color palette, trend board, and a fabric board to help communicate their design direction. Once completed, teams from Old Navy will review all projects digitally via students’ online portfolios on Behance. The first and second place projects will receive cash prizes of $3500 and $1500 respectively.
During their presentation, recruiters mentioned that about a third of the US population dresses in Old Navy brand clothing. Therefore, the biggest challenge students face with this project is designing understandable, attainable, and affordable pieces that can be worn seasonally for multiple years. However, students are also encouraged to develop new ideas for the Old Navy customer that still fit with their design aesthetic and affordable pricing. Through providing a customer profile, important brand pillars/identities, and general costing constraints, students will have to take their design knowledge and personal aesthetics and manipulate their thinking to not only create something new and exciting, but also pieces that are functional and make sense for the everyday person.
In addition to the project kickoff, Old Navy recruiters also participated in a portfolio review and on-campus interviews. Approximately 30 Fashion Design and Textile Design students had the opportunity to get their portfolios reviewed by recruiters from Old Navy Corporate headquarters for their chance at landing a coveted Summer 2020 internship in San Fran. We were honored that Old Navy recruiters took the time to fly all the way out from California to spend two days visiting with our faculty, touring the studios, launching industry projects with classes, and interviewing our students. The reps from Old Navy delivered a dynamic and visually engaging presentation outlining their brand, aesthetic, mission, and values – and challenged our students to a design competition. Getting the opportunity to design for one of the most successful fashion brands in America, is an incredible honor – one that is unique to Jefferson students. This is just the start of an exciting partnership. We are already working with Old Navy recruiters to plan their trip back to campus in this spring!
Contributed by: Nicole Murphy & Ainsley Maloney