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School of Fashion Design and Merchandising News and Events

Kent State Brings Fashion Show to Museum, Honors Macy's Executive

Posted May. 5, 2014

Fashion School Hall of Fame inductee Tom Cole accepts award from Fashion School Director J.R. CampbellThe Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising (the Fashion School) at Kent State University held its Annual Fashion Show on Saturday, April 26, dazzling an audience that included Macy’s executives and prominent designers mixed in with students, parents and faculty.

For the first time, the fashion show was held in the Kent State University Museum, and the setting lent the presentation an unprecedented intimacy. The runway snaked through six of the museum’s galleries, and the audience, seated within inches of the models, was treated to an immense richness of detail, privy to the subtleties of garments’ textures, movement and construction.

The show featured the work of 34 student designers, who presented a broad spectrum of eveningwear, activewear and lingerie.

The show was capped by an awards presentation that included the induction of Tom Cole, former Macy’s chief administrative officer, into the Fashion School Hall of Fame. In receiving this honor, Cole, a Kent State alumnus, joins the ranks of past inductees such as Estee Lauder, Elsa Klensch, Allen Questrom, Michael Weiss, Ralph Rucci, Oscar de la Renta, Leonardo Ferragamo and Dana Buchman.

“Sitting here today and looking at the designs that walk down this aisle, I continue to be so impressed with what the Fashion School has done,” said Tom Cole, upon accepting his award. “The first person I’m going to call is Allen Questrom, who is a former CEO of Macy’s and will be thrilled to know that I’ve joined him in the Fashion School Hall of Fame at Kent State University.”

Several Macy’s executives were in the audience to celebrate Cole’s induction, including Terry Lundgren, CEO and chairman, and Molly Langenstein, executive vice president of men’s and children’s product development (herself a Fashion School alumna).

Meanwhile, the late Margaret Clark Morgan was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Margaret Clark and her husband Burton D. Morgan were champions of education and the arts, and launched scholarship and technology endowments at the Fashion School.

J.R. Campbell, director of the school, remarked: “Alongside Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman, whose gift enabled the establishment of the Fashion School in 1983, the Morgans and Morgan foundations represent the most generous donors in the Fashion School’s history.” Mary Morgan-Graves and Suzanne Morgan accepted the award on behalf of their mother.

The school presented its Outstanding Alumni Award to Vicki Jennings, current vice president of sales at the Jones Group, before announcing this year’s nine student design awards, each of which carried a cash value between $250 and $1,000.

The following design students received awards for their contributions to this year’s fashion show: Kimberly Patton (sportswear/casualwear category); Leslie Schaefer (evening/formalwear); Susy Mei (flat pattern); Amy Tieferman (draping); Lisa Conrad (TechStyleLAB Award); Anastasia Iafrate (couture/conceptual collection); Jade Steger (SUEDEsays™ Award); Kaitlyn Dugan (most market-ready); and Jay Lewis (best in show).

As in years past, a team of industry professionals reviewed student submissions in March to select the pieces appearing in the show. Among these “designer critics” were several Fashion School alumni: Laura Boes, vice president of design at Tea Collection; Brie Bourdo, senior designer of activewear at Lane Bryant; Jacqueline Hughes, design director of knits and sweaters for Lauren Brands; Michael Cunningham, head designer for Joan Voss; and Matthew Zink, owner and designer of Charlie by Matthew Zink.

Photos from the fashion show and awards ceremony are viewable here.

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Photo Caption: Fashion School Hall of Fame inductee Tom Cole (left), former Macy's chief administrative officer, accepts his award from J.R. Campbell (right), director of the Fashion School.

Media Contact: Alex Parrott, marketing assistant, cparrot1@kent.edu, 330-672-2714.