Fashion Design Students and Faculty Head to Beijing to Show Work During China Fashion WeekPosted Feb. 28, 2011 | Effie Tsengas
Select students and faculty from the School of Fashion Design and Merchandising will attend China's 2011 Fashion Week in Beijing at the end of March. The invitation, extended by the China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), will provide all-expense paid trips for seven students and three faculty members. The trip comes compliments of the Beijing Municipal Government, which annually sponsors an international partner for CAFA at China Fashion Week. The seven Kent State fashion design students will show four pieces each from their senior collections.
The offer was extended to J.R. Campbell, director of the School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, while he was in Seoul, Korea in November for the 2010 International Fashion Art Biennale. Campbell was there representing Kent State as one of only four Americans invited to speak. Additionally, Campbell and Associate Professor of Fashion Design Vincent Quevedohad submitted a piece titled "DMZ" and were collaboratively awarded the "International Artist of the Year" award for their innovative design.
It was in Seoul that Campbell met Aluna-Yue Lu, dean of the fashion department of China Central Academy of Fine Arts . Each year, the academy has the opportunity to partner with one international school during China Fashion Week. This year, Lu invited Campbell to bring students from the School of Fashion Design and Merchandising..
The students returned from winter break to learn of this unique opportunity. Open to all 49 senior design students, the judging process began less than one month after the students returned from winter break. All 49 designers were required to have two pieces from their collection completed and ready to present to the committee to be considered. The students were critiqued by Campbell and fellow fashion faculty members Linda Ohrn-McDaniel, Noel Palomo-Lovinski, Sherry Schofield-Tomschin and Paula Dancie.
Finalists were chosen based on the quality and aesthetic of their designs. In addition, all 49 students were asked to select their top five favorite senior collections. Out of the 49 competing senior design majors, the group was whittled down to 13 semi-finalists in one day. Those 13 then continued on to one-on-one interviews with the committee. Ultimately, the seven finalists were selected.
"The seven students are now feverishly finishing their four-piece collections in time for our trip," says Ohrn-McDaniel, one of the three faculty members accompanying the students. "This truly is a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity for them. This event could catapult their careers overnight."
The seven finalists are Bethany Clark, Abigail Drake, Zachary Hoh, Vanecia Kirkland, Staci Moening, Caitlin Nugent and Samantha Woodard. Campbell, along with faculty members Ohrn-McDaniel and Schofield-Tomschin, will accompany the students to Beijing where they will stay for seven days. The runway event is tentatively scheduled for March 29.
For more information on the School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, visit www.fashionschool.kent.edu.