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New York Design Company Reps Judge Student Work and Award Prizes

Posted Jan. 9, 2012

Ellery Homestyles gives three prizes to fashion students at Kent State

enter photo description
Fashion student Mackenzie Frank won
the Ellery Homestyles competition for
her Looks Like Teen Spirit design.

Students at Kent State University’s Fashion School recently took part in a competition that focused on the business side of the industry and included judging by representatives from a well-known New York design company.

Approximately 70 students from two sections of the school’s Product Development course competed for one of three prizes presented by Ellery Homestyles – a supplier of branded and private label home-fashion products to major retailers. Students were given four weeks to develop a merchandising plan and drape designs (one for a female client and one for a male client or unisex designs) for either a tween market or college-age market.

The competition is the first of its kind within The Fashion School.

Ellery Homestyles representatives included Molly Rammel, a Kent State alumna and senior product development coordinator, and Angela Boswell, vice president of product development. Kent State fashion professors Trista Grieder and Dr. Eun-Jung Lee, were also involved in the competition.

“The students developed a full-color story and created two prints with two color ways in each. A customer who would buy pink would not buy blue, so they needed to capture all different ranges of customer preferences,” says Grieder.

The winners include first place Looks Like Teen Spirit by Mackenzie Frank, who won $300, second place Vintage Chic by Kristina Udovic, who won $200, and third place Mod Stripes by Carly Marcelli, who won $100. Overall, the students impressed Boswell and Rammel with their research, preparation and design concepts.

“Ellery Homestyles has had Kent State interns for three years, so I know how talented the students are. I was impressed with how much research and thought they put into the project and their presentations,” Boswell says. “There were a few designs that could be translated into window curtains straight from their presentations.”

“Many of the students mentioned price point and talked about the overall salability of their designs from the customer's standpoint, which is great to hear from young people still in the midst of their education,” Rammel says.

Grieder plans to continue bringing industry professionals to Kent State in order to create real-world experiences for students. Lee also believes that the hands-on experience helps students stay focused.

“My goal is to bring the students and the industry together in these ‘real life’ scenario-based projects,” says Grieder. “I would like to see them walk out of here with as much experience and feedback that we can help provide.”

“I think overall [the competition] works well for our students to get motivated as they have this clear goal in what they are doing,” says Lee. “Also, having industry professionals in class helps them articulate their career plans for the future and they can envision what they can and will do in the fashion industry after graduation.”