Wildcats in New York

Each semester, undergraduates at Arizona compete to go behind the scenes at New York Fashion Week. And they’re raising the bar.

Through a collaboration between University of Arizona Trademarks & Licensing and the Norton School of Family & Consumer Sciences, students at Arizona compete to go behind the scenes at New York Fashion Week. And each semester, Wildcats set the bar higher for each other, and their peers nationally, with their design pitches, business analytics and professionalism.

September 2020 Guidelines  February 2020 Guidelines  September 2019 Guidelines

New York Fashion Week Worthy

Four Wildcats headed behind the scenes in Feb. 2020

Their challenge to get there: Sustainable Design

To qualify, student applicants were asked to repurpose unsold Arizona t-shirts, then, outline the next three life cycles of the materials.
The finalists presented to our judges in Fall 2019.

"I am really passionate about fashion history, so I decided to create a 1960s inspired dress and focused my project around the history of sustainability and fashion. The overall project became so much more meaningful when I worked on something that meant a lot to me." —Claire Harders

"I frequently visit thrift stores and vintage shops, which has really forced me to be creative with my purchases. It has also inspired me to run my own shop on DEPOP. I hope to pursue a career in fashion styling and/or buying, roles I believe directly inspire consumers to think critically about how they choose to express themselves". Michelle Huynh

"I chose the University of Arizona because I liked the idea of building on my already creative talents and learning more about the retail side of the industry. After graduation I hope to get my master’s in Fashion Studies and eventually move to New York or London to work in the editorial side of fashion." —Tate Jameson

"I almost didn't apply for this program, being so new to the University of Arizona as a freshman, and I can't imagine how different my life would be now if I had missed this. My advice to any future students considering this opportunity would be to start your application yesterday!" Danielle Nead-Work


Takeaways from Fashion Week |  Feb. 2020

Claire Harders, Junior
Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ 
Major: Retail & Consumer Sciences

"I learned so much from the professionals in the panels and the college students who also attended the program. They taught me to go after my dreams without hesitation and even some great negotiation skills! The people I met showed me how important it is to take every opportunity because you never know where it might lead."

Michelle Huynh, Senior
Hometown: Tucson, AZ 
Major: Retail & Consumer Sciences

"Just from observing the sea of people who fill in the seats, you can really tell that each person is unapologetically expressing themselves. That is why my number one advice to future students considering this opportunity is: Do not let uncertainty of belonging keep you from pursuing this chance."

Tate Jameson, Junior
Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ
Major: Retail & Consumer Sciences

"I realized that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. The first show I saw was Claudia Li and within 30 seconds, I was teary eyed. This was one of the first times that I felt not only hopeful for a future in the fashion industry, but confident that I was going to attain my dream."

Danielle Nead-Work, First-year student 
Hometown: Lake Oswego, OR 
Major: Pre-Business

"The experiences I had talking to successful individuals in the field, learning design and production specifics from Champion, experiencing live runway shows and all that goes into them inspired me to get as creative and involved in this world as possible during my time as a student."

Takeaways from Fashion Week | Sept. 2019 

Since I was little, I would find the looks and shows from NYFW on live streams, through magazines, from influencers or on designer websites, just so that I could try and feel like I was there watching them. So, getting to experience the shows in real life felt like a dream.
— Brenna Doyle, Class of ‘21

We had the privilege of visiting Champion’s design studios. Their trends team showed us the entire design process and how their research plays into the final product design. This was a major “aha!” moment for me that shed some light on future career paths I was unaware of.
— Kami Strander, Class of ‘21

Their Experience

 

The Judges

Katherine Schenck, Assistant Director of Trademarks & Licensing

Katherine graduated from Clemson University with a B.A. in Communications and a B.S. in Marketing. She followed with a M.A. in Sport Administration from Ball State University while working in the Athletic Department. In her current role, Katherine oversees local licensees and retailers, and works with on-campus colleges and departments.

Charlette Padilla, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Fashion Minor in Norton School of Family & Consumer Sciences

Charlette graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and received her master’s degree from the University of Arizona Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences. She is an award-winning retail business owner and led the Fashion Consumer Sciences program at Pima Community College. In her current role, Charlette coordinates the Fashion minor, leads the study abroad trip and works with students to prepare them for the fashion industry.

Elizabeth Heuisler, Assistant Professor for Norton School of Family & Consumer Sciences

Elizabeth graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, received a B.A. in Fine Arts from Hofstra University and a master’s in Educational Leadership from Argosy University. She has worked in the fashion industry as an assistant designer and freelance designer and was the vice president of clothing design for Chivalry Sports. Today, Elizabeth teaches at the University of Arizona and leads the sustainability curriculum in partnership with Trademarks & Licensing.

Jessica Estrella, Art Director

As an art director, Jessica is a creative problem solver with an interminable appetite for new technology. In addition to serving as the art director on the University of Arizona Marketing & Brand Management team, her experience includes years in TV broadcasting, interactive, multi-media and space design. Other areas of expertise include motion graphics, brand design and Hispanic marketing strategy.

Erik McEwen, Social Media Director

Erik has been with the University of Arizona for almost two years, heading up the main central social media presence. Prior to his work here at Arizona, he headed up the Los Angeles market for the on-demand beauty app, Glamsquad. This gave him the opportunity to work behind the scenes in many fashion shows including NY and LA.