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The Fashion Design Department’s teaching success is credited to the practice of placing the professional designer alongside the student, offering them a glimpse of the future of fashion design from those who invent it. Each year, the department invites prominent fashion designers and stylists, called Mentors, who provide a design direction to the Junior and Senior class. 

The Junior direction is focused on casual and active sportswear in the moderately-priced market, including a sustainable design project, while seniors are given design direction for tailored garments, evening wear, couture, and costumes for the luxury "designer" market. After receiving design direction from Mentors, students engage in a vigorous process to define and clarify the conceptual basis of the design problem with weekly guidance from their faculty.   

Mentors offer an assessment of the students’ work via critique of mentored projects during design development, sketch selection, and fittings. By sharing their invaluable professional expertise directly with students, Mentors inspire new ways of thinking about design, share new ideas for construction, materials, and insights into the design process.

This pedagogical approach embodies the department's teaching philosophy which advocates student learning through interaction with industry professionals. Additionally, it promotes a high degree of professionalism, as well as providing indispensable network opportunities to support students’ career goals.

Mentor: B. Akerlund



 Mentor: Guess



Mentor: Prairie Underground



Mentor: Vince



Mentor: Jonathan Simkhai