Gordon Stumpo, MA ’16, 2021 Outstanding New Professional Award Recipient

“I believe that if you learn the minimum, you do the minimum, so I have a tremendous drive to advance my experiences and expertise.”

Many stunning outfits worn by high-profile celebrities come from a talented Kent State University alumnus, Gordon Stumpo, MA ’16. Gordon has created custom patterns seen on Mariah Carey, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Oprah.

It was during his time working for Naeem Khan, a designer and fashion house, that Gordon gained these valuable experiences.

“Creating custom patterns at this scale and level of visibility is a significant experience, since I represent both my skills and the brand,” Gordon said. “It is one thing to interact with a celebrity, but it is another to work closely with them and fit their body in a custom pattern.”

Currently, Gordon is the first in-house technical designer and patternmaker for Proper Cloth in New York, the country’s largest custom made-to-measure shirtmaker. In his role, he manages the digital pattern department, creating the first pattern archive.

In addition to refining and expanding the custom shirt and custom suit divisions, he also helped launch new product categories including custom chino pants, sweatshirts, T-shirts and face masks, which have greatly expanded Proper Cloth’s brand identity and product offerings. His face mask patterns have been recommended by Forbes, Wirecutter, Good Housekeeping and Fast Company, and they have more than 10,000 five-star ratings.

Gordon is also a member of two apparel-focused professional organizations, the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) and the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA).

He even makes time to mentor fashion students from schools across the country, including his alma mater Kent State, and is dedicated to fostering their success.

“I answer students’ questions about the fashion industry, sewing techniques, finding specific fabrics, preparing for an interview and everything in between,” Gordon said. “I think it is important to keep in touch with students, especially from a school like Kent State whose fashion program is always expanding and changing.”

He also volunteers his time serving as the managing editor and art director of the New York-based literary journal Night Picnic. The publication was founded in 2018 and showcases fiction, poetry, short stories, novellas and more from a variety of authors.

“I believe that if you learn the minimum, you do the minimum, so I have a tremendous drive to advance my experiences and expertise,” Gordon said. “I think it is extremely important to keep pushing to learn new skills and to refine existing ones, since the apparel industry and the world are always progressing.”

Former coworkers recognize not only his work ethic, but also the vibrant energy he exudes every day.

“In addition to his professional success, Gordon has many outstanding personal qualities. Gordon is goal-oriented and hard working,” Catie Savage, patternmaker and technical manager at Naeem Khan, said. “Gordon has shown that he is responsible, dependable, detail-oriented, rigorous, accurate and genuinely fun to work with. He is an energetic, engaging person who has an inquiring mind. You can always count on Gordon to represent himself, his company and his work at the highest professional level.”

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