Alumna Charts Her Own Path in NYC, Straight to Her Dream Job on Fifth Avenue

When in kindergarten, Mariah Moorer, ’20, was asked what she wanted to do when she grew up. Without hesitation, she said, “fashion.” That dream remained on her mind all throughout middle and high school, but she wasn’t sure what a career in fashion actually looked like for her. Moorer first heard about Kent State during her junior year of high school in Macomb, Michigan, from a mentor who was in debutante with her.  After a visit to the Kent Campus, she immediately knew she wanted to attend Kent State, and she was accepted into the university’s renowned fashion program.

“I met Miss Hillary (Stone) at Destination Kent State, and I felt like she saw me,” said Moorer. “She asked me about my goals and gave me some very clear and specific advice that I wasn’t sure how to take. But I realized that she cared and so did the other faculty; I knew they’d help and support me if I put in the hard work. I’m so glad they saw potential in me. That helped motivate me to keep my head down and work hard, be cognizant of how I showed up and be confident in my abilities.”

At first, Moorer felt like an outsider – a pastor’s quiet daughter, someone who didn’t take an interest in what was popular with her peers and kept to herself. Soon though, she learned that being unique was her strength and by learning to be confident in who she is and showing up as her authentic self, she could achieve so many things. While at Kent State, she traveled as a personal fashion consultant, hosted events on campus that focused on sharing her religious beliefs with fellow students and made a network of friends from students, faculty and staff.

“In addition to finding my personal way forward in college, it took me some time to understand how to connect my passions together with my course work at Kent State, too. Finally, I worked with advisors and faculty and found the fit that was right for me. It was an atypical pairing at KSU, but I majored in marketing with a minor in fashion merchandising, and that really lit me up with passion for the future,” Moorer said.

Moorer’s Kent State journey was made possible with support from the Kent State University Scholarship Fund and several other endowed scholarships. After internships at Bond No. 9 and BET, Mariah graduated in December 2020, right in the middle of the pandemic. “It broke my heart that my family couldn’t see me cross the stage. I’m a first-generation college student, and we were all awaiting that moment.” From there, she wasn’t sure what to do, but the first person who gave her advice at Kent State, circled back with another piece of perfect advice. “Move to New York. You’ll find the right job. You need to go there,” Stone told her. So she did, without a job but with confidence and a degree!

Her first job was as a director of marketing in real estate where she got to hone a variety of skills. But she couldn’t let go of her desire to be part of the fashion world. Moorer was drawn to fragrance and high-end brands, and she knew she wanted to make her way into those markets. What she didn’t know is that she was collecting mentors along the way who quietly watched her, looked after her and knew she had what it takes to succeed in the fashion industry in New York City. One of those colleagues shared a job posting with her at a dream company, Tom Ford. During the interview, she shared her passions and what part of the industry excited her most. Moorer got the job – but not the one she applied for. Another position – in exactly the line she was interested in because the interviewer was so impressed by her presence, her experience and her drive that they put her into a role within the company that would benefit them both.

In her short time at the company, she’s been promoted from global marketing coordinator to associate and then to assistant marketing manager. Her passion and dedication extend beyond her professional career. Moorer is also devoted to mentoring and supporting others both personally and professionally. She started Mariah’s Diamonds, a mentorship program to show young girls they don’t have to compromise themselves and their values to get what they want in life. She also came back to Kent State in 2022 during Homecoming to speak to fashion students and offer advice on classes, internships and careers.

POSTED: Friday, December 15, 2023 10:58 AM
Updated: Wednesday, April 10, 2024 11:20 AM
Lindsey Vlasic, '22