Gordon Stumpo, MA ’16

Gordon Stumpo

The thread of continuing education keeps this KSU grad sharp in a fast-paced fashion industry.

For Gordon Stumpo, MA ’16, education is not something to leave behind after graduation. His eagerness to learn new techniques and hone his skills has propelled him forward in his career. With nearly a decade of fashion industry experience, Gordon has worked for designers like Zac Posen, Patrik Ervell and Naeem Khan, experiences that provided opportunities to create custom patterns seen on A-list celebrities including Oprah, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and Mariah Carey. In 2021, Gordon was the recipient of the Kent State Outstanding New Professional Award that honors the university’s brightest recent graduates. Today, he serves as a technical product designer for Proper Cloth in New York City, the country’s largest custom made-to-measure shirtmaker, where he manages the digital pattern department. He created its first pattern archive, helped refine and expand Proper Cloth’s custom shirt and custom suit divisions, and launched new product categories including custom chino pants, sweatshirts and T-shirts. During the height of the pandemic, Gordon also crafted face mask patterns that were promoted by Forbes, Wirecutter, Good Housekeeping and Fast Company. While his work keeps him busy, he continues to mentor Kent State fashion students and aspiring designers across the country.

KSU: What is your idea of perfect happiness?
GS: Infinite creative time.

KSU: What is your favorite trait in others?
GS: Being open to the idea of change and to perspectives that are not your own.

KSU: What trait about yourself do you like least?
GS: My belt loops often get caught on door handles.

KSU: Who has had the greatest influence on your life?
GS: My university professors and mentors Catherine Black and Vince Quevedo, who not only taught me skills that I still use today, but also helped me realize that most of the limits you perceive are ones you make yourself.

KSU: What is your favorite Kent State memory?
GS: The day of my master’s thesis defense. Sharing the culmination of my work with my committee, department and broader academic community is something I will never forget.

KSU: What is your favorite journey?
GS: I went to Bucharest, Romania, on a whim a few years ago, and the city, mountains, castles and food were all truly incredible. I’ve lived in cold and snowy places before, but being there was my first time experiencing a true “winter wonderland.”

KSU: What is your guilty pleasure?
GS: Playing frisbee. It’s a great workout and teaches you to really appreciate windless days.

KSU: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
GS: That I found my niche but can still look out toward the horizon.

KSU: If you could come back as one person, who would it be and why?
GS: Patrick Nagel. I think it would be interesting to work in a two-dimensional format with his limited palette of colors and textures.

KSU: What part of your college experience most formed who you are today?
GS: Having the opportunity to see and learn about a myriad of ideas and frameworks. I believe that if you learn the minimum, you do the minimum, so a broader foundation fosters a greater skill set.

POSTED: Monday, January 30, 2023 05:35 PM
Updated: Monday, January 30, 2023 05:40 PM