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New York Design Company Reps Judge Student Work and Award Prizes

Posted Dec. 12, 2011

L to R, Angela Boswell and Molly Rammel, both Ellery Homesteyles: Trista Grieder, Fashion School.The Fashion School at Kent State University emphasizes the business side of fashion by teaming with working professionals. Angela Boswell, vice president of product development, and Molly Rammel, Kent State Alumna and senior product development coordinator, from Ellery Homestyles worked with Trista Grieder, NTT fashion merchandising instructor and Dr. Eun-Jung Lee, assistant fashion merchandising professor, from Kent State University to coordinate a small competition for the product development classes.

"[The students] developed a full-color story and created two prints with two color ways in each. A customer who would buy pink would not buy blue, so they needed to capture all different ranges of customer preferences," said Grieder.

The winners include first place "Looks Like Teen Spirit" by Mackenzie Frank who won a $300 first prize, second place "Vintage Chic" by Kristina Udovic who won $200 and third place "Mod Stripes" by Carly Marcelli who won $100. Overall, the students impressed Boswell and Rammel with their research, preparation and design concepts.

"[Ellery Homestyles has] had Kent State interns for 3 years, so I know how talented the students are. I was impressed with how much research and thought they put into the project and their presentations," said Boswell. "There were a few designs that could be translated into window curtains straight from [their] presentations."

"Many of the students mentioned price point and talked about the overall salability of their designs from the customer's standpoint, which is great to hear from young people still in the midst of their education," said Rammel.

The competition is the first of its kind within The Fashion School. Professor Grieder plans to continue bringing industry professionals to Kent State in order to create real-world experiences for students. Dr. Lee believes that the hands-on experience helps students stay focused.

"My goal is to bring the students and the industry together in these "real life" scenario based projects," said Grieder. "I would like to see them walk out of here with as much experience and feedback that we can help provide."

"I think overall [the competition] works well for our students to get motivated as they have this clear goal in what they are doing," said Lee. "Also, having industry professionals in class helps them articulate their career plans for the future and they can envision what they can and will do in the fashion industry after graduation."

Trista L. Grieder joined the Fashion School faculty in Fall 2010 and has been in the business for more than 13 years. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Costume Design from Kent State University and her Master's of Science in Higher Education in Online Teaching and Learning from Kaplan University.

Her industry experience includes working with such companies as Wrangler Jeans, Dillard's, Augusta Sportswear and Mountain High Hosiery. She has spent most of her career in Product Development and CAD. One of her greatest successes was winning an award for designing a women's jean for Wrangler, which sold in record numbers.

Dr. Eun-Jung Lee received her bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees at Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea, and had worked in the fashion/retailing industry as a marketer, trend analyst, branding consultant and merchandiser for seven years. She had taught fashion marketing, fashion distribution, and research methods at various universities. After completing her doctoral degree, she worked as a visiting scholar at Iowa State University from March 2007 to July 2008 and is now an assistant professor in the Fashion School at Kent State University since August 2008.

Currently, Lee is examining environmental surroundings of the e-shopping experience, focusing on the antecedents and consequences of social stimuli and social support within the contexts.

Pictured: L to R, Angela Boswell, vice president of product development, and Molly Rammel, Kent State alumna and senior product development coordinator, from Ellery Homestyles; Trista Grieder, associate fashion merchandising professor.

Ellery Homestyles supplies branded and private label home-fashion products to major retailers - offering curtains, bedding, throws and specialty products. These proprietary brands deliver innovation in fashion, function and design and include Eclipse™ - the voice of authority for energy-saving, noise-reducing, blackout curtains; Curtainfresh™ - revolutionary curtains with odor-neutralizing technology developed in partnership with Church & Dwight, maker of Arm and Hammer®; SoundAsleep™ Room Darkening Curtains, The Official Curtain of the National Sleep Foundation; ComfortTech™ - the only blankets and throws constructed with premium 3M™ Thinsulate™ Insulation, providing luxurious style, lightweight comfort and superior warmth; VUE™ - the home fashion brand that capitalizes on Ellery's point of view" on fashion trends; ® - the oldest continuously advertised home fashions brand in America recognized by consumers for its distinctive traditional looks and Historic Charleston Collection™ - the distinctive home fashions brand that is steeped in historic Charleston's decorative arts culture. Ellery is a global company headquartered in New York City with a 375M square foot distribution center in North Carolina and offices in China, India and Pakistan.

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Contact:

Effie Tsengas, etsengas@kent.edu, 330-672-8398