Cotton Grants Fund Fashionable Student Research at Kent State
New funding will support student research and curriculum expansion efforts in Kent State University’s School of Fashion Design and Merchandising.
Two grants from Cotton Incorporated will fund collaborative studies between merchandising and design students at Kent State’s Fashion School under the leadership of Assistant Professor Gargi Bhaduri, Ph.D., and course studies on social media use in fashion merchandising under Assistant Professor Mourad Krifa, Ph.D.
Dr. Bhaduri’s award will fund collaborative studies that will teach merchandising students and design students how to see the industry from the other’s perspective.
“It’s between me and (Assistant Professor) Ja Young Hwang,” she says. “It’ll be a collaborative project between a fashion branding course and the senior fashion design studio.”
Dr. Bhaduri says the project will assemble groups of four to five merchandising students and two or three design students each. Merchandising students will come up with an idea for a brand and conduct market research and feasibility studies, then the design students will create a capsule collection for the brand.
“Hopefully, we’ll see some good things coming out of it,” Dr. Bhaduri says. “Maybe some group can take it as an entrepreneurial opportunity because they’ll have a business plan as well as prototypes that they can show.”
“It’s about information literacy and giving them the tools to analyze and become proficient in extracting essential information from social media because that’s where a lot of our consumers are now,” Dr. Krifa says.
The study will focus on cotton products as well. For example, Dr. Krifa says students might test consumer perceptions about whether or not cotton garments are competitive as athletic wear.
He says the funding carries the study into the fall semester, and he plans to determine if social media focus could be viable as a component in online classes.
For more information about Kent State’s Fashion School, visit www.kent.edu/fashion.