Two West Virginia University Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design fashion, dress and merchandising students were recently named Fashion Scholarship Fund recipients for their case studies improving an already established brand.
Juniors in fashion, dress and merchandising Alaina Wodarek and Gabriella Stone were among the top 25% of the 513 applicants vying for 127 scholarships worth $7,500 and free travel to networking opportunities in New York City.
“I’m the type of person that if I see an opportunity offered to me, I'll take it,” Wodarek said. “But it was definitely one of the hardest projects I've done, and I learned to ask for help. My professors supported me, and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.”
Wodarek chose to create a makeup bundle for Elf cosmetics with Generation Z as the target audience.
“Elf is a really good brand for dupes of expensive makeup,” she said. “I created a bundle to offer the TikTok-trending clean girl look for an affordable price. The whole bundle is $60--everything from primer and foundation to the setting spray. That’s compared to one product from Charlotte Tillbury for $50!”
Wodarek also added a contrasting look based on the popular television show “Euphoria.” She describes it as a bolder look with glue-ons and stickers that would sell in stores at Ulta and Target.
Continuing to build on the values of the Elf brand, she added biodegradable packaging because of the company’s goal to eliminate waste.
Stone also chose a company for her case study based on the brand’s values. She found a way to increase the impact of For Days, a sustainable clothing brand, by adding a clothing line specifically for people who have autism.
“There are not a lot of fashionable clothes out there that can help accommodate the shopping experience for individuals who have autism,” she explained. “A lot of times clothing that is suitable for people with autism are either unattractive or expensive. I wanted to keep the cost down so the clothing would be affordable for those in need.”
While her mother, who is an occupational therapist, helped her understand some of the challenges people with autism face, Stone also conducted interviews to better understand the major aspects of clothes and how the shopping experience that would need to be altered for a person who has autism.
"I focused on the clothes and how elements, like the garment seams, fabric choice, and the zippers and closings, could be more user-friendly for individuals with autism,” Stone said.
She designed shoes, pants, dresses and outerwear to offer complete looks.
The project not only helped her learn about different views and experiences, she learned about making tech packets, production, fabric amounts, thread amounts, different notions and associated costs. With this experience and the scholarship award, Stone says she is better prepared to accept a recently offered summer internship in London, where she’ll design more garments.
“I tried to be diverse in what I was designing, and I think it won because it’s something different,” Stone added.
Along with the scholarship, both students will be entered into a community with access to connections for internships and jobs.
“Connections are everything in fashion,” Stone said.
The Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design envisions a world sustainably fed, clothed and sheltered. To learn more about the Davis College, visit davis.wvu.edu. Keep up with the latest updates and news on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by following @WVUDavis.
CONTACT: Leah Smith
Public Relations Specialist
Davis College of Agriculture,
Natural Resources and Design
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