Georgia Southern gets high mark in fashion

Lindsey McCormick

Georgia Southern University is known for being a research and doctoral university, but creative minds are making headway as GSU was recognized as a top fashion merchandising school in the nation.

In a review by fashion-schools.org, GSU was selected as one of the top-15 fashion merchandising schools in the nation, finishing at number nine on the website’s list.

“I’m glad that we are being recognized for all the hard work that we do. I’m especially happy that this is letting the rest of the school know that we aren’t just button sewers,” Alexia Cooper, senior fashion merchandising and apparel design major, said.

GSU has numerous fashion organizations and programs on campus that students are involved in. These organizations include Fashion Menagerie, D.I.M.E.S., FM Magazine, Fashion Eagles at Work and others. Many Eagle fashion students push themselves to get hands-on experience and become immersed in the fashion industry.

“We are more than just designers and buyers, and I’m very glad we are getting publicity, but there are limitless creative fields in the fashion industry,” Kenny Owoloyo, fashion merchandising and art design major, said. “We have a lot of talent and we use it in a creative way to give us an edge in this ‘not-so-glamorous-all-the-time’ industry.”

At this year’s Charleston Fashion Week, GSU’s very own professor, Hope Wallace, took home the People’s Choice Award for her designs. In 2006, GSU alum, Michael Knight was featured on Project Runway. Knight finished fourth in the competition and now has his own line of clothing.

“I am so glad that we are finally being recognized as a top fashion school. We are one of the few universities, non-private institutions, that still offer a degree in fashion, and even fewer that offer a degree in fashion design.  Our students are very talented and we have quite a few alumni success stories,” Hope Wallace, fashion professor at GSU, said.

“I think the ranking says a lot about what we are doing, and more people are learning about our academic reputation,” Dr. Barry Joyner, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences, said.

The fashion merchandising and apparel design program is aimed toward helping fashion majors create and produce products that will get them recognized in the material world. These students design and assemble their own pieces, as well as learn about the history of fashion, fabric research and fabric development.

Joyner said, “It is good to see the program getting this recognition, and a lot of the credit goes to our faculty. Our students appreciate how their professors are dedicated to help them by staying late, answering questions and coming in on weekends to open the design lab.”