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Kent State School of Fashion highlighted by Vogue

Courtesy of Aysha Durrani.
The Fashion Student Organization’s executive board last year.

Vogue magazine recently named Kent State as one of the best fashion schools in the country.

Fashion students are taking advantage of the school’s opportunities and launching their careers.

Education, everywhere

In an article for Vogue, writer Kendall Becker said, “[Kent State’s] programs rival fashion schools in the country’s larger fashion cities thanks to their global approach to education and thoroughness in curating a program that’s outstanding both within and outside of the classroom.”

The school has programs on its main campus, abroad and at its satellite campus in New York City. Aysha Durrani, a rising senior and fashion merchandising major, said she has received a well-rounded college education through the program.

“It honestly feels like such an honor and a blessing to be able to go to such an amazing school for Fashion,” Durrani said. “I enjoy a lot about Kent, with the duality of it being a fine arts school but also being able to have sporting events and hundreds of other majors was important to me as well.”

Durrani said that the fashion curriculum allows for many areas of opportunity, growth and creativity that will help her achieve her career goals.

Taking full advantage of the opportunities in front of her, she is finishing her college career strong. She spent the spring 2023 semester studying at the NYC campus and is co-president of the Fashion Student Organization, the oldest fashion organization at KSU.

Connections on campus

Isa Sainz, a rising junior studying fashion design, is also on the executive board of the FSO. She said she is the project manager, organizing the two annual fashion shows and holding meetings for over 100 members.

For her next two semesters, she will be studying abroad in both Florence and Paris, then in NYC.

“Kent has so many different opportunities to work, to meet people in your major and outside of your major, to be collaborative and to truly further career, not even mentioning the really strong and long-lasting relationships you can build with your professors,” Sainz said. “Everyone at Kent really wants you to succeed.”

Becker for Vogue had one major takeaway from KSU’s School of Fashion.

“The ability to tailor your education experience with support from a high-caliber faculty and alumni network is unparalleled,” Becker wrote.

Shannen Clark, a rising senior in fashion design, has made connections with faculty who she said have been supportive and kind in her journey.

After working in the medical field for ten years, she decided to pursue a career that made her truly happy. She chose to come to KSU for fashion design, something she always wanted to do.

Clark said KSU has given her confidence, direction and the mindset of what she needs to be a designer.

Kent State University Museum

Recently, Clark made her first sale. She sold a Japanese-inspired jacket she created to Dr. Sarah Spinner Liska, the new director of the Kent State University museum.

Rockwell Hall, home of Kent State’s School of Fashion. Courtesy of Kent State University.

Spinner Liska said she attended a fashion show by Fashion Talks, a creative agency. They were displaying work by KSU fashion students, and she was impressed by the designs.

Spinner Liska’s connection with Clark is one of the first of many she hopes to make when students come back to campus. She said she will work to make the museum student-centered, where people can learn, explore, create and challenge fashion norms.

She wants to add to the fashion resources at KSU by showcasing more student work and developing classes and programs so the museum can be a valuable site for experiential learning.

Clark said at Kent’s main campus, she learned about fashion concepts, having an idea behind a collection and how to become a successful designer with a brand.

Olivia Huff, a fashion merchandising major, posing with models at the Melke show “The Heist” in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

In Florence, she learned about craftsmanship and how to do things by hand.

When she attends the NYC campus in the fall of 2024, she expects to get the hands-on experience she will need to gain a background in the fashion industry before she even walks into a job.

Clark said when she was in high school, she took a tour at KSU. When she walked on the campus, she thought, “One day I really want to go here.”

Olivia Huff, a rising sophomore and fashion merchandising major, said she has loved playing dress-up since she was a little girl. She cannot see herself doing anything else. Durrani said she would wake up early as a child to pick out her outfit and style herself for the day. Sainz said her dream as a child was to be a fashion designer.

For these students, KSU has meant the realization of their lifelong dreams.

Lauren Cohen is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Lauren Cohen, General Assignment Reporter
Lauren is a sophomore honors journalism major with a creative writing minor in her first semester at KentWired, serving as a summer general assignment reporter. Previously, she was an assistant producer and anchor as part of TV2. She enjoys using her communication skills, curiosity, and excitement to put passion into her writing. Contact her at [email protected].  

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