Fashion student’s design becomes part of Wrangler clothing collection



Danielle DeBord

The girl wearing the camouflage, muck boots and “greasy” ball cap — Shannon Gallagher, Kent State senior and fashion merchandising major — just got a shirt she developed entered into Wrangler’s 2012 Holiday Collection.

Students in professor Trista Grieder’s Product Development class had to develop a shirt of two different colors. Instead of actually making the garment, the merchandising students were tasked with making a complete concept board, which could later be produced. They could choose between developing Wrangler’s Retro line or its Rock 147 line.

Gallagher chose the Retro line because it seemed more like home, and it reminded her of her dad and boyfriend, she said.

“It’s supposed to be sort of cowboys-go-to-the-bar,” Grieder said.

Grieder used to work at Wrangler and presented the projects to her mentor. Eight to 10 shirts were chosen to take back to Wrangler review.

“When she called our names I thought I didn’t make the cut,” Gallagher said.

Before the final submissions, Grieder suggested Gallagher change her shirt’s buttons into snaps. She made the tweaks, keeping simplicity in mind.

“Simple is what works because you don’t want something that detracts from the design,” Gallagher said.

Grieder said she walked Gallagher through the real process of turning an idea into a product. Gallagher had to give all the components to Wrangler, which outsourced it and sent back a real product.

“I didn’t care if they produced it, it’s the fact that they thought about it,” Gallagher said.

After about a year, Gallagher said she got the news from Grieder that Wrangler wanted to use her developed product.

“My heart hit the floor,” Gallagher said.

Gallagher’s was the only student design chosen, and Wrangler used her original stitching, pockets and yoke but switched from her original plaid fabric to a brown fabric with a wash to it.

“I didn’t think it would be a shirt; I just wanted them to tell me I was in the right direction,” Gallagher said.

Grieder became a mentor to her in this process and the driving force behind her shirt, Gallagher said.

“If it wasn’t for her I never would have gotten this opportunity,” Gallagher said.

Contact Danielle DeBord at [email protected].