Fashion school names new director

Brittany Schenk

Campbell leaves Europe for Kent State


Credit: DKS Editors

The School of Fashion Design and Merchandising named J.R. Campbell, a former research director at The Glasgow School of Art’s Centre for Advanced Textiles in the United Kingdom, as its new director.

Campbell, who will officially take office July 1, is succeeding Elizabeth Rhodes, who is retiring after 15 years of leading the fashion school.

Before coming to Kent State, Campbell earned his bachelor’s in environmental design with a concentration in visual communications and his master’s in textile arts and costume design at the University of California at Davis.

After finishing his studies, he lived outside of San Francisco and taught at various art and fashion schools including the Academy Art College and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.

In 1998, Campbell accepted a faculty position at Iowa State University where he focused on looking at how technology affects the fashion design process. During his time there, he purchased one of the first wide-format printers released in the United States.

Wide-format printers allow images to be easily transferred to fabric.

“Anything you can have on a computer screen you can have on fabric and it will print it full-width,” Campbell said.

For the past four years, Campbell worked at the Glasgow School of Art where he continued to advance his research in wide-format digital printing and worked on printing projects for fashion designers, students and companies such as Converse.

“A lot of what I have been doing more recently now includes research regarding sustainability,” Campbell said. “[Merging technology and fashion] allow people to become more personally connected to the products they are making.”

As a result, clothes are more valuable to the customer and more likely to be used longer, he said.

As director of the Kent State fashion school, Campbell said he hopes to update any outdated methods of teaching, further publicize the school’s work currently being done and serve as an advocate for faculty and students.

Campbell also said he would like to promote and expand some of the school’s programs.

“One of the biggest changes I hope to start pushing very soon is the graduate courses in the School of Fashion,” Campbell said.

Campbell said he plans on making himself available to faculty and students as much as possible.

“Both my personality and my management style is more inclusive and open,” said Campbell . “I want to make sure I am having open forums or informal times that I can spend with students at their will.”

Contact News Correspondent Brittany Schenk at [email protected].