From corporate meeting rooms to working manufacturing floors, CAHNRS Dean André-Denis Wright and Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles chair Vicki McCracken talked with experts in the clothing and apparel industry on a tour around Seattle.
The tour included chats with executives at Nordstrom, one of the largest clothing retailers in the world, and with the co-owners of Buki, a small clothing label focused on technologically advanced fabrics.
“It’s been fascinating to see the industry from behind the scenes, and, more importantly, it helps us better support our AMDT students” Wright said. “Our goal is to make sure WSU provides them with the best skills to succeed in a very competitive environment.”
At every stop, which also included the corporate headquarters for Unionbay and Filson, Wright and McCracken, along with fashion design and marketing instructor Jill Price-Crawley, asked about what the companies need from new graduates.
At two of the stops, the AMDT tour met with Coug alums now working in the industry.
The tour members got to see people designing next year’s shirts, dresses, and shorts at Unionbay, then moved on to watch union sewers making luggage and briefcases at Filson.
“It was great to see the different steps of the process, from designing to manufacturing, then learning about how products make their way to consumers,” Wright said. “I learned so much and hope our interest shows these companies how dedicated we are to making sure our students have the skills to help them from day one.”