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Winners Announcement: 2021 AATCC Concept 2 Consumer® Student Merchandising Competition

Press release from the issuing company

Research Triangle Park, N.C. – AATCC is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 AATCC Concept 2 Consumer® Student Merchandising Competition!

AATCC received nine entries, with 19 students participating from five colleges and universities.

This year’s theme, Fashion Evolution, showcased AATCC’s Centennial—the Association’s 100th Birthday! The theme for AATCC’s Centennial celebrations is “Celebrating a Century—Focused on the Future!”

Fashion Evolution mirrored that theme. From the 1920s, when AATCC was founded, to the present day, students were asked to choose a decade from the last 100 years and reinvent the fashions for the 2020 decade, focusing on one or more of the following:

fit/sizing for various body types
sustainable fashion
personal protection
new textile materials/technology

First Place
The Circular Edit by Evietta Chapman and Keaton Springer, University of Oregon
This group was awarded:
US$1000 from AATCC
J.Crew monogrammed tote
Mentorship/apprenticeship with a J.Crew merchant team member
US$300 from Farhan Patel
One-year free AATCC Student Membership

Evietta Chapman is pursuing an Honors Bachelor of Science in Merchandising Management with a Minor in Business and Entrepreneurship.

She says, “This competition helped me gain a cohesive understanding of developing a line and provided me the opportunity to apply my undergraduate research findings regarding garment longevity to a real-life context. I am excited to pursue a career in merchandising and to use the knowledge from this competition about sustainability and innovation when I enter the workforce after I graduate this Spring.”

Keaton Springer is pursuing a BS in Apparel Design.

“I transferred skills that I learned in design and applied them to a merchandise concept,” she says. “I learned how production and operations are related and how to bring market trends up to design standards. In the future, I hope to work in the fashion industry abroad, bringing the values of sustainability and forward thinking to the world.”

Second Place
Embody by Julia Wazeter, Paige Divon, Karigen Emig, and Roula Khaldi, Thomas Jefferson University
This group was awarded US$750 from AATCC and one-year free AATCC student membership.

These students are all majoring in Fashion Merchandising and Management.

Julia Wazeter reveals, “This collaborative project has further solidified the importance of thinking outside of the box to address gaps in the fashion industry. The market for inclusive brands, especially for the Gen Z target market, is very limited. Through extensive research, we were able to identify specific features and fabrics that will enhance the wearing experience for our customer, while keeping the styles trendy and 60s inspired.” Wazeter will begin her career as an Assistant Buyer at the Ross buying office in New York City.

Paige Divon says, “The competition taught me the importance of test methods to the fashion industry. I also learned through my team members and professor the power of collaboration! For the summer I plan on continuing an internship and preparing for my last undergraduate semester.”

Karigen Emig explains, “The AATCC competition honed my skills in collaboratively conceptualizing a brand from start to finish through extensive market, trend, and consumer research. I learned the importance of test methods to the industry and being able to identify the methods best suited for our size inclusive brand. For the future, I plan to complete my summer merchandising internship and seek entry-level buying/merchant positions.”

Roula Khaldi says, “I learned how to market our products to our target audience using different social media outlets. I plan to use my knowledge from this project and apply it to a future position in the fashion industry.”

Third Place
Fabricate Plentiful Pieces by Sabrina Leibowitz, Drexel University.
This student was awarded US$250 from AATCC and one-year free AATCC student membership.

Leibowitz’s is studying for a BS in Design and Merchandising.
She says, “I have learned to use innovative thinking to curate a collection that resembles strong merchandising with progressive sustainable materials woven into every fiber. I plan to have a career in the fashion industry as a buyer or merchandiser, and I will emphasize the importance of developing a multifaceted product assortment with a vision that is meant to better the consumer and the world as I have learned from participating in the competition.”

Developers, Judges, and Sponsors
AATCC would like to extend appreciation to the following developers, judges, and sponsors. Without their expertise and assistance, the competition would not have been possible.

Sandra Johnson, Senior Account Manager at Color Solutions International
Nora Khanna, Product Development Manager at Pantone
Kerry King, Vice President, R&D at Spoonflower Inc.
Muditha Senanayake, Professor at Cal Poly Pomona
Alyssa McNamara, Research Associate at Spoonflower Inc.

Alan Biggerstaff, Senior Quality Manager at Walmart
Catherine Harriman, Divisional Merchandise Manager at JCrew
Maura McVeigh, Merchant at JCrew
Ivy Menderson, Merchant at JCrew
Farhan Patel, Marketing & Business Development Consultant
Shannon Redell, Sr. Materials Research Developer at Columbia Sportswear
Scott Wagner, Fabric Manager, PD&S at Levi Strauss & Co.
Jennifer Rivas, Senior Technical Design Manager at Walmart


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