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  • Shawnelle Cherry

Off to Design College!

I have a new intern working with me this summer, Sydney, she is an aspiring fashion designer and just got accepted into the fashion designer program at NC State in Raleigh, North Carolina!


What a beautiful campus, NC State.

I have been getting to know Sydney over the past few months and just love to hear about her dreams of working in the fashion industry. I have learned a lot by hearing of her concerns of making it in this competitive field. Oh, how I remember those same concerns long…long ago…

She recently took a tour of the University and the design program, so I asked her to write about her findings.


She says...

NC States facilities really impressed me and had me very excited to attend school there. NC state is one of the best colleges for people who want to pursue a design career of any kind.

They offer every form of design you can imagine. Architecture, Fashion Graphic and Industrial. They have amazing facilities, with a whole floor dedicated to the makings of fabric and even a fabric loom room, which was so cool and exciting for me, I cannot wait to learn all about how fibers get made into fabric!

They also have machinery like 3D printers, scanners to print designs on fabric and custom body measurement technology. Giving students amazing opportunities to learn the new technology.


I also loved their library, specifically for design students, tons of books and magazines on art and design, resource catalogs, trend subscriptions and more. I look forward to studying in there! So great for researching and to get inspired and get your creativity flowing.


NC state fashion student working on her collection.

If you are interested at all in going to college for design whether it’s fashion design, industrial design or architecture design, NC state is the place to be.

The teachers as well as the students were so encouraging and will push you to do your best and achieve your goals.


It is also required that you study abroad for one semester which I think is such an amazing opportunity and will be a great experience for any artist.



I had the chance to talk to some students while I was there and all of them talked about how much they loved the NC state design program and how it is preparing them for their careers. They are learning to sew and how to design amazing pieces and learning all the actions to take to start out in their careers.



One student I talked to told me this; “NC State not only teaches you the one specific type of design that you are interested in, but they have you explore all aspects of design to expand and challenge your creativity.” She said that she is an architecture design student and never really had an interest in fashion.

But at State they like to test your creativity and challenge you, so they had her take a fashion design class which turned out to be so eye opening for her. She incorporated her love for architecture and used it in the fashion class. What she came up with blew me away. She made a dress out of concrete slabs, how cool is that!


This is how State challenges you to use your creativity and get you out of your comfort zone which can have a huge impact on your confidence and help you learn so much more than you knew you had the ability to.


For me, I am expecting to learn everything about fashion design from the sketching to the construction and more! I want to be like a sponge and soak up everything about the fashion industry. The sewing, the fabrics, technology, pattern drafting, sketching, fashion history, etc.…


If I could give an aspiring designer any advice on preparing for design school, I would say, get a jump start as soon as you can!



Interning with Shawnelle at F.F.D. has taught me so much like;


*Learning the basics about garment construction, fabric types and fabric making, and grain-lines will give you a head start in the pattern classes.


*Know what it is you want to get out of school and what you want to pursue in the fashion world.


*Write down your vision, know what it is you enjoy doing best. Really get to know what makes you tick.


*Be confident and talk to your professors about what you want to do and don’t hesitate to ask for advice. Speak up and ask.


*Learning the basics about garment construction, fabric types and fabric making, and grain-lines will give you a head start int the pattern classes.


*Take sewing classes and get used to working with different kinds of fabrics


*Learn about the industry through a mentor and reading blogs about the fashion industry


*Learn about the industry lingo so that your studies are easier to comprehend when you are introduced to new topics.

Shawnelle has a quick class on Fashion Lingo and it’s free, the link is here! https://future-fashion-designers.teachable.com/courses/


**And Last of all; don’t worry about not being liked or accepted, embrace your style and never hold back!


I am so excited to be starting NC State in the fall and will keep you posted!


Sydney Mangum

Sydney is off to college in the Fall!

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