Senior undergraduate students created custom designs and showcased the collections in a runway show
Jillian Hackett, Aubrey Frey, and Cecilie Nielsen are senior undergraduate students in the Apparel Design and Manufacturing (ADM) program. Recently, all three students had their designs featured in Texas Fashion Week 2023. Texas Fashion Week was held in San Antonio from October 1 through October 7. The event is organized by the Texas Fashion Industry Initiative and includes four runway shows, fashion and beauty panels, a high school sustainability competition, and exhibitions.
Hackett has always loved fashion and the entirety of the design process. In high school, she was a part of FCCLA, 4-H, and the Nordstrom Fashion Ambassador program, which allowed her to grow in her love for the fashion industry. Hackett shares her experience participating in this year's Texas Fashion Week.
"The show experience was incredible; being a part of the backstage environment is always infectious, from the hair and makeup teams to the backstage production; it was a wonderful experience to see my designs walk in a show like this," Hackett said. "What I enjoyed most about being a part of Texas Fashion Week was showcasing my designs alongside two of my fellow ADM students, who are also two of my closest friends. It was a unique experience to showcase alongside my peers, see each of our design perspectives on display, and utilize this experience to network with industry professionals and gain insight."
After completing her degree, Hackett hopes to work alongside a well-established apparel brand, gaining knowledge and experience in the apparel industry. She also wants to continue developing and growing her independent clothing label, Lillian Jenae Designs LLC, and eventually expand into retailers.
Hackett credits the Texas Tech Apparel Design and Manufacturing program with helping her develop the skills needed to participate in Texas Fashion Week.
"The ADM program has prepared me for a career in fashion in many ways; through an emphasis on professionalism in the classroom and our coursework, in my deepened technical knowledge spanning textiles, computer applications, technical design, and apparel manufacturing," Hackett said. "In addition, the courses within the ADM program have pushed me creatively and technically, emphasizing on a collaborative work atmosphere, allowing me to feel fully prepared for a career in the fashion industry."
Frey was drawn to the world of fashion from a very young age. Since then, she has been fascinated by fashion and the unlimited amount of self-expression and creativity anyone can have within their wardrobe. Texas Fashion Week was Frey's first runway show to be a part of.
"The preparation process was very fun but also extremely stressful," Frey said. "Within the last year I have finally been able to have full creative control over my designs and not just completing assignments. For this show, I had a lot of fun tapping into the business streetwear I already love and putting my own touches on it. From sketching initial ideas to finding materials and constructing the garments was everything I love about my career path. There's so much that goes into it, and although the time crunch I had with classes starting it was a lot of fun to create this mini collection."
After graduation, Frey hopes to launch her brand, Aubrey Frey Apparel. It has always been her dream, and she is incredibly excited to get started with the process of creating this brand. Frey plans to continue taking advantage of opportunities like Texas Fashion Week in order to achieve her dreams.
Frey shares how the ADM program has prepared her in several ways for a career in fashion design.
"What I like about our program is that you get the opportunity to take both the introduction classes for things like clothing construction and pattern making as well as the following advanced class," Frey said. "I think being able to learn a bit of every avenue within the industry creates a lot of opportunity and broadens each designers skill set rather than limiting it to one skill."
Originally from Denmark, Nielsen came to Texas Tech to be on the golf team. After starting her sophomore year, she joined the undergraduate Apparel Design and Manufacturing program and instantly knew it was meant to be. Texas Fashion Week was the first time Nielsen created an original mini collection.
"I applied to be one of the chosen college designers and was determined to create this collection no matter what," Nielsen said. "I had been experimenting with different sustainable techniques throughout the summer to ensure my vision was possible. When I received the email, they congratulated me on being one of 3 that got picked. I started the sewing process!"
Following graduating, Nielsen wants to gain more experience and continue to develop her skills. She is very invested in sustainability and incorporates more environmentally stable elements in her designs. Nielsen hopes to one day have an official brand, but she is excited to continue learning through her summer internship.
Nielsen shares what she has learned from the ADM program and how it has benefited her personally and professionally.
"I have loved every moment of the ADM program," Nielsen said. "It has given me lifelong friendships along with lifelong skills. They have shown me everything is possible and I couldn't be more thankful being surrounded by such amazing professors and students."