Missouri State University
Julie Stotlar

Julie Stotlar

  • Owner, Byrd Style Lounge
  • St. Louis, Missouri
  • Dual major, fashion design and merchandising

Vast potential career options in fashion enticed Julia (Julie) Stotlar, an alumna of the fashion and interior design program, to study at Missouri State University.

Fashion alum designs her future

After working for such major fashion houses as Perry Ellis and Gap Inc., including a stint in Miami, Stotlar is now the owner of the Byrd Style Lounge in St. Louis.

“I went to Miami to be challenged,” Stotlar said. “In Miami, the fashion scene was just emerging so I got in on some exciting opportunities. I moved back to St. Louis because my family was here and mainly because my brother started a family and I couldn’t miss seeing his son grow up.”

As a dual major in fashion design and fashion merchandising, graduating in December 2003, Stotlar is now the brainchild behind Byrd Style Lounge – an upscale boutique based on fashion, art, music and people.

“It’s a social gathering place for my clients and for people in the St. Louis fashion circle,” Stotlar said. “I wanted to offer the Midwest the same shopping experiences that I’ve had, so you’re always going to hear amazing pumping music. We switch the art out on the walls like an art gallery, and we offer pieces and lines that can’t be found in this region.”

Stotlar’s passion for the fashion industry comes out as she leads her team at Byrd. In addition, she hosts numerous FID interns.

“It’s about how things are made,” Stotlar said. “It’s the people. It’s how the industry works. The personalities, creativity and really the heartbeat that draws me to the industry.”

Expertise gained from Stotlar’s professors in the fashion and interior design program made a big difference in her education. She was also provided opportunities to study internationally.

“When I got to MSU, the career options that were presented were endless, from managing apparel production, writing for fashion magazines, buying, and of course, designing,” Stotlar said. “Our professors were not happy if we didn’t reach for the top of the fashion world, and they provided every opportunity possible to expose us to it.”

Stotlar studied in New York City, Paris and London, all at the insistence of her professors.

“Being presented the opportunities to go to NYC and Paris really helped me build my resume,” she said. “Professor Granger ‘forced’ me to study overseas and she made sure I studied at a private fashion institute which landed me at the London College of Fashion. Professor Granger was amazing. She took me under her wing and really challenged me to be more than just a store manager.”

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