LaWanda Darden, from St. Louis, Missouri, is currently a junior in the Fashion Merchandising and Design program with emphases in Fashion Merchandising and Management as well as Fashion Design and Product Development. This summer she is living in New York City, working as an intern with Zac Posen.
“I am working with the design team on the Spring 2015 collection. We are doing image research for inspiration, developing new fabric manipulations and techniques, assisting with model fittings, and learning about sourcing and product development. This internship has meant so much to me… I feel like it’s given me the opportunity to test drive and apply the skills that I have learned in the classroom,” states LaWanda.
LaWanda credits much of her success to her experiences at Missouri State. “My professors in the fashion department are such a positive influence on me. Ms. Bailey, Dr. Starr, Dr. Roberts, Dr. Granger, and Ms. Dake are genuinely interested in my progression as a fashion designer and merchandiser. I honestly would not be who I am without these individuals,” states LaWanda.
LaWanda’s dream job after graduation is to become a Fashion Director of a large company, or start her own company and design special occasion and ready-to-wear clothes for men and women. “The reason I chose to attend Missouri State was because of the impressive fashion program and the opportunity to take both fashion and business courses. Each of my potential dream jobs will require design and business experience. Having both skills will be invaluable,” states LaWanda.
When she returns to campus, LaWanda will serve as the Director of Media Relations for the Association of Fashion and Design (aFAD) and participate as an active member of both TRiO and the Association of Black Collegians (ABC). She is also looking forward to participating in the annual student-produced Fashion Show, sponsored by the MSU Fashion Department, which will occur in spring 2015.