Missouri State University
Taylor Wilson

Taylor Wilson

Fashion sense, business knowledge

A unique aspect of MSU's fashion merchandising and design degree gives her a leg up on the field.

As vice president and social media director for the Association of Fashion and Design organization, Taylor Wilson has big plans.

“We had a potluck dinner for Thanksgiving. And we’re planning a watch party for the Oscars and the Met Gala. These will be events that fashion majors — and people who appreciate fashion in general — can attend.”

Wilson, who has been doing personal styling for friends for years, was drawn to Missouri State’s fashion program because it’s one of the few programs in the country in which the fashion degree is housed in the College of Business.

She eventually wants to work in bridal fashion, likely in a boutique.

“Most of the time, if you get a fashion degree, you’re getting an art degree. Since I’m focusing on merchandising and not design, it’ll look a lot better to future employers if I put down in my résumé that I have taken business courses.”

Traveling for fashion

Taylor Wilson

“I was bullied when I was younger. It felt like nobody else thought the way I did or appreciated the same things I did. Coming to Missouri State on a visit, that was the first thing that stood out to me."

Wilson has traveled several times related to her studies. First, she attended Kansas City Fashion Week.

“It’s thrilling to see the uniquely beautiful pieces, watch the models go down the runway and mingle with other people who are just as passionate about the industry as you are,” Wilson said.

Then, in spring 2017, she went on the annual New York City trip put on by her department.

Students can visit fashion businesses and even interview for internships.

Finding a kind place

Wilson and the other students in the Association of Fashion and Design organization can share their knowledge with local children in the Boys and Girls after-school program, which has its own Fashion Club.

“The kids get to draw designs, and they put on their own fashion show at the end of the year.”

The MSU association has also given a fashion clinic for 4H Club members. Being able to interact with these children means a lot to Wilson.

“Everyone is very friendly and kind. On my first visit here, this girl walked us up three flights of stairs in the wrong direction from where she was going, just to help us find somewhere. People like that stood out to me and made me comfortable here. That’s something that has carried through even since I’ve been here.”