C2C Student Merchandising Competition

Use your skills in creativity, merchandising, and marketing to win prizes.

About

OverviewEducational ComponentPublication ResourcesAATCC Standards

This year’s theme asks students to design a sustainable travel wear line that incorporates recycled materials, sustainable manufacturing, and antibacterial and/or odor-control properties.

Competition Requirements

  • Undergraduate or graduate students. (US and international.)
  • Individuals or teams of up to four.
  • All individuals (all team members of group entries) must be an AATCC
    student members to enter.
  • Student Membership (required)
  • Membership applications take up to one business day to process

Competition Guidelines 

 

AATCC will provide online resources regarding AATCC Test Methods related to the theme. Each entry must address the questions as noted in the guidelines. Look at the tabs to the right.

Coming soon! 

AATCC Standards

  • AATCC began developing test methods in 1921
  • AATCC has developed more than 200 standards including test methods and evaluation procedures
  • All current AATCC standards are published in the annual AATCC Technical Manual
  • See a list of all AATCC standards: Testing Methods

Why are AATCC Test Methods Important?

  • Purchase contracts specify in detail how goods are to be tested
  • In both domestic and international markets, acceptance and rejection of textiles are based on meeting performance standards
  • Product specification should be considered as early as the design phase
  • See video for further details:

What do AATCC Test Methods Provide?

  • Numerical results based on measurements or visual scales
  • Common language for comparing or approving textiles
    • AATCC does not establish pass/fail criteria, but interested parties can determine their own criteria knowing that everyone is using the same scale

How are AATCC Test Methods Developed?

  • AATCC Test Methods are developed by volunteers in all industry segments
  • See video for further details:
  • Membership Deadline

    April 19, 2022
  • Entries Deadline

    11am US EST April 21, 2022

Contact

C2C Student Merchandising Competition Winners

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AATCC is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 AATCC Concept 2 Consumer® Student Merchandising Competition!

AATCC received nine entries, with 19 students participating from five colleges and universities.

This year’s theme, Fashion Evolution, showcased AATCC’s Centennial—the Association’s 100th Birthday! The theme for AATCC’s Centennial celebrations is “Celebrating a Century—Focused on the Future!

Fashion Evolution mirrored that theme. From the 1920s, when AATCC was founded, to the present day, students were asked to choose a decade from the last 100 years and reinvent the fashions for the 2020 decade, focusing on one or more of the following:

  • fit/sizing for various body types
  • sustainable fashion
  • personal protection
  • new textile materials/technology

First Place
The Circular Edit by Evietta Chapman and Keaton Springer, University of Oregon

This group was awarded:

  • US$1000 from AATCC
  • J.Crew monogrammed tote
  • Mentorship/apprenticeship with a J.Crew merchant team member
  • US$300 from Farhan Patel
  • One-year free AATCC Student Membership

Evietta Chapman is pursuing an Honors Bachelor of Science in Merchandising Management with a Minor in Business and Entrepreneurship.

She says, “This competition helped me gain a cohesive understanding of developing a line and provided me the opportunity to apply my undergraduate research findings regarding garment longevity to a real-life context. I am excited to pursue a career in merchandising and to use the knowledge from this competition about sustainability and innovation when I enter the workforce after I graduate this Spring.”

Keaton Springer is pursuing a BS in Apparel Design.

“I transferred skills that I learned in design and applied them to a merchandise concept,” she says. “I learned how production and operations are related and how to bring market trends up to design standards. In the future, I hope to work in the fashion industry abroad, bringing the values of sustainability and forward thinking to the world.”

Second Place

Embody by Julia Wazeter, Paige Divon, Karigen Emig, and Roula Khaldi, Thomas Jefferson University

This group was awarded US$750 from AATCC and one-year free AATCC student membership.

These students are all majoring in Fashion Merchandising and Management.

Julia Wazeter reveals, “This collaborative project has further solidified the importance of thinking outside of the box to address gaps in the fashion industry. The market for inclusive brands, especially for the Gen Z target market, is very limited. Through extensive research, we were able to identify specific features and fabrics that will enhance the wearing experience for our customer, while keeping the styles trendy and 60s inspired.” Wazeter will begin her career as an Assistant Buyer at the Ross buying office in New York City.

Paige Divon says, “The competition taught me the importance of test methods to the fashion industry. I also learned through my team members and professor the power of collaboration! For the summer I plan on continuing an internship and preparing for my last undergraduate semester.”

Karigen Emig explains, “The AATCC competition honed my skills in collaboratively conceptualizing a brand from start to finish through extensive market, trend, and consumer research. I learned the importance of test methods to the industry and being able to identify the methods best suited for our size inclusive brand. For the future, I plan to complete my summer merchandising internship and seek entry-level buying/merchant positions.”

Roula Khaldi says, “I learned how to market our products to our target audience using different social media outlets. I plan to use my knowledge from this project and apply it to a future position in the fashion industry.”

Third Place

Fabricate Plentiful Pieces by Sabrina Leibowitz, Drexel University.

This student was awarded US$250 from AATCC and one-year free AATCC student membership.

Leibowitz’s is studying for a BS in Design and Merchandising.

She says, “I have learned to use innovative thinking to curate a collection that resembles strong merchandising with progressive sustainable materials woven into every fiber. I plan to have a career in the fashion industry as a buyer or merchandiser, and I will emphasize the importance of developing a multifaceted product assortment with a vision that is meant to better the consumer and the world as I have learned from participating in the competition.”

Developers, Judges, and Sponsors

AATCC would like to extend appreciation to the following developers, judges, and sponsors. Without their expertise and assistance, the competition would not have been possible.

Developers:

Sandra Johnson, Senior Account Manager at Color Solutions International
Nora Khanna, Product Development Manager at Pantone
Kerry King, Vice President, R&D at Spoonflower Inc.
Muditha Senanayake, Professor at Cal Poly Pomona
Alyssa McNamara, Research Associate at Spoonflower Inc.

Judges

  • Alan Biggerstaff, Senior Quality Manager at Walmart
  • Catherine Harriman, Divisional Merchandise Manager at JCrew
  • Maura McVeigh, Merchant at JCrew
  • Ivy Menderson, Merchant at JCrew
  • Farhan Patel, Marketing & Business Development Consultant
  • Shannon Redell, Sr. Materials Research Developer at Columbia Sportswear
  • Scott Wagner, Fabric Manager, PD&S at Levi Strauss & Co.
  • Jennifer Rivas, Senior Technical Design Manager at Walmart

Sponsors:

Farhan Patel

About AATCC: AATCC is the world’s leading not-for-profit association serving textile professionals since 1921. AATCC, headquartered in Research Triangle Park, NC, USA, provides test method development, quality control materials, and professional networking for members throughout the world.

Media Contact:

Manisha Patel | Corporate & Student Membership Specialist

AATCC

1 Davis Drive | PO Box 12215 | Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2115 | USA

Office: +1.919.549.549.3523 | Fax: +1.919.549.8933 | Headquarters: +1.919.549.8141

Email: patelm@aatcc.org | www.aatcc.org

By Manisha Patel, AATCC Corporate & Student Member Specialist

AATCC is happy to announce the winners of the 2020 AATCC C2C® Student Merchandising Competition!

AATCC received 15 entries, with 37 students participating from 8 colleges and universities. This year’s theme was “Everlasting Style.” Students were challenged to develop a business model, determine a marketing strategy, and create merchandising tools and products for an integrated apparel line for office/work attire that is timeless in terms of sustainability, quality, and style. Students were once again asked to access educational resources, so they could highlight at least one AATCC test method and why it was important to their product line.

First Place

Olivine by Rosemary Leger, University of Rhode Island

This student was awarded US$1350 from AATCC and one-year free of AATCC student membership.

Rosemary Leger is pursuing a Master of Science in textile science at the University of Rhode Island.

She says, “The competition brought to light the importance of thoughtfully investing both knowledge and heart into every single detail of a new product or brand launch. Additionally, understanding the business gap is key to success in a niche market.”

Following a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Communication from Lasell College and a few formative years in fashion journalism, Leger returned to graduate school to pursue a career in higher education. She loves the entirety of the fashion industry and aims to share that passion with the next generation of fashion professionals. Her professors past and present have been her greatest assets and she hopes to inspire future fashion students in the same way!

Second Place

Kind Fashion by Brianna Giarraputo, Thomas Jefferson University

This student was awarded US$850 from AATCC and one-year free of AATCC student membership

Brianna Giarraputo is a senior at Thomas Jefferson University studying fashion merchandising and management. She says, “This competition gave me a better understanding of AATCC test methods used in the industry. I learned the importance of understanding the customer by developing a deep understanding of the consumer, her preferences, and her values. I will definitely take the lessons I learned from this project such as paying close attention to detail and understanding company competition into my future endeavors.”

Giarraputo will be continuing her education and starting a master’s program at Jefferson University to earn an MBA.

3rd Place

All in Apparel by Leah Borelli, Galilea Montero, Mackenzie Price, and Alexandra Savino, Thomas Jefferson University

This student group was awarded US$300 from AATCC and one-year free of AATCC student membership. Prize money was split between team members.

Leah Borelli is studying fashion merchandising and management. She says, “As we created an apparel line for those with physical disabilities, it was vital for us to do research in order to better understand our market and their needs, which allowed us to develop a line that was inclusive for all. My career goal is to work in the merchandising field with an emphasis on sustainability. I will continue to carry what I have learned from this process with me, whether it be time management skills, working in teams, or doing market research.”

Galilea Montero is studying fashion design at Jefferson University. She says, “During this competition I learned the importance of diversifying your knowledge and how to start addressing gaps in the fashion industry. The market for adaptive clothing, specifically in work wear was limited and therefore called for our innovation and creativity to make our adaptive line. As I start branching out into the fashion industry I hope to work alongside design and sustainability in separates and zero-waste. The teamwork and collaboration I had as a design student with my merchandising teammates will help when I collaborate with others with different fashion backgrounds in the future.”

Mackenzie Price is also majoring in fashion merchandising and management. She has learned from this competition that understanding the target customer is essential when creating a product. “Many times people with disabilities are not presented with as much opportunity as they should be, so it was important to conduct enough research and learn as much information as possible regarding the need of adaptive clothing to ensure our line is inclusive and available to all abilities.”

She plans to begin her career in the fashion industry as an assistant buyer with Burlington Stores this September. This competition has allowed her to expand skills in product development, communication, and collaboration, all of which she will be able to use while working in the industry.

Alexandra Savino is pursuing a BS in fashion merchandising and management. Savino says, “Throughout this competition it taught me that creating a product line and a brand consists of a lot of research and steps that need to be taken to ensure that your line is feasible for the industry. I also learned how to identify the best testing methods for specific fabrics using AATCC’s testing methods.”

Her career goal is to be a buyer or merchandiser. This competition was helpful to Savino because it strengthened her skills in collaboration and helped her learn how to develop a sustainable and timely line.

Cotton Incorporated Optional Prize  

The Metro: The New Masculinity by Jackson Kwon, Cornell University

This year Cotton Incorporated encouraged students to incorporate cotton into their submissions.

Entries that choose to incorporate 75% or more of cotton in their apparel line were eligible for an additional sponsored prize from Cotton Incorporated

This student was awarded US$500 and one-year free of AATCC student membership

Jackson Kwon is pursuing a BS in Fashion Design & Management, minoring in Business and Fine Arts at Cornell University.

Kwon was introduced to AATCC test methods and learned more about the process of closing the lifecycle of cotton goods. Kwon intends to pursue a career in management consulting in the retail and apparel industries, and eventually pursue his dream job as a creative director.

Through the C2C Student Merchandising Competition, he was able to consider all aspects of creating a fashion brand and hopes to carry this knowledge with him in his future.

Thank you to the following developers, judges, and sponsor!

Without their expertise and assistance, the Competition would not have been possible.

Developers:

Sandy Johnson, Senior Account Manager at Color Solutions International/DyStar

Nora Khanna, Product Development Manager at Pantone

Kerry King, Vice President, R&D at Spoonflower Inc

Muditha Senanayake, Interim Dept. Chair, Associate Professor, Apparel Merchandising and Management at California State Polytechnic University Pomona

Alyssa McNamara, Research Associate at Spoonflower Inc

Judges:

Alan Biggerstaff, Senior Manager Apparel QA/Color/Textile at Walmart

Lauren Dalton, Sr. Manager, Quality Assurance at QVC

Christina Rapa, Sitka Gear / Textile Specialist at WL Gore & Associates Inc

Megan Peterson, Director, Global Supply Chain Marketing a Cotton Incorporated

Scott Wagner, Fabric Manager, PD&S at Levi Strauss & Co.

Jennifer Rivas, Senior Technical Design Manager at Walmart

Sponsor:

By Manisha Patel, AATCC Corporate & Student Member Specialist

AATCC is happy to announce the winners of the 2019 AATCC Concept 2 Consumer® Student Merchandising Competition.

AATCC received 32 entries, with 61 students participating from nine colleges and universities. Students were challenged to showcase their skills in business, marketing, and merchandising by conducting a business model, determining a marketing strategy, and creating merchandising tools and products for an integrated new apparel line both fashionable and functional for use in the rain, focused and inspired by a specific outdoor activity.

First Place

The first-place winning entry is Störmy by Lilly Kuropat, Chloe Kehn, Meaghan Evans, and Vyvian Le from Oregon State University. They will be awarded US$1000 from AATCC, and US$500 and a jacket from W.L. Gore and Associates Inc.

Lilly Kuropat is majoring in Merchandise Management with a minor in Business. From the competition, Kuropat learned about AATCC test methods and how they are used to test fibers and fabrics to measure and evaluate their colorfastness, performance, and water resistance.

Kuropat hopes to be a fashion stylist working in a big city. She believes that working on this project for the competition will benefit in reaching her career goal. Working with a team and creating a business plan are very important skills to have for any future endeavor.

Chloe Kehn is studying Merchandising Management. From this competition, Kehn has learned the importance of a step-by-step process. This process made it all more manageable and less overwhelming. It also gave them time to dive deep into each element and really do research before moving on to the next section. Kehn wants to pursue a creative career in the fashion industry, possibly product development. She says, “The technical design of the clothing line and the team collaboration skills that I gained through this competition will be extremely helpful to me in that field.”

Meaghan Evans is pursuing a BS in Merchandising Management. After graduating from Oregon State University, Evans would like to work as a creative director for a fashion brand or magazine. She says, “I thrive in the organizational aspects within creativity and I love to plan and see the final product come to life whether it be in the form of an event, ad campaign or material product line. Furthermore, this competition gave me the opportunity to practice my skills, further reassuring me that this is the industry I want to work in for the rest of my life. I wanted to say thank you so much for this opportunity and for taking the time to really look at our project. We all had a great time working for this competition and it feels great to see our hard work paid off.”

Vyvian Le is also studying Merchandise Management. From this competition, she learned about the AATCC test methods. Le hopes to work with a sportswear company. This competition has taught her the process and research to create a garment.

Second Place

Zaa Zaa by Megan Daniels, Central Michigan University. She will be awarded US$750 from AATCC, and US$350 from W.L. Gore and Associates Inc.

Daniels is a Fashion Merchandising major. This competition taught her about the creation of a new apparel line. In the future, Daniels hopes to be involved in either visual merchandising or print making, utilizing different CAD software. The visual aspect of creating the window display for Zaa Zaa, as well as the entire creation of the project board will help her be successful in this field because it gives her experience and knowledge in two very important aspects of her career aspirations.

Honorable Mention

The Honorable Mention entry was North Star Apparel by Austin Keske, Xiomara Bustamante, and Olivia Harband, Oregon State University. They will be awarded US$250 from AATCC, and US$150 from W.L. Gore and Associates Inc.

Austin Keske is studying Merchandising Management. Keske was able to learn about the different AATCC test methods that go into designing garments by participating in this competition. He thought it was very interesting to see how the different technologies were applied and tested. Keske hopes to be a merchandiser for Columbia Sportswear. He believes his knowledge of AATCC test methods will be helpful in his career.

Xiomara Bustamante is pursuing a major in Merchandising Management with a minor in Business & Entrepreneurship. From this competition, she learned to create not only a clothing line, but an entire brand. There is a lot more to it than simply having a cool product, and it can be a lot of fun to figure out the different aspects of what will truly make a brand competitive. She also started to realize how much she likes branding, especially when it comes to usage of colors, logo creation, website layout, etc.

Olivia Harband is majoring in Merchandising Management and minoring in sustainability. By participating in this competition, Harband learned the importance of identifying and evaluating a market need. She says, “My best friend is a sailor and she frequently voices her frustrations about sailing gear not fitting or preforming properly. This project allowed me to utilize my knowledge of performance textiles, merchandising, and brand development to create a realistic solution to a real-world problem. This project solidified the legitimacy of strategic merchandising and design related to athletic apparel and beyond. I really enjoyed incorporating my technical knowledge into a creative area of design.” In the future, Harband is interested in technical design related to sustainable innovation and consumer purchasing analysis. This competition is helpful in encouraging her to continue being creative and original when coming up with project ideas.

Thank you to the following developers, judges, and sponsor!

Without their expertise and assistance, the Competition would not have been possible.

Developers:

Mary Brannon, Apparel Technology Coordinator at Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising

Sandy Johnson, Senior Account Manager at Color Solutions International/DyStar

Nora Khanna, Product Development Manager at Pantone

Kerry King, Vice President, R&D at Spoonflower Inc

Muditha Senanayake, Associate Professor at California State Polytechnic University Pomona

Mark Sunderland, Director Academic Operations/Textile Engineer + Strategist, Thomas Jefferson University

Alyssa McNamara, Research Associate at Spoonflower Inc

Judges:

Alan Biggerstaff, Senior Manager Apparel QA/Color/Textile at Walmart

Lauren Dalton, Sr. Manager, Quality Assurance at QVC

Michele Leckington, Fabrics at WL Gore & Associates, Inc

Craig Lindemann, Fabrics—New Product Development at WL Gore & Associates Inc

Christina Rapa, Sitka Gear / Textile Specialist at WL Gore & Associates Inc

Shannon Redell, Sr. Materials Research Developer at Columbia Sportswear

Tejada Odalis, Director of Raw Material Quality & Technical at Wacoal America Inc

Scott Wagner, Fabric Manager, PD&S at Levi Strauss & Co.

Sponsor:

AATCC is happy to announce the winners of the 2018 AATCC C2C® Student Merchandising Competition!

AATCC received 50 entries, with 95 students participating from 14 colleges and universities. Students were challenged to showcase their skills in business, marketing, and merchandising by conducting a business model, determining a marketing strategy, and developing merchandising tools and products for an integrated new apparel line focused on and inspired by a specific outdoor or indoor athletic activity (cycling, running, group fitness, hiking, etc.). The new line had to transition from activity to everyday wear and incorporate a use case and supply chain of a realistic technology (e-textiles, chemical technologies, materials technologies, etc). See the full competition guidelines for more details.

Winners and Awards: See the winning entries and meet the winners!

First Place

The first-place winning entry is Impervious Apparel by Hannah Norum and Mylisa Krueger from Oregon State University. They will be awarded US$1000 from AATCC and US$350 from Cotton Incorporated.

Hannah Norum is majoring in Apparel Design and Merchandising Management. “I learned how to create a comprehensive merchandising plan that took into consideration everything from the apparel itself and its characteristics to the business plan, branding, and marketing,” she says. “Not only did we have to decide on an activity and in what ways our apparel would transition to everyday wear, we had to consider who would wear it, our value proposition and competitors, as well as branding, marketing, and distribution channels. Having designed and created apparel collections in the past, this competition really drives home what it would take to turn that collection into a successful business. Through this competition, everything I’ve learned in the past few years of college really came full circle into this project and I now see how truly integrated apparel design can be with merchandising management.”

Norum plans to own an apparel company with a focus on sustainability and body positivity. She says, “I plan to work up to that by gaining valuable experience in the industry as both a merchandiser and as a technical designer or in product development. A lot of what I learned from this competition will be helpful in this career. It gives me perspective for how businesses operate and ways in which I can be successful in my own venture in the future. Much of our inspiration for this project came very naturally and that is something I hope to continue to be able to apply in future projects and ultimately my career path.”

Mylisa Krueger is also an Apparel Design and Merchandising Management major. Krueger says the competition taught her the importance of always knowing the original goal to make sure the solution is comprehensive and engaging to the audience.

She is currently working with Browzwear as a 3D Apparel Development Specialist. “I hope to continue in this area and further explore what 3D has to offer the apparel industry specifically for plus sizes and fit,” she says. “This competition pushed me to consider all areas involved in developing a product and creating solutions which is in line with my current career path.”

Second Place

Equilibre: A Work to Workout Clothing Line by Megan Singleton and Mallory Hayes from North Carolina State University is the second place winning entry. They will be awarded US$750 from AATCC and US$100 from Cotton Incorporated

Mallory Hayes is concurrently working on a BS for Fashion and Textile Management, concentrating in Fashion Development and Product Management and taking graduate level classes to complete a Masters in Textiles. After working on the entry, Equilibre, Hayes gained knowledge of fabrics and learned about the different ways they can be engineered and designed to produce desired products. She was also challenged to learn more about getting a product to market, as well as having to create a timeline and budget for the product line. Having to strategically create a product idea and then create a plan to bring it to market gave Hayes a taste of working in industry.

Upon graduating, she plans to apply for a technical design position. Hayes recently has developed a love for the technical side of fashion development, pattern making, and garment fit. Having a passion for fitness and fashion, the C2C Merchandising Competition allowed her to intertwine both of her passions into one project. Hayes says, “having to think critically, creatively, and realistically are all job descriptions for a technical designer. This project has made me challenge myself, gain knowledge of the fitness industry, and has helped improve the way I tackle large task and projects to produce an end product.”

Megan Singleton is pursuing a BS in Fashion and Textile Management with a concentration in Brand Management and Marketing. “This merchandising competition was a great opportunity to stretch my marketing muscles and apply this knowledge in a real way. It’s wonderful to study something and then use that information to create something new and exciting, such as our proposed brand, Equilibre,” she says. “It also was a chance for my partner, Mallory Hayes, and me to extend our knowledge of the textile market to best suit the product we created. I loved the challenge of learning about innovative textile materials and how they can be utilized in the real world. But my true takeaway from the competition was how useful it was in rounding out my education at NC State. With the help of our mentor, Delisa Matthews, we were able to see how all our classes and studies were interwoven and how they could be effectively applied in the real world!”

Singleton’s plans are to attend graduate school to obtain a master’s degree and then pursue a doctorate degree. She believes she would be well suited for academia. This competition has confirmed Singleton’s love of marketing and the importance it holds in both the national and global industry of textiles. She says, “I’d like to use this passion for the subject to teach others. In addition, marketing is a way to give innovative and unheard-of products and services a voice to the consumer and it’s increasingly important that we have good marketers to help us with this endeavor. I hope to pass along that knowledge as a professor!”

Honorable Mention

The Honorable Mention entry was Quick Fix by Mary Lee, Lyndee Johnston, Oksana Topchiy, and Renea Wright from the University of Wyoming. They will be awarded US$250 from AATCC and US$50 from Cotton Incorporated.

Mary Lee is a Design, Merchandising, and Textiles major. Lee thought it was very interesting to merchandise a brand from scratch.  “What really excites me is thinking about how technology will be used in the future,” she says. “Not only are textile technologies advancing, the ways clothing will be marketed and purchased are also advancing.”

Lee thinks this competition was a good exercise in thinking about how to present a clothing line concept. The knowledge she gained will be useful if she were to try to start a company of her own or pitch an idea to investors.

Lyndee Johnston is a Design, Merchandising, and Textiles major with an Interior Design minor. She says, “I learned how in-depth textile research is needed to allow for all the components we wanted to be included in the active wear. It was worthwhile to focus in on the textile characteristics rather than spend time on the design of the products. I also learned that working in a group like this may be frustrating at times, but we worked well together. All of us were able to bounce ideas off each other and hone in on the characteristics that would make work life and workout life easier for all generations as we ourselves are of various ages.”

Johnston graduated this May and is currently looking for Interior Design and Textile manufacturing positions. This competition taught her many great skills involving textile science, wearable tech, and apparel design which she will be using in her everyday life, not just at work.

Oksana A Topchiy is a Design, Merchandising, and Textiles major with Apparel Design minor. Topchiy believes the competition was a great opportunity for her to use her knowledge from merchandising, marketing, textiles, fashion illustration and design classes. She has learned how to define the right target market for future products, and how to determine the best fabrics for the product using fiber characteristics while keeping pricing reasonable. Developing a marketing strategy with merchandising tools and products was also a very interesting part of the competition for Topchiy. She learned to make the design of the product comfortable, durable, and attractive.

Topchiy has graduated this May, and plans to create her own sustainable fashion brand. The brand will produce and sell vintage-inspired style apparel and accessories for women and children. Her brand will respect the law, support worldwide human rights, protect the environment, and provide benefits for local communities. She also plans to create a Charity Fund on behalf of her father to help protect the environment, help students, as well as people in hospices. Developing a new-based athletic wear line for the competition gave her excellent experience in working with sportswear and its target market. She says, “I definitely feel myself interested in developing a sportswear line for women and children in the future for my brand.”

Renea Wright is majoring in Design, Merchandising, and Textiles with minors in Apparel Design and Accounting. From this competition, Wright learned how to work together as a group to develop a design from start to finish. She learned how to develop a business model and merchandising strategy for a new product.

Wright has two more years of school and plans on using her degree to further her home sewing business. The skills she learned in this competition were very valuable and she has already used them in another class this semester where she had to develop a business plan, marketing strategy, and a presentation poster for a new sustainable business.

Optional Award Winner: Sponsored by Cotton Incorporated

Entries that choose to incorporate 75% or more of cotton in their apparel line were eligible for an additional US$500 sponsored prize from Cotton Incorporated. Impervious Apparel by Hannah Norum and Mylisa Krueger from Oregon State University was also the recipient of this award.

Thank you to the following developers and judges! Without their expertise and assistance, the Competition would not have been possible.

Developers:

Mary Brannon, Apparel Technology Coordinator at Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
Sandy Johnson, Senior Account Manager at Color Solutions International/Dystar
Nora Khanna, Product Development Manager at Pantone
Kerry King, Vice President, R&D at Spoonflower Inc.
Muditha Senanayake, Associate Professor at California State Polytechnic University Pomona
Mark Sunderland, Director Academic Operations/Textile Engineer + Strategist, Philadelphia University

Judges:

Alan Biggerstaff, Senior Manager Apparel QA/Color/Textile at Walmart
Lisa Cram, Director of Color at VF Outdoor
Megan Peterson, Director, Global Supply Chain Marketing at Cotton Incorporated
Shannon Redell, Sr. Materials Research Developer at Columbia Sportswear
Jennifer Rivas, Senior Technical Design Manager at Walmart
Sarah Simmons, Soft Goods Product Coordinator at Scotty Cameron
Scott Wagner, Fabric Manager, PD&S at Levi Strauss & Co.
Megan Wood, Manager Materials Apparel Development-Training at Adidas

Sponsor:

C2C Student Merchandising Competition

AATCC is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 AATCC Concept 2 Consumer® Student Merchandising Competition. The Association received 11 entries, with 20 students participating from four colleges and universities.

Using the same theme as the Design Competition, Everyday Clothes for Extraordinary Kids, merchandising students were challenged to showcase their skills in business, marketing, and merchandising by creating a business concept of a hypothetical new apparel line that redesigns apparel items (leggings, t-shirts, etc.) for children (ages 2-10) with special needs and/or a disability.

Awards and Winners:

1st Place: Moxie by Alexis Jones, Central Michigan University

Jones recently graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Fashion Merchandising. “When developing this merchandising campaign, I had limited knowledge regarding my target market and very little understanding on apparel for children with special needs. Through my research I discovered that apparel for children with special needs is still a highly unsaturated market. This competition challenged me to conduct a more in-depth research within this market and gain a better insight into the current wants and needs of my consumer, to provide satisfaction and bring a fresh look for a customer who might be otherwise overlooked,” Jones says.

Next year she will be returning to Central Michigan University to complete her master’s in Apparel Product Development and Merchandising Technology. Upon graduation, she aspires to pursue a career in Merchandise Management with a special interest in visual merchandising. This competition has strengthened her abilities to strategically plan for different seasons, budgets, and channel distributions; develop promotional goals and advertisements; and monitor the products and pricing of competitors through SWOT analysis. She says, “This competition has most helpfully reminded me to be aware and to look within the areas of the apparel industry for opportunities to drive inclusiveness with the express intention of including customers who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized.”

Jones won US$1000 from AATCC, US$200 from TÜV Rheinland, US$200 from Jefferies Socks, a US$50 gift certificate to Socks in Stock, and a summer online paid marketing internship at Jefferies Socks

2nd Place: Kids in Motion by Caroline DeRosa, University of Delaware

DeRosa won US$750 from AATCC, US$100 from TÜV Rheinland, US$100 from Jefferies Socks, and a US$50 gift certificate to Socks in Stock

DeRosa just graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising and Minor in Business Administration from the University of Delaware. “From this competition, I learned a lot about individuals with special needs and the devices used for their transportation and safety. Not only did I learn a lot about product specifics, but I also learned that there is a high amount of detail and research that goes into planning for a new product and how to merchandise for it,” she says.

She will be starting a career at Coach Inc. as an Assistant Buyer for Women’s Full Price, Small Leather Goods. This project will be very relevant to DeRosa’s career as a Buyer. She learned how to put together a financial plan, marketing plan, and make a product assortment with various functions and colors so that it is attractive to a variety of customers.

Honorable Mention: Smiley Willy by Lauren Ferrell and Hanna Jernigan, North Carolina State University

Lauren Ferrell is a majoring Fashion Textile Management, with a concentration in Brand Management and Marketing, and minoring in Business Administration. “This competition allows you to venture into different areas of merchandising I didn’t have a lot of experience in,” says Ferrell. She aims to find a career in Sales and Marketing. “The competition was a real ‘resume booster.’ It was awesome to be able to talk to employers about my project,” she remarks.

Hanna Jernigan is working towards a degree in Fashion and Textile Management: Brand Management and Marketing (graduating May 2018). “I learned how to find an opportunity and make the idea grow,” she says. “Really searching for what it is that people need and what you can provide to the consumer that they have never seen before. It was a chance to really push and challenge ourselves.”

She plans to go into the marketing field as a marketing director. She learned a lot from participating in this competition which will help her in the future. One of the things she especially learned was how to find out what it is a target consumer reacts to.

The team won US$250 from AATCC, US$100 from TÜV Rheinland, and a US$50 gift certificate to Socks in Stock

AATCC thanks the following sponsors, developers, and judges. Without their donations, expertise and assistance, this merchandising competition would not have been possible.

Sponsors:

Developers:

Muditha Senanayake, Associate Professor at California State Polytechnic University Pomona

Mary Ruppert-Stroescu, Assistant Professor, Design, Housing and Merchandising Oklahoma State University

Sandy Johnson, Director of Sales at Color Solutions International/Dystar

Kerry King, Vice President, R&D at Spoonflower, Inc.

Mark Sunderland, Director Academic Operations/Textile Engineer+ Strategist, Philadelphia University

Mary Brannon, Apparel Technology Coordinator at Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising

Judges:

Alyssa McNamara, Research & Development at Spoonflower Inc

Claudia Romero, Managing Director at Capr-Style Ltd.

Craig Crawford, King of Creative at Crawford IT

Emily Coleman, Designer/Merchandise Manager at Jeffries Socks

Kristie Rhodes, Manager, Product Development at Cotton Incorporated

Lauren Dalton, Product Integrity Manager at Zulily

Susan Matter, Product Integrity Manager at Nordstrom Product Group

AATCC is happy to announce the winners of the 2016 AATCC C2C® Student Merchandising Competition!

AATCC received 43 entries, with 114 students participating from 8 colleges and universities. Students were challenged to showcase their skills in business, marketing, and merchandising by creating a business concept of a hypothetical new apparel or accessories line (hats, bags, and scarves) that transforms. Examples of transformations could include changing color, serving multiple purposes, or changing through the actual design of the fabric. See the full competition guidelines for more details.

The Winners:

1st PlaceOne Wear by Jose Gonzalez and Yuxin Zhu, NC State University (US $1,000 award)

Yuxin Zhu will graduate with a Master of Science of Textile and Apparel Technology Management from NC State University in May 2017.

Zhu comments on the C2C Merchandising Competition: “I used to work as a marketing planner, the fascinating part of this work is you will always learn something new from every new case you get. So does this competition. In order to make a good merchandise plan for a new apparel product line, we have to get in-depth insights from the market, consumer and even our virtual competitors. As long as you own the curiosity, there’s no limitation on absorbing knowledge from various channels.

In addition, team work is the key to the success of a strategic plan. Each team member contributes his own advantages and brings their valuable perspectives which complement the whole case. It sounds easy, but is not easily accomplished. The professional way of cooperating with others is setting a clear goal and an achievable expectation, making objective decisions, and sometimes making appropriate concessions.

In the future, I still want to become a consultant or a planner. What I learned from this competition will definitely benefit my future career. Although consulting and planning are activities revolving around products, after all, they’re people business. In some circumstances, soft skills are more important than your professional skills. The only way to enhance this soft skill is through practice, such as participating in this competition. It’s a good experience for everyone who wants to step into the industry as a marketing or merchandise manager.”

Jose Gonzalez is pursuing a Masters of Textiles and Brand Management.

He comments, “This competition allowed my teammate and I to utilize what we have learned and are in the process of learning in our market research, consumer behavior, and strategic business courses during our master’s program. Ultimately, everything we built became dependent on our brand and the purpose that it served. One Wear is a brand founded on the socio-cultural movement of today’s civil rights movement of the LGBTQ community. Traditional gender barriers are broken down as high fashion brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton, amongst others, challenge them with their silhouettes, choice of models, and messages. We learned to build and maintain the momentum of this movement and combine it with our love for aesthetically pleasing garments to create a new line that encompasses everything we believe in.

After my master’s program, I am looking forward to continue growing and building a career in the branding and marketing department of a fashion and/or textiles firm that seeks to make a difference in today’s current corporate social responsibility issues.  Wages, waste management, and safer environmental practices are some examples of what I’d be aiming to learn and make a difference to on a greater scale. This competition showed how important it is to create and work on projects that one truly stands for. The concerns and drive to change the status quo within the fashion/textile industry using branding and marketing skills will one day result in new research that will suggest and implement safer and better products without compromising environmental and human integrity.”

2nd PlaceOnesieTree by Annie Schtevie, University of Delaware (US$750 award)

Annie Schtevie is a major in Fashion Merchandising at the University of Delaware. From this competition she has developed a depth of interest in trend forecasting, specifically as it relates to textile and apparel production.

She says, “I am very interested in supply chain management and development and I love to learn how companies design, produce, and dye products for coming seasons, when the fashion cycle is often unpredictable and is evolutionarily changing. I can see myself becoming a Production Manager or Trend Forecaster for a large design house when I graduate from the University of Delaware in 2017. This competition allowed me to research the viability of a clothing line that transforms biodegradable textiles, from a business standpoint. The things I have learned while participating in this competition will be helpful to me in my future career because they allowed me to contextualize the long-term trends of sustainable textiles and active consumer-input in clothing brands. I also researched how certain fabrics can be repurposed based on the fibers they contain. Overall, this competition was very rewarding!”

Honorable Mention  Vicissitude by Danielle Raffa, Molly Finnegan, Jen Forsgren, and Monina Leung, University of Wyoming (US$250 award)

Danielle Raffa is a senior at the University of Wyoming and is studying Family and Consumer Science with a concentration in Design, Merchandising, and Textiles and minoring in Marketing.

Here’s what she says about participating in the competition: “From this competition, I really learned how to be creative in coming up with new ideas for the retail industry, specifically in transformable clothing. This competition allowed me to learn how to create solutions for common retail problems that transformable clothing can solve. I enjoyed learning more about transformable clothing on the retail market currently and brainstorming ideas of what this market will look like in the future.

In the future, I want to be a wedding designer and help with not only planning the events of the day, but creating the theme for the wedding and making someone’s vision for their wedding day come to life. From this competition, I will definitely take the problem solving and creativity skills that I learned with me as I progress into my future career. I feel that the principles that this competition taught me can be applied to many different aspects of life and can enhance one’s motive for innovation, critical thinking, and inspirational creativity.”

Molly Finnegan will graduate in 2017 with a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences focusing on Design, Merchandising, and Textiles and with a minor in Interior Design.

She says, “the competition has taught me the importance of functional yet visually attractive designs in the fashion industry as well as how to design products that will be appealing to a wide range of consumers all while working in a team setting. Through this competition, I learned the importance of adequate design that is both functional as well as visually appealing to a wide range of consumers which can be applied in both the textile industry as well as the interior design industry.”

Jen Forsgren is majoring in Design, Textiles and Merchandising and minoring in Interior Design at the University of Wyoming.
She says, “I thought that this competition was a neat experience.  It made us think outside of the box with creating something that could be used universal. We also got a chance to share our skills and knowledge in business and marketing that we have been learning for our future careers.

After completing my degree, I would like to open up my own commercial interior design business. This project was helpful because it helped us come up with ideas to market our designs, whatever they may be.  I also think it was good because we got to see the business part of it, which will help as I pursue my education and achieve my goals.

After graduation, Finnegan plans to move back to Colorado were she hopes to get a job with an interior design firm working as a residential interior designer.


AATCC would like to extend appreciation to the following developers and judges. Without their expertise and assistance, the Competition would not have been possible.

Developers:

Jiangning Che, Assistant Professor at California State Polytechnic University Pomona

Mary Ruppert-Stroescu, Assistant Professor, Design, Housing and Merchandising Oklahoma State University

Sandy Johnson, Director of Sales at Color Solutions International/Dystar

Heidi Carvalho, Textile Technology Consultant at TTACC

Kerry King, Vice President, R&D at Spoonflower, Inc.

Mary Brannon, Apparel Technology Coordinator at Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising

 

Judges:

Alan Biggerstaff, Sr. Mgr. Quality/Textile/Color: Team Sports & Adult Apparel at Walmart

Scott Wagner, Fabric Manager, Innovation & Supply Chain Technical Services at Levi Strauss & Co.

Jennifer Maloney, Product Development Specialist at Cintas

Lauren Dalton, Product Integrity Manager at Zulily

Sarah Simmons, Color Analyst at The North Face

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