University of Minnesota: Pushing the boundaries of fashion

Recent graduates of the U of M apparel design program are entering the world of clothing—a trillion-dollar industry that affects everyone, from babies in onesies to astronauts in spacesuits.

In its place at the leading edge of the apparel industry, fashion can be both predictive of and responsive to culture.

It’s also very much dependent on the individuals who create it, and those of us who choose to wear it. Those choices can be made based on questions ranging from “Does it fit me?” to “Is it ethical?”

Since 1968, apparel design students at the University of Minnesota have been presenting their original designs in an annual student fashion show. The event is a rite of passage.

“It’s a big deal for them,” says professor Lucy Dunne, director of the College of Design’s apparel program (and co-director of the Wearable Technology Lab). “It’s basically the culmination of their four-year degree. They start thinking about it as soon as they enter the program. It’s a big accomplishment.”

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