Alexandria Santsant_article.jpg

Location: Bingham Farms, Michigan
Position, Organization:  Textile Designer, Arden Companies
Major/Graduation: Apparel and Textile Design (ATD), 2016

Current Role/Responsibilities: 
My position is primarily focused on developing prints and patterns for outdoor goods such as pillows and cushions for retailers like Lowe's, Home Depot, Walmart, etc. This includes designing original artwork and utilizing my color sense to create a variety of colorway options/designs for our customers. In addition to this, I also help oversee parts of the product development process for our products. This entails working directly with our engineering/manufacturing teams to ensure that our patterns execute properly on our finished product. 

Why you came to MSU?
I wanted endless options of world-class programs paired with the Big Ten experience. Like many beginning their journey at MSU, I wasn't sure what I wanted to study right away so having a lot of high-quality options allowed me to explore before landing on ATD.

How your major prepared you for success? 
My major prepared me for success by providing me with the tools/programs I needed for the apparel/textile industry. Major design programs used in the industry such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop are tools I was first introduced to while in ATD at Michigan State. 

Advice to Spartans interested in following in your footsteps? 
My biggest piece of advice to future Spartans would be to push yourself to do internships (especially in unfamiliar territory). After I interned in the design departments of Cynthia Rowley and Kate Spade in New York, I gained a great amount of insight on the design process. I also realized that NYC might not be the best fit for me.

What should current students take advantage of while at MSU? 
Current students should definitely take advantage of their professors and their personal experiences. Many of my professors worked in the fashion/textile industry prior to becoming instructors so talking to them about beginning my professional journey was very helpful to me.

Overall, I think it's important to know that exploring different avenues within your major can become a very good thing. As a student, I thought I would end up somewhere in the apparel industry, however, exploring the world of textile design and home has been an interesting and refreshing experience for me.