Winners of MSU Fashion Design Competition Receive Trip to NY Fashion Week

Two Apparel and Textile Design (ATD) students were selected as winners of the Michigan State University’s first Spartan Fashion Design Collection Competition and will attend New York Fashion Week in September.

The winners, seniors Emily Bankes and Mitch Fehrle, were selected for creating the most original and creative avant garde concept designs and collections using the MSU Spartan brand as inspiration.

Emily Bankes' Design
Emily Bankes' winning design.

Bankes’ design, inspired by the MSU Shadows alumni song, used Spartan brand fabric as a foundation for the bodice and underskirt with a full tulle overskirt. Fehrle’s design, inspired by iconic MSU landmarks, utilized 3D printing to represent these landmarks on the pant and top ensemble in Spartan green and white.

Several ATD students participated in the competition, which was held in cooperation with MSU’s Office of University Licensing Programs and WME | IMG in New York. Theresa M. Winge, Associate Professor, and Rebecca E. Schuiling, Academic Specialist, mentored the student designers throughout the competition.

As the winners, Bankes and Fehrle will receive a VIP perspective on global fashion in New York with behind-the-scenes access during New York Fashion Week and an invitation to attend exclusive fashion industry events.

Bankes and Fehrle will have special access to fashion week’s official venue, VIP seating to a runway show, and an invitation to a custom curated panel discussion featuring WME | IMG executives and leadership discussing trends, anecdotes, and tips on what it takes to be part of the fashion industry. They also will receive an onsite tour of The Shop, special New York Fashion Week swag, a private designer studio tour with meet and greet, and will be invited to a private dinner at an iconic New York City restaurant.

Mitch Fehrle's Design
Mitch Fehrle's winning design.

“The Office of University Licensing Programs is excited to collaborate with Apparel and Textile Design faculty and students on the first ‘MSU Spartan Fashion Design Collection Competition,’” said Samantha Stevens, Director of Licensing at MSU. “This opportunity was made available to MSU and other universities that IMG College Licensing represents because MSU is a part of the WME | IMG family through our licensing partnership.”

Bankes passion for fashion design is a driving force in her life. She has developed new and innovative skills by working closely with the Aitch Foundation’s Hidden Key Fashion show to benefit Cancer Research and MSU’s fashion magazine VIM.

Fehrle is a designer fixated on curiosity. He uses the old world knowledge of hand knitting, weaving, and natural dyes to show the strength of humanity’s ingenuity as well as incorporating current technologies, such as 3D printing and computer-aided design to keep focus on the future. He hopes to use design to explore new environmental and social solutions and to educate his audience in a way that is both engaging and accessible.

The Apparel and Textile Design program emphasizes creativity and experimentation that merges design with art. Students combine fine art, couture, and technical design to create original garments, which reflect an understanding of global issues such as sustainability and cultural dress. The focus of the Apparel and Textile Design program is the research, design, and creation of avant-garde fashion designs.