A group of 2020 University of Texas at Austin graduates can now see the jewelry they designed on Kendra Scott’s shelves.
The Ciarla earring set available from Kendra Scott. Image courtesy of Kendra Scott.
As part of last spring’s 365 Textiles and Apparel (TXA) course, Accessory Design, Development and Merchandising, students were divided into teams and asked to develop jewelry designs for Kendra Scott, targeting Gen Z. The The winning team’s design is now on sale at Kendra Scott stores and online.
Part of Gen Z themselves, recent college students – Anita Ghamarian, Tianjie Pei, Julia Sotelo, Sara Kopenec, and Pinar Sarilar – took on the challenge of mixing fashionable tastes with an established brand aesthetic.
“We really wanted to get into the mindset of the Gen Z individual, so we went where they spend the most time: social media,” said Ghamarian, a Textiles and Apparel alumnus. Design who graduated in May. “We used a lot of pastel colors and astrological symbols for our final designs. We researched Kendra Scott’s previous and popular designs and symbols to get inspiration from our shapes in our designs.”
TXA 356 is offered as part of UT’s new Kendra Scott Women Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute (WELI).
“Students can see up close what the process of moving from ideation to product development looks like through the lens of Kendra Scott’s design and merchandising team. They create designs based on pieces they would like to see in the collection and work as a team similar to how the process works in the industry, ”said Jessica Ciarla, who created and taught the course. “Proceeds from this product are donated to the Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute to empower the next generation of courageous and creative women leaders who will change the world. The intention to showcase student designs is only for the purpose of showcasing the work of students and celebrate the partnership with UT. “
The winning team named their set of earrings and earrings Ciarla in her honor.
Each of the teams was made up of a variety of majors. The winning team included majors from TXA, majors in business, and a major in communications.
“It’s amazing how each major has a different way of solving a problem, so we cover more areas that textile and clothing students sometimes tend to forget,” said Pei, a recent double major in TXA. and in economics.
Each of the team members said they learned something new about the fashion industry many of them want to work in as part of the project, such as meeting Kendra Scott’s design team to get comments and make the prototype.
“For me, the design and CAD (computer aided design) part of the project was the most interesting,” said Sotelo, who hopes to work in fashion marketing. “As a PR specialist, I had never had any experience sketching, drawing, 3D rendering or using a 3D printer to bring our sketches to life. “
In spring 2020, the TXA 365 course was offered for the first time. Even though the semester was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, students continued to work remotely.
“It taught me a lot about communication and time management, and how to resolve conflicts! Kopenec said. “I also really learned to pivot, because COVID disrupted the course halfway through the semester. While there were some tough times, the end result was worth it!”
Over 5,000 people voted in the online contest to choose the winning design.
“I had great confidence in our product and am so grateful that it can be produced for the enjoyment of many,” said Pinar Sarilar, who recently graduated from Finance.