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WVU Davis College unveils new fashion design studios

The Fashion Illustration Studio features equipment for hand-drawing and digital fashion illustration, digital flats and technical packages.

The Fashion Illustration Studio features equipment for hand-drawing and digital fashion illustration, digital flats and technical packages. 

In today’s fast-paced world of fashion, it’s essential students interested in pursuing a career in the industry have a space that fosters innovation, creativity and curiosity.

Now, thanks to a $750,000 gift from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous, West Virginia University fashion, dress and merchandising students and faculty can create and educate in two brand new state-of-the-art fashion design studios.

“This generous gift helped build beautiful and welcoming spaces for students and faculty to creatively collaborate, engage in experiential learning and develop skills crucial for success in the competitive fashion industry,” said Darrell Donahue, dean of the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design.

Located on the ground floor of the South Agricultural Sciences Building, the Fashion Illustration Studio features equipment for hand-drawing and digital fashion illustration, digital flats and technical packages. Students will also create new designs and digitize patterns for printing while gaining experience with the latest in Computer Assisted Drawing.

Directly above on the first floor, the Fashion Design Studio provides workstations to learn essential skills in pattern design, layout and cutting, garment construction and draping techniques.

The 4,400-square-foot renovation also includes display cases, student lockers, a meeting room and common space.

For Katie Jones, associate professor and coordinator of the fashion, dress and merchandising program, these new studios illustrate the College and University’s commitment to the program and its students and faculty.

“I don’t know anyone who has this view,” Jones said, referencing the quad of lush greenspace on the Evansdale Campus. “When space is at a premium on a campus like ours, the luxury of being in this much space, the symbolism of that commitment from the college is really important to our wellbeing and our sense of belonging to the campus community.”

The Fashion Design Studio provides workstations to learn essential skills in pattern design, layout and cutting, garment construction and draping techniques.

The Fashion Design Studio provides workstations to learn essential skills in pattern design, layout and cutting, garment construction and draping techniques.

In addition to the modern and spacious studios, Jones is particularly excited for the new display space outside the Fashion Illustration Studio.

“We haven’t really had a dedicated place to put finished work, but now we have the ability to build exhibits and give students the opportunity to expand that part of their repertoire,” she said. “I think there will be rippling out benefits to walk past those display cabinets and see what fashion students and scholars are putting out into the world.”

Above all else, Jones hopes part of the rippling benefits is a sense of community becoming a major part of the program.

“While we work diligently to instill a sense of unified purpose for all fashion, dress and merchandising students and faculty, having this physical platform will allow for visual communication of those efforts, reinforcing our shared identity even as we each pursue our diverse interests in this kaleidoscopic industry,” she said.

The gift was made through the WVU Foundation, the nonprofit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the University. To contribute, visit the secure online giving page at give.wvu.edu.

Watch a video from the Davis College for a full look at the new studios:


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