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Winning Student On Target for Great Design Career

University of Cincinnati fashion design senior Sarah Knight doesn’t skirt tough jobs. That’s why she’s a national finalist in a prestigious design competition sponsored by Target Corporation.

Date: 3/7/2006
By: Mary Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos By: Dottie Stover and submitted by Sarah Knight
UC ingot As a present to herself, University of Cincinnati fashion design senior Sarah Knight is targeting a dream job for when she graduates in June.

Knight, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is one of 10 national finalists in a prestigious business/design competition sponsored by Target Corporation and the Council of Fashion Designers of America. If she wins, the prize will be a paid, one-year internship with the Design & Trend team at Target’s Minneapolis headquarters.

Target sponsors the competition annually. UC student Jennifer Daggy won in 2003. UC student Melissa Bodner competed in 2004 and while she didn’t win the competition, she was hired by Target on the strength of her work.

In the competition, students from the country’s best fashion programs are invited to submit their apparel concepts aimed at a specific consumer group. In addition, the competitors must also provide a marketing plan: how the line would be displayed in stores, in magazine ads and more. They must also budget the entire project.

Knight, a student in UC’s top-ranked College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, was so detail oriented in her conceptual planning and design that she even designed the hanging tags to accompany her apparel line. That line focuses on garments that could easily transition between athletic and work wear. “My garments,” explained Knight, “Are for female knights, for women who are inspiring, hard-working and hard-playing. Each hanging tag also contains an inspirational quote. My favorite is: I only have good days and great days.”

The same might be said for Knight herself as this is not her first prestigious win. Last summer, Knight competed against students from around the world to win a prestigious co-op at Nike, Inc. She won that position based on athletic apparel specifically designed for asthmatics so they could easily and inconspicuously carry inhalers.

Her designs for Target, different from those she created for the Nike competition, carry over themes from her past work. Knight, an athlete who suffers from asthma, incorporated inhaler “pockets” into her Target designs. But, for the most part, these new designs focus on allowing active women to easily transition from work to working out.

For instance, one design is a short dress for work that incorporates a sports bra and workout pants. The rest of her garments include gaucho style and Capri pants, short and long tops, dresses and two jackets. “In all,” said Knight, “I created 17 pieces. It’s a big collection made up of little things, and all good quality at an affordable price.”

All the materials used for her work consist of poly-nylon knits, dry meshes, lycras, compact fleeces and woven stretches. Knight stated, “It all makes for a dry fit that will wick away moisture. They’re all made of materials given to me during my Nike co-op so I know I have the best materials available.”

As one of 10 national finalists in the Target competition, Knight has already won $1,000. Next, she’ll be interviewed via phone by a Target representative. Then, the current field of 10 finalists will be winnowed down to three, and those three students will be interviewed at Target’s Minneapolis headquarters. Then, one student will be chosen for the full-time, paid position with Target.

For that final prize and position, Knight will be competing against finalists from the following schools:

  • Academy of Art College, San Francisco
  • California College of the Arts, San Francisco
  • Massachusetts College of Art, Boston
  • Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles
  • Parsons The New School of Design, New York City
  • Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia

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