PROFILE: Senior on Target in National Competition
Jennifer Daggy is more than a sew-sew student.
University of Cincinnati design senior Jennifer Daggy, 23, recently sewed up a big win in a national competition sponsored by the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Target Corporation.
Date: 5/26/2003 8:00:00 AM
By: Mary Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos By: Lisa Ventre
As the winning competitor, Daggy, a product development major in UC’s fashion program, was offered a paid ($35,000), one-year internship with the Design & Trend team at Target’s Minneapolis headquarters, with the chance to continue working for the firm once the year is up. She’ll begin her internship in early July.
“I’ll work in the women’s, children’s and men’s wear departments, and it’s such an exciting opportunity. The energy there at Target is unreal, and I know that I’m going to get as much out of the opportunity as possible,” said Daggy of Richmond, Ind.
As the first step in the “Target/CFDA Design Initiative” competition among 17 of the nation’s best fashion design programs, students were asked to design a 15-piece line of clothing for the junior market, women aged 18-22.
Said Daggy, “For the competition, we were not only required to design 15 pieces, but we had to designate how we would take it from initial concept to marketing to how it would be displayed on the store floor. So, we had to do sketches, cost it out and do all the follow up, including designing magazine ads. Really, to do this competition, you had to be fashion designer, product designer, graphic designer, marketer and merchandiser all in one. It’s a way for the judges to see how your school teaches and your ability to follow through on the steps and the processes to pull it all together while hitting specific price points.”
For her project, Daggy designed a denim-based clothing line she called “Blueprints.” It targets Generation Y wearers in both urban and rural environments. It’s a market that she has actually designed for thanks to her work experience during two cooperative education quarters spent in Dallas, Texas, with the juniors department of the Arizona Jean Company.
She recalled, “I did the project because I wanted the extra challenge. I was amazed to find myself a semi-finalist because I know all the best students and schools are in the competition. But, I really think I’ve received the best possible education that you can have. It’s been an amazing education at DAAP [UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning] combined with co-ops. I have a lot of respect for my school.”
Daggy was one of 10 national semi-finalists selected by New York designers, thus, winning $1,000. Three of these semi-finalists were selected as finalists and traveled to Minneapolis in early April for multiple interviews with Target representatives. Daggy recalled that she interviewed with eight different Target designers and other employees from noon to 6 p.m. on April 3. She left the interviews feeling good about the day. “I felt confident presenting myself to others even though I knew that schools from bigger cities, like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, had been represented in the competition,” she explained. “And if felt even better to accomplish something like that [her win] against schools on the coasts.”
Daggy’s teacher, Phyllis Borcherding, assistant professor of design, explained that the contest allows leaders in the fashion industry as well as Target to look at the work of rising talent, see the direction that young fashion designers are taking while also giving students a chance to gain more experience and develop their talent.
Before finding out about her win, Daggy had thought to live and work in Dallas after her graduation in June. Of course, now her plans are changed. “It’s taking a little time to switch my mind frame from where I realistically figured to be going – Dallas – to now going to Minneapolis. I have to switch gears. It’s challenging, but it’s a fun challenge.”
The schools participating in the Target/CFDA competition were:
- The University of Cincinnati
- Parsons School of Design, New York City
- Philadelphia University
- The Art Institute of Chicago
- Fashion Institute of Technology, New York City
- Cornell University, Ithaca NY
- Pratt Institute, New York City
- Rhode Island School of Design
- Washington University, St. Louis
- Otis College of Art and Design
- Savannah College of Art and Design
- Drexel University, Philadelphia
- Kent State University
- Academy of Art College, San Francisco
- Marist College, Poughkeepsie NY
- Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia
- Syracuse University
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