Generosity drives Shark Tank Competition
As part of the Radford University Department of Design fashion curriculum, each senior crafts their own clothing line. To create the one-of-a-kind garments, students purchase their own fabrics and textiles to craft the high-quality creations.
To aid students with the purchasing of these materials, Nancy Artis ‘73 created the Shark Tank Competition, which awards two students $1,500 and $1,000 for first and second place.
The award is given to the students who present the best vision for their clothing line to the three judges, which included Artis, Meg Weddle and David O. Shanks this year. Seniors Jaimi Evans and Sian Viktoreya Brown won first and second place, respectively, on Oct. 2.
“Fashion design students are in a very competitive and expensive field. In order to be creative, they need to have the ability to sell their concepts or ideas for people to invest. That's just the nature of the business,” Artis said. “The Shark Tank Competition gives students an opportunity to actually make their senior design vision. They are able to present their clothing line to the judges, include how they would market it to their intended audience, present an actual cost analysis, say why it will be successful and why we should invest in them.”
The purpose of the Shark Tank Competition is to have the students get real-life experience and understand the market, Artis said.
Evans’ line, “Strings attached//.,” was inspired by her internship at Anna Sui, a fashion designer with a location in New York.
The clothing line uses a well-defined color palette including white, black and shades of gray.
“I narrowed it down to not be as busy. I was inspired by the weather and the clothing colors I saw when in New York,” Evans said. “I love geometric shapes, so I incorporated them into the designs where possible. I think it meshes together well.”
Evans said she hopes to gain the ability to market herself, as she wants to own her own brand.
“The experience has been eye-opening for me,” she said. “Working with others and learning how to sell my products - as well as myself – has been beneficial for me. I definitely gained insight with different ways to achieve my goals.”
Brown’s line, “Je Peux,” uses a slew of materials, including sateen, a polyester blend and a double face duchesse satin, to achieve her vision.
“When you have good quality fabrics, you're able to craft the vision that you had in mind when drafting,” Brown said. “The dependability and quality of these fabrics are long-lasting and build confidence in potential customers.”
When Brown found out that she received the award, she “was astonished.”
“Having someone else believe in your dream and believe in what you can do is something that every designer looks for,” Brown said. “We are designing for others, not just ourselves. It’s an amazing feeling that will boost the end result of my collection. It’s great to know that others have as much motivation and passion about my collection.”