Apparel Students Learn Through Project with VF Corporation
The challenge: Look at one of two different clothing items currently produced and sold by VF Corporation and propose a design improvement.
Sounds simple? Think again. Students in the Textile Products Production Management course were given this challenge as part of a hands-on project partnership with VF Corporation. Students learned that suggesting a change meant considering every cut of fabric, stitch, button, or accent that goes into a product. They had to provide rationale for the change and address how the materials, production, pricing, and marketing would be affected. They had to test ideas, and learn how to adapt when initial concepts proved unworkable. They learned through experience what it takes to turn suggestions into commercially-viable solutions.
“As a UNCG CARS Alumni, class of 2011, I understand how important it is to bridge the gap between the industry and class theory. This project provided a unique opportunity to benefit both the students and VF. While the students received first hand exposure to our company, processes, and job roles, we were able to see the talent growing in Greensboro by the students’ innovative design solutions,” said Kerrie Rogers, Patternmaker at VF Jeanswear.
“Working with VF gave me insight into the realities of apparel production and a look into future jobs and positions in the apparel design industry,” said senior Rachel Singleton. This hands-on experience allowed me to relate what we learn in our classes here at UNCG to procedures and jobs within the industry and understand the importance of the curriculum and how it will be used at our jobs in the future.”
Senior Jessica Perry agreed, “In terms of our project with VF, our eyes were opened to exactly what goes on every day in the apparel industry. It is so different when you’re one person who makes a garment from start to finish compared to actually being in a company that produces a wide range of garments with multiple functions and attributes.”
Both students emphasized how welcoming, supportive, and helpful their contacts in VF were throughout the project.
“In my opinion, this collaboration between our Product Development/Pattern Teams and the CARS students generated a lot of energy and some really great ideas that will definitely be shared with our design teams,” said Chattie McGill, Senior Product Development Manager with VF Jeanswear. “The students talked about how much they gained, but I hope they realize the profound influence they had on us as well. The future is definitely bright in ‘Jeansboro’ USA!”