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Miami stitches fashion design into curriculum

By Abbey Gingras
On February 18, 2014

Fashion lovers and aspiring "Project Runway" contestants rejoice: Miami University is now offering a minor in fashion design starting this semester thanks to the efforts of the Miami University Fashion and Design Club (MUFCD) and the campus fashion magazine UP. The minor will teach students how to create garments as well as give them runway experience and historical perspective, according the Miami University College of Creative Arts website.

Associate Dean for the College of Creative Arts Susan Ewing said for the moment, the program would focus primarily on design.

"Right now it's mainly a program for designers with some marketing courses involved, business is the next step. Since the minor is a partnership between the College of Creative Arts and the Farmer School of Business, we'd eventually like to provide courses for retail and merchandising," Susan Ewing said.

Ewing said combining the fields of art and business in the fashion minor would greatly benefit the arts program at Miami.

"All creative students need to learn how to work entrepreneurially, so the partnership makes perfect sense," Ewing said. "I know that we get a lot of inquiries in creative arts about fashion, and now we have this program that can be the tipping point to come to Miami for our arts and design."

Although faculty and students alike have been working hard to make their dream of a fashion program at Miami a reality, the question remains as to how popular the program will be.

"I think the fashion design program will be very strong here at Miami," sophomore Morgan Liddic said. "I've already heard a lot of people talk about joining. I think it's especially relevant for students in the business school who want to be involved in the fashion industry after graduation. It will definitely grow quickly,"

The minor has potential to expand Miami's art and design classes and rival the nearby powerhouse Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning program (D.A.A.P) at the University of Cincinnati. This could gain interest from students who may not have considered Miami as an option.

"Our club and program is growing faster than D.A.A.P's was a few years ago, and this course is going to continue that movement," MUCFD president and Miami senior, Chelsea Hupp, said.

The minor is available to all students, and a new intensive four-week design workshop in the Czech Republic will be offered this summer to gain six of the 19 credits necessary for the minor. Ewing and Hupp, among others, hope that within five years a major will be available to students.


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