Chantel Booker, a Michigan State University senior majoring in apparel and textile design, was one of just 21 students from 15 schools across the nation to earn an all-expenses-paid, once-in-a-lifetime trip to New York Fashion Week. She received VIP behind-the-scenes access to fashion houses and some of the most prestigious events in the fashion industry.
During their time in New York, the students attended networking dinners, interviewed Elaine Welteroth, former editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, and even met Tyler Mitchell, the photographer for Beyoncé’s September 2018 issue of Vogue. They also visited the corporate offices for Victoria’s Secret PINK and Macy’s.
"This opportunity has allowed me to take part in such an amazing experience," Booker said. "I was able to learn and witness so many things that will definitely have a positive impact on my future as a designer. I feel like I'm one step closer to where I dreamed of being."
Booker was the only student from MSU selected for the New York Fashion Week trip, sponsored IMG College Licensing, upon winning the Spartan Fashion Design Collection Competition. For the contest, students were asked to design a piece of apparel that represented what they felt makes MSU an outstanding university.
“My answer to this was MSU’s community makes it great. Our community is made up of people from so many diverse backgrounds,” said Booker, who used a heavyweight black fabric for her dress to “represent how the members of the community can come together and rise above our past and be stronger.”
MSU’s Apparel and Textile Design Program, Booker said, has allowed her to design in a way that enhances and expands her creative ability in ways that I never knew I could. She credits associate professor Theresa Winge and academic specialist Rebecca Schuiling with helping to push her out of her comfort zone, ultimately allowing her to secure a spot at New York Fashion Week.
"I honestly feel that without Dr. Theresa Winge and Rebecca Schuiling, I definitely would not be the designer I am today," Booker said. "They always make themselves available and offer advice and critiques when I need it. Their selflessness goes beyond what most professors provide and for that I am forever grateful.”