Assistant professor and researcher
At the intersection of apparel and athletics, Debbie Christel’s research explores the best design methods for diverse body types– specifically for athletes classified as obese.
Utilizing cutting-edge technology and a 3-D body scanner, 400 customized light points provide her with data to enable her to design clothing that provides confidence, comfort, and enhances athletic performance.
Her research is rooted in the belief that everyone deserves equal access to high quality clothing. She works primarily with improving apparel design for plus size female athletes and football lineman.
Any sports psychologist can tell you that when athletic clothing fits better, the athlete performs better, says Christel. Applying hard science to design, her ultimate goal is to provide clothing that makes people feel good, inside and out and helps them stay motivated to exercise.
In her courses, Christel requires each student to complete a project that is designed for the plus size market. She points out that designers don’t design for the form; they design for the demographic in the market. As a professor, she wants to ensure students are talented, compassionate, and educated designers.