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Showing school spirit with professional collegiate wear

Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textile logo.

More than 1,000 WSU women, including alumni, faculty, and regents, joined WSU First Lady Noel Schulz and students in the Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles to create new spirit attire that enables professional women of every shape and size to show their Cougar colors with pride.

The clothing that sprang from their partnership will be available for purchase at the WSU CUB store in Pullman.

A need for options

Last fall, teams of AMDT juniors competed to design professional clothing with collegiate flair for women over 30, including plus sizes.

The competition began with an idea from WSU First Lady Noel Schulz. Newly arrived from Kansas State, and needing to swap her purple Kansas wardrobe for crimson and gray, Schulz noticed a gap in the market.

“There are few professional clothing options for women over 30, outside of game day attire,” said Debbie Christel, the AMDT assistant professor who led the class.

The numbers speak for themselves: More than a thousand women took part in an online survey crafted by the students to share their clothing needs.

“People really embraced it,” said Schulz.

“If you’re wearing Cougar colors, we want you to feel proud,” said Kaisha Bauer, a design and merchandising major on the first-place team, whose Chanel jacket is now available at the CUB.

“Most people have to work for years before that happens,” said Christel. “Our students are real designers now.”

WSU First Lady Noel Schulz with Jenny Chan, Kaisha Bauer, and Leah Schwallie.
Members of AMDT’s winning student design team. From left, Jenny Chan, Kaisha Bauer, and Leah Schwallie, worked with WSU First Lady Noel Schulz to create spirit wear for professional women that will now be sold at the Compton Union Building on the WSU Pullman campus.