CCAD Fashion Design students win in style

Fashion Design, Three students pose in front of blue lighted wall

CCAD Fashion Design students MollyKate Cline, Alanta Slone, and Natalia Monserrate


A trio of Columbus College of Art & Design Fashion Design students each brought home $5,000 scholarships from the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund.

The awards, announced in December 2016, were celebrated in January 2017 at the 80th annual Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship Awards Dinner in Manhattan, which raised more than $3.5 million for the organization that awarded $1.3 million in scholarships to students from more than 50 colleges and universities this year.

Students in the scholarship competition were tasked with a case study: create a product line befitting a partnership between Etsy and Macy’s. They were judged both on their designs and on their business plans, which included a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis.

In addition to the scholarship funds, students received a trip to New York City to attend the award gala.

“For the students, it really offers opportunities even above and beyond the scholarship money,” said Suzanne Cotton, Chair of Fashion Design. “They also have the opportunity to meet companies and get help securing internships and jobs.”

Cotton said CCAD’s conversion rate of entries to winners (five entries, three winners) was one of the highest of all the participating schools. “It really made me happy, and I was so proud to go to New York with the ladies,” she said.

Cotton also credited Elaine Luttrull, Department Head of Business & Entrepreneurship, with helping the students in creating the SWOT analyses and conducting business research for their plans.

“Without her, we would probably not have done so well,” Cotton said.

Below, the three scholarship winners talk about what the win means for them:


Natalia Monserrate

Fashion Design, Image of Natalia smiling, facing slightly away from camera with a busy street full of people in the background

Fashion Design, Black long sleeve jumpsuit on mannequin with gold accents and details

Natalia Monserrate (Fashion Design, 2018) came to CCAD from Puerto Rico and said her favorite thing about Fashion Design at CCAD is “how personal it is.”

“Being a small department permits professors to go out of their way to make sure students have great resources and a wide variety of skills," she said. "The years I have spent at CCAD have not only helped me define my skillset, but have also taught me to constantly push myself to do more than what I have already achieved."

For her entry, Monserrate envisioned a unisex denim jacket that could be adorned with a limited quantity of collectible patches, with new designs released every six weeks.

The YMA scholarship will fund Monserrate’s collection for next year’s Senior Fashion Show.

The weekend in New York was great because it permitted me to meet new people and see what they are doing in the fashion design field,” said Monserrate.

And the job fair, which featured more than 30 companies reviewing portfolios and discussing internships with juniors and seniors, was promising, too.

I talked to a few of the companies and although I don't know if I got an internship yet, I am hopeful that something good will come out of it,” said Monserrate, who said her dream is to become a costume designer for film and theater.

Find Monserrate on Instagram here.


Alanta Slone

Fashion Design, Headshot of Alanta in brown coat with black and white striped scarf, facing camera not smiling, in front of white brick wall

Fashion Design, Image of sketchbook on table cluttered with pens and paper, sketchbook features black and white sketch of floral fashion design on faceless model


Sophomore Alanta Slone (Fashion Design, 2019) went “for the young and soulful” in her scholarship entry. “I chose to design chokers and tried to stay away from the sleek, more sexy-looking chokers,” she said. “I was extremely inspired by the Victorian era with lace, pearls, and corsets.”

The scholarship will help fund Slone’s studies at CCAD and perhaps study abroad. After graduation, she would like to eventually open a boutique “but I want to start in the industry and gain experience first,” she said.

To that end, the Slone reached out to a number of companies at the internship fair connected with the scholarship and has signed up for a sophomore program with Kohl’s.

The New York event was “amazing and inspiring,” said Slone. “My biggest takeaway from it is probably all the feedback I got from people in the industry. One of the speakers at the awards gala reminded us that it is all about inspiring others, and I think that is a big thing people forget sometimes and I definitely felt inspired by all the other scholars."

Find Slone on Instagram here.


MollyKate Cline

Fashion Design, Headshot of MollyKate in floral racing jacket, body facing away from camera smiling, against a white background

Fashion Design,  Blonde model in gold dress with tasseled hem with flowing white cape walking pink runway carpet

Columbus native MollyKate Cline (Fashion Design, 2020) was one of eight college freshman to receive the scholarship recognition.

Although she’s only been at CCAD for a semester, Cline said she’s already learned about the importance of keeping a fashion journal, mood boarding, and gathering more inspiration before making a collection.

And, she said, she’s appreciated her access to hands-on tools and resources.

“Between the dye lab, fabric printer, and laser cutter, I know during my time here that I will create some pretty exciting projects,” she said.

Cline’s case study focused on customizable unisex garments; the award money will help support her in studying abroad. That’s no small matter for Cline, who said of her post-graduation plans, “I would like to move to Paris and hopefully grow my clothing brand into an international name. … With a double minor in business and photography, I’m hoping to gain all of the skill sets needed to successfully run my own clothing business.”

Cline called the time in New York “absolutely incredible.” In addition to the awards dinner (that saw them rub elbows with the likes of Martha Stewart, Kellan Lutz, and Michael Strahan), the students toured Kohl’s design headquarters, discussed money management, received advice from mentors.

Said Cline, “My biggest takeaway was the importance of networking and making connections. The fashion industry is smaller than you think!”

Find Cline on Instagram here.


Learn more about CCAD or apply here.