Fashion students perfect fit with tech company
Call it a made-to-order partnership.
Columbus College of Art & Design Fashion Design students recently paired up with central Ohio online retailer This One Dress to create a new design for the company’s customers.
This One Dress, founded by Michele Bergamesca and Diane Bean, produces made-to-order dresses with customizable length, sleeves, neckline, and color. The company currently offers three styles of dresses: an A-line, an empire waist, and a fit-and-flare. And now, thanks to its partnership with the students in CCAD’s Advanced Pattern class, the company will add a shift style to its lineup on thisonedress.com in 2020.
“We loved working with the CCAD students because they brought such fresh ideas and creativity to our new dress silhouette,” says Bean.
The students, she says, “really saw our vision for our new style and embraced it! They have such bright futures ahead--we were lucky to work with them!”
Brooke Robertson’s design was selected by Bergamesca and Bean in December 2019 to be produced and sold online. The recognition was especially meaningful to her because in the past, she struggled with making patterns and precisely sewing them together.
“I worked so hard to make this dress as exactly what I wanted from the first sketch, and having someone like This One Dress recognize that made me so much more confident in myself and my work,” says Robertson (Fashion Design, 2021).
“When This One Dress had said they wanted a new shift dress silhouette, I immediately looked up different princess lines, pockets, and necklines that I could include to make mine different from the styles I’ve seen on existing shift dresses,” she says. “I found one that inspired me to have seams from the middle of the neck down to the side seam pockets. That made the illusion of a proportionate body shape that This One Dress is looking for.”
“It’s always interesting to see what our students come up with within the constraints of an assignment. And it’s even more so exciting when their completed work will be produced on a greater scale, and for a traditionally underserved group of customers,” says Associate Professor Suzanne Cotton, Chair of Fashion Design. “It was a fun challenge for our students to work closely with the women behind This One Dress to create a design that could be reproducible with their made-to-order technology. Brooke’s design makes clever use of seams to provide a unique spin on the classic sheath dress. Her look has a flattering, body-conscious silhouette that suits a range of body types, including the plus-size customers that This One Dress aims to serve with this new design.”
“Having professors like Ms. Cotton who are so willing to help you through issues with your work and who care so much about your success makes what you want to do with your career so much more achievable,” says Robertson. “I appreciated her giving us students this fun opportunity! I loved being able to get a little sense of how the fashion business works, to create something for a customer but also put my style into a garment and make it work so well to actually produce the product. It wasn't so much about getting the final grade, but offering something that the company would love!”