Alumna Amanda Schardt, ’05, returned to Meredith College to talk about her work in the fashion industry on August 22, 2013, in an event sponsored by the Meredith Fashion Association (MFA).
Schardt serves as director of development for the Los Angeles-based clothing brand Paper Crown. Learn more about Paper Crown here: paper-crown.com.
“I oversee all concept, development, sampling, merchandising, production and marketing / branding materials,” Schardt said about her work with Paper Crown. “My background is in high-end contemporary brands, and I am used to having oversight and input in every area.”
Schardt offered advice to students who want to work in the fashion industry. Among her recommendations were to take classes outside of your area of interest in order to broaden your experience, and to not be afraid to fail.
“I would encourage all the students to dream big and commit to putting in the effort and ethics to achieve them,” Schardt said. “I feel most proud of remaining true to myself in an industry and a city that can often challenge those values.”
Schardt also advised students to participate in opportunities outside of required coursework, such as studying abroad with the fashion program in Paris, and volunteering with The Cinderella Project, an annual MFA drive to collect and distribute prom dresses.
"There are so many opportunities in fashion," Schardt said. "Figure out your strengths while in school and in those first few years after graduation."
Schardt said the variety offered by Meredith’s fashion program helped her build on her strengths.
“The ability to study both a business or merchandising core as well as the creative component of design in the classroom is such an opportunity,” Schardt said. “I know that personally, being able to focus any business or merchandising classes with the application towards design enabled me to have a more solid foundation for my career than a typical design school. My strengths may be tailored more to business, but I was able to develop them creatively.”
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