"To provide students within the Fashion and Retail Studies program in the department of Consumer Sciences in the college of Education and Human Ecology with the opportunity to publicly display their abilities in garment design and construction, as well as advertising, fundraising, and special event production, culminating in a fashion design show or public exhibit at the end of the school year. This organization is open to all majors who have an interest in being part of a fashion production, but is specifically for Fashion and Retail Studies students"
Dr.Nancy Ann Rudd
I'm Dr. Nancy Ann Rudd, professor emeritus of Fashion & Retail Studies, who retired from full-time teaching in 2019. I taught fashion design, social psychology of appearance, draping, cultural dress, the design show, CAD lab courses, and graduate level courses for 40 years. (I know, hard to believe, right?) I began the design show 29 years ago as a format for our design students to showcase their original work. It outgrew our small space, and then auditorium in Campbell Hall, in auditoriums in the former Ohio Union and in Fawcett Center and other buildings on campus. Many students from outside our major were asking how to be a part of the event. So in 2007 we began the student organization, FPA, to work together with the design show practicum. That first year with our expanded design and production teams, we had 90 original designs on the runway (which, by the way, was built in the new RPAC gym since the Ohio Union was closed for remodeling -- not very elegant). We have had 28 different themes, varying wildly from such things as social topics, aesthetic movements, body image, color psychology, the circus, triumph over breast cancer, etc. And when we began the student organization, we decided that another focus of the org would be service learning -- to volunteer with a charity through service hours all year, and to have a silent auction at our event to benefit the charity. That first year, our silent auction raised $4000, which we split between breast cancer research on campus and heart research on campus.
Why do I love FPA? Well, first, because it was my baby and, just like my own 3 kids, has grown incrementally. I've invested so much time and energy into this event forever, and it is a part of my identity. Over the years, I have seen that it is also a part of the identity of so many students who have graduated and still ask me for recommendations for jobs, medical school, graduate school, or we just stay in touch. I am soooooo proud of the students every year and what they accomplish, and they grow both personally and professionally. I stepped down to co-advisor in 2019-20, which seemed like the right thing to do upon retirement. Wendy had been my co-advisor for about 7 years, and Alex was my student in the 2011 and 2012 shows, and then a co-advisor for the past 4 years. So I knew if we flipped roles, all would be good.
An interesting fact is most all my students know that purple is my favorite color, and I wear something purple every day (glasses, watch, ring, things no one sees but me, as well as outer clothing). It is my soul color and has been since I was maybe 3. It is unique, funky, and even mysterious.