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Hea Joo Lee

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Top-ranked in Michigan, CMU's Fashion Merchandising and Design program is gaining international acclaim, as well. Just ask Hea Joo (Yvonne) Lee, a mater's student in the apparel development and merchandising design program. She says a professor in South Korea suggested she check out CMU because of its robust use of technology.

"I'm focused on the design side, but our program offers everything," says Yvonne, who's made use of that technology for Threads collections and functional design pieces. 

Kinetic art. Yvonne is inspired by any art—from music to movies to fashions—that contains movement perceivable by the viewer or is somehow dependent on motion. For Threads 2014, Yvonne used three works from Alexander Rodchenko, one of the founders of constructivism, to bring her own designs to stage. 

Functional design. In addition to creating pieces that reflect her artistic worldview, Yvonne is working on thesis project where she'll design better scrub jackets for nurses. "I want to create a practical jacket that's based on the functional design process," she says.

From academia to the Academy. Yvonne hopes to pursue a PhD with the goal of landing a job at a university. At the same time, she wants to stay involved with costume design, perhaps someday seeing some of her clothes on the big screen. ​​

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