Kristine Opaleski
Kristine Opaleski

Apparel Merchandising and Design

Hometown: Saline, Mich.

Meet Kristine, an apparel merchandising and design major who has done three internships in her field: one in Detroit, one in New York City and one in Paris. Kristine even had the opportunity to work Paris Fashion Week while she worked across the pond.

Kristine’s original designs, inspired by “The Lion King,” won Collection of the Year in the 2013 Threads Fashion Show at CMU. “Threads is a lot of work, but it’s entirely rewarding. There’s a lot of sleepless nights, and occasionally some tears, but in the end it’s so incredible to have a collection that is your personality personified in clothing.”

Starting with a sketch. “I looked at different design programs across the state, and it became clear to me that CMU had a very strong program. I was offered scholarships from art schools across the country, but I turned them down to come here. The program and the work the students are doing here are incredible.”

From sketches to design. “Fashion is something I’m extremely passionate about. Every day when I’m in class I enjoy it because I know I’m creating something beautiful.”

Confidence on the runway. “My designs have improved significantly since I interned in New York City and studied abroad in Paris. The most exciting thing to me now is that I look at some of my pieces and I truly feel as though they are perfect.”



CMU students designing their futures

Highlights of the apparel merchandising and design program include:

  • Course work and hands-on experiences offered in state-of the-art facilities, including computer-aided design laboratories, textile testing laboratory and apparel production laboratory.
  • The only university in Michigan to have a body scanner to custom design clothing and the only environmental chamber in the state that can test clothing in a climate-controlled environment.
  • Opportunities to receive credit for taking selected courses at New York City's Fashion Institute of Technology, the American College in London, the Paris American Academy and other institutions.

For more information, visit the College of Education and Human Services website.​​​​​