Zachary Stoner graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in Fashion Merchandising and Design in 2016. He now works at the WRK Shop, a menswear design company in New York City, where he is currently designing pieces for fashion powerhouse Vince Camuto.
Zach credits the unique experiences he had as a fashion student at CMU for the opportunities he's received both before and after graduation.
We caught up with Zach to chat about success, education and the ever-changing fashion industry.
CMU: How did your experience at Central help prepare you for your future career?
ZS: CMU has multiple unique opportunities, such as the 3D printing course, that help develop students into professional creatives. The cutting-edge technology offers a new dimension to students, integrating technology into both the ideology and implementation of design.
CMU: How did the faculty at CMU help you transition to the professional world?
ZS: They allowed me to broaden my skills and to tailor the FMD major to meet my specific needs and professional goals. The faculty continue to offer support and advice after graduation, and have played an immense role in my current personal and professional lifestyle.
CMU: What advice would you give a young professional starting out in the fashion industry?
ZS: They need to be self driven and distinguish themselves from the many surrounding creatives. This separation of oneself is seen not only in the aesthetic of the designs but also in the work ethic and attitude of the individual. Students should present themselves and maintain an attitude matching that of the brand or part of the industry of which they strive to pursue.
CMU: What is one thing students interested in the FMD program at CMU should know?
ZS: Your experience is what you make for yourself by utilizing the resources available. CMU has many available resources often untouched by a majority of students. Discover these assets of the program by questioning the known and developing a curiosity to explore deeper than the surface.
The Fashion Merchandising and Design program at CMU helped Zach put his stamp on the world.
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