ISU Fashion Show: Where are they now?


Tiffany Herring/Iowa State Daily

Models walk the runway during The Fashion Show on April 4, 2014 at Stephens Auditorium. The pieces in the show were created by Iowa State students and the show featured 92 different looks.

Anna Chandler

As Iowa State’s apparel, events and hospitality management program embarks on its 33rd annual ISU Fashion Show, the opportunity arises for students, parents and faculty members to see the hours of work put in by students throughout the year.

As Iowa State’s largest student run organization, The Fashion Show has provided a professional atmosphere to prepare participants for a “big-time” environment.

Each year, a select few receive scholarships and prestigious awards are handed out by a panel of guest judges who are active in the apparel industry. When the show ends and these former participants enter the working world, admirers often wonder where these ISU graduates found their niche in the world of fashion.

JoAnna Sudbeck, a 2004 graduate of apparel, merchandising and design is now in her 10th year as a senior designer at JCPenney. Sudbeck described her experience with The Fashion Show as “fun practice”. She is now able to use what she learned as a participant in The Fashion Show while planning and implementing fashion shows for store leaders of JCPenney.

“Learning about how a show ran helped me for when I would put together fashion shows for my job now,” Sudbeck said.

While directing a committee, Sudbeck also won first place in the “Formalwear” division in 2003, her junior year at Iowa State.

“Any time you can practice leadership skills it will help you in the real world,” Sudbeck said.

Even with her busy schedule working for JCPenney, Sudbeck is able to find time to come back with her company and speak to underclassmen. She also recruits for internships.

Like Sudbeck, Hannah Osterman was lucky enough to see both sides of the show while designing garments and holding a role as a committee member. Osterman attended Iowa State from 2004 to 2008 as an apparel, merchandising and design major with an emphasis in creative design.

Osterman received “Best in Show” and first place in “Seeing your Collection” for her senior line in 2008. Now focusing on her busy schedule as a suit designer for Talbots in Manhattan, Osterman has not found time to get back to the university since graduation, but she said she is certainly able to put what she learned from The Fashion Show into real life situations.

“It was a great boost to my confidence as a designer and it also served as a collaboration getting to be involved with people in my major,” Osterman said.

Kristine Ennen, 2004 graduate in apparel, merchandising and design, had the opportunity to co-produce The Fashion Show her senior year.

“Working as a producer taught me so much about show production, time management, event planning and certainly grew my confidence,” Ennen said.

Along with producing the show, Ennen submitted garments and won an award that had been sponsored by the previous show producers. She now resides in Ankeny and works as a senior graphic designer for Tailgate Clothing, a company that designs, manufactures and sells classic collegiate licensed apparel.

While Ennen uses the skills she obtained from Iowa State, she also keeps in contact with, and works alongside, two of the women she collaborated with throughout The Fashion Show. 

“I try to get back to ISU for football and basketball games as often as possible, too,” Ennen said. 

Brice Pattison, a 2006 graduate, is busy working as a design director for alumnus Todd Snyder in New York City. Pattison studied business management and creative design during his time at Iowa State. Differing from others, his experience for The Fashion Show began merely as a model for friends’ collections in 2004 and 2005.

In 2006, Pattison submitted his own collection. Residing in Manhattan, Pattison uses the information and techniques he learned at Iowa State leading a design team for a high end fashion designer.

Whether their role in The Fashion Show was as a model, committee member or designer, each graduate leads successful careers in the fashion industry. As with being involved in any club on campus, The Fashion Show helps students gain professional experience such as time management, communication and working with others. Many attribute their success after graduation to the skills they learned while being involved with The ISU Fashion Show.