Fashion School: Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Future Fashion Professional: Sarah Indahl
Major: Apparel Merchandising and Fashion Design; Minor in Business
Graduation Year: 2012
Hometown: Washington, IN
NIF: Why fashion? Why fashion design specifically?
SI: What you wear is who you are, you can be anyone you wish. It’s like when you were younger..playing dress up-only now you have to pay bills. Fashion design is challenging, it makes you want to see what is going to happen next in terms of what risks people are willing to take to express themselves.
NIF: When/how did you first realize you had a passion for fashion?
SI: My passion for fashion first hit me while sitting in my 5th grade class. Because I had a boring teacher, I quickly found a new appreciation for a sketch book.
I began to study what people wore to school every day and started drawing clothes…and BAM! I wanted to be a fashion designer
NIF: What is your favorite element of the fashion industry? (ex: product, designer, career, store…)
SI: I love it all… especially the finished products on the runway, the high energy completely makes up for all those sleepless nights of patternmaking, sewing, etc. I greatly admire designers who break the norm, who aren’t afraid to take big risks such as Martin Margiela and John Galliano.
NIF: What is your proudest accomplishment thus far in your life?
SI: Designing my very first collection in 6 hours…that was one night I’ll never forget.
NIF: What are the top 3 reasons you chose to attend this school and would you recommend this school to someone looking to eventually work in the fashion industry?
- FIT rejected me Big Mistake!
- It’s only 63 minutes away from home… meaning I can do laundry FREE!
- I realized that I would be among only 48 fashion design students as opposed to a design school with 500+
NIF: Would you recommend this school to someone looking to go into fashion?
SI: Most def! The fashion design classes here are small and eventually everyone knows your name and wants to collaborate with you for design projects.
NIF: What courses in your major have you found to be most valuable?
SI: Portfolio class! …Textiles is pretty much amazing too, and of course Costume History Love them all though.
NIF: Besides your courses, what have you done to expand your knowledge and passion for fashion?
SI: I have quite the little fashion library…I am constantly referring back to them when I design. I may start volunteering at the Sage Costume Collection here at IU, which consists of over 25,000 historical pieces. I am saving an internship for my Senior year.
NIF: Does your school offer internship connections/ assistance in finding internships? Can you receive credit?
SI: Each semester there are workshops for students interested in the apparel industry where they may apply for internships/jobs and there are numerous advisors who can assist with finding the right one for you. With some internships you may receive credit; others, not so much.
NIF: What unique features does your school offer that other fashion schools may not?
SI: Most schools that deal exclusively with teaching a profession such as fashion design do not go in-depth..they teach you what you need to know and that only, whereas here at IU you learn what you need to know and then some. Since this is a research school, they want you to go further with what you wish to pursue as a career.
NIF: What advice would you give to someone hoping to attend this school in your major?
SI: Always be willing to go above and beyond that of your peers to show your teachers how serious you are about becoming a designer. Start a design journal ASAP! …and sketch like there’s no tomorrow.
NIF: What is the best advice you have been given concerning a future in the fashion industry?
SI: Make sure there is something about what you design that sets you apart from everyone else, you will be remembered for it.
NIF: Does your school host any fashion events (fashion shows, networking conferences,etc.)?
SI: There are quite a few prominent speakers from East coast schools who give lectures at IU, and the Seniors have fashion shows at the end of the year.
NIF: What is next for you and what is your ultimate dream career?
SI: I am not quite certain what is going to happen tomorrow or the next day, but ideally I would love to find an internship with a well established design label and perhaps start my own someday.
NIF: Thank you Sarah for sharing your experience with NIF!
**If you have any questions for Sarah, please leave a note for her in the comment box below.
To find out more about the fashion programs at Indiana University visit: CLICK HERE