Volume 24 · Number 3 · Spring 2007
In the Industry
Graduates of UC Davis’ fashion design and textiles and clothing programs have gone on to succeed in many areas of the fashion and textile industries. Here’s a sample.
Julie Weston ’78 started her own contemporary clothing design company, Weston Wear, 26 years ago in San Francisco. Still based in the Bay Area, the company sells clothing to such clients as Nordstrom, Anthropologie and Macy's, as well as to small boutiques across America, Canada and Japan. Weston Wear has a retail store on Valencia Street in San Francisco’s mission district that features the Weston Wear line as well as other contemporary lines and accessories and jewelry from local designers. For more information, visit www.westonwear.com.
Pat Slaven, M.S. ’92, has been working for Consumer Reports since 1995. She started with the publication’s chemical and textiles department and is now the senior project leader in the appliance department, testing washing machines, dryers, stain removers and the like. Slaven also provided technical background and wrote stain removal guides for the book How to Clean Practically Anything (Consumer Reports Books). In doing public relations for the book, she appeared on Oprah and Good Morning America. She recently took on a new position as the technology liaison for Consumer Report’s new shopping magazine for women, ShopSmart.
Timothy Leung ’97 works for Gap Inc. at the company’s New York City design headquarters as a technical designer for men’s woven outerwear. He interprets designer sketches and engineers garments that reflect the designer’s vision, silhouette and aesthetic. Leung travels to overseas factories to ensure that the garments meet expectations. He is also the bassist for the rock band “Har Ik Zehr,” which released a self-titled CD in November. The band’s name means “every single poison” in Urdu. Their music is a fusion of Urdu and English lyrics, Latin rhythms and rock.
Susan (Kim) Glynn ’94 runs the apparel division at Ariat International, the leading performance footwear and apparel brand for equestrian athletes. She oversees product development, quality and sourcing. When Glynn joined five years ago, the company had about five styles in line, all sourced domestically. Now, her division carries over 200 styles produced in seven countries from Mexico to Thailand, and the overall apparel business has grown 2000 percent.
Tanya Washington ’06 is a technical designer for St. John Knits’ Couture Division in Irvine. She works closely with the creative designers to make their illustrations a reality—a job that requires a strong understanding of garment construction, attention to detail, creative problem-solving and teamwork. “It's an amazing experience because not only am I absorbing and being involved in every aspect of the fashion industry, but I get to follow each garment I put into work through its entire process and see its final outcome,” she says.
Eileen Mockus '89 is the sourcing director for PB Teen, one of the Pottery Barn brands that is owned by Williams-Sonoma Inc. She is responsible for managing the vendor and agent relationships for PB Teen while meeting the needs of the business. She has been working for Pottery Barn for the past seven years and was part of the early years for both Pottery Barn Kids and PB Teen. Mockus works with other UC Davis graduates from both the Textiles and Clothing and Design programs. Before joining Pottery Barn, she worked in product development and fabric development for Moonstone Mountain Euipment, Merchandise Testing Laboratories, The North Face, Esprit and Patagonia. In 1999, Eileen received an MSBA from San Francisco State University with a focus on entrepreneurship.
Alexandra Reese ’05 is a design and production assistant for Proenza Schouler, a women’s designer label based in New York City. She worked on the line presented at New York Fashion Week in February and is currently preparing sketches and choosing trims for the spring 2008 collection. Reese also recently traveled to Paris with the line’s head designers to select fabrics for the upcoming season. Proenza Schouler sells to such stores such as Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Barneys, and most recently designed a new collection for Target.
Jennifer Langeberg ’80 has been working nearly 25 years as a costume designer for major production shows. For 17 years, she worked on Charles Schulz’s Peanuts ice show, creating about 250 costumes for 20 different shows. Many of these designs and sketches were recently on exhibition at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa. Langeberg has also designed costumes for the opening ceremony of the Atlanta Olympics, various Las Vegas shows, cruise line productions and television series. She currently lives in Bakersfield.
Robyn Fujii ’02 is currently in her second year as an associate production manager for the Gymboree Corp. She communicates with agents to ensure the company has a quality product at the right cost with a timely delivery. “I absolutely love it!” Fujii says. “My experience in the UC Davis textiles and clothing program has been a tremendous influence in my career path today.”
Ellen Hauptli ’73 designs and fabricates simple, elegant clothing crafted individually and sturdily for women of all ages and sizes, and sells them to a handful of small shops in California, Arizona and New Mexico. With a variety of fabrics, the Berkeley resident uses a traditional respect for geometric shapes to achieve form and fit, all with her signature thread-bound seams and edges. Hauptli says she strives to create clothing that visually, sensually and spiritually pleases and that complements and enhances the wearer’s personality and goals.
E. Kaino Hopper
As an undergraduate, E. Kaino Hopper ’06 studied the fashion needs of businesswomen who sit all day either in a wheelchair or an office chair and discovered a remarkable overlap in their fashion needs. She developed a line of clothing that uses elongated openings and hidden zippers for easy dressing, a reverse turtleneck that buttons a scarf in place and waistlines adapted for comfortable sitting. After graduation, Hopper launched an Internet company, www.ekaino.com, to make her designs immediately available to women worldwide, and plans on expanding the business. Whereas some designers fear that others will copy their original designs, Hopper hopes to inspire other designers to include similar functional features so that disabled women can shop where everyone else does.