Products designed by Auburn’s fashion students on sale at AU Bookstore

Published: November 04, 2016
Updated: November 07, 2016
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It's been almost a year since Alaundra Shealey won the first Student Design League contest at Auburn University. Her T-shirt design – depicting an oak tree with War Eagle cascading across it in toilet paper – was available online immediately after that November day. But on Friday, it was for sale at the Auburn University Bookstore.

"It's very surreal to me," said Shealey, speaking in front of a display featuring her design on T-shirts, bags and caps. "I can't believe that I'm standing here right now."

The Student Design League launched exclusively at Auburn in August 2015 as a partnership between the Department of Consumer and Design Sciences in Auburn's College of Human Sciences and Robin Ruth, the leading fashion brand to travelers worldwide.

Apparel merchandising and apparel design students were challenged to create the design for an Auburn-themed T-shirt and cap. A committee studied numerous designs and selected four for a weeklong public vote.

The competition gave students the opportunity to showcase their design skills to the community and get real-world experience working with brands and trademark licensing. It also promoted Auburn and supported its top-ranked Apparel Merchandising, Design and Production Management program. For every winning T-shirt sold, a portion of the proceeds went to fund scholarships for Auburn fashion students to study abroad.

Shealey's design received the majority of the more than 3,500 votes cast last year. The victory not only resulted in the production and sale of T-shirts with her popular design, but it earned her a summer internship at Robin Ruth's New York headquarters. She returned to campus in August to graduate, summa cum laude, and would like to enter Auburn's master's program in consumer and design sciences in January.

Besides Shealey's design, an Auburn football-themed design from senior Ben Hawley is also part of the display and on sale. It received the second most votes last year. For at least the next six months, the designers will be competing to earn the most sales, with the winner receiving a cash prize.

"The Student Design League is a wonderful opportunity for our students and we are happy to see it expand to include additional schools this year," said Pam Ulrich, the Under Armour Professor in the Department of Consumer and Design Sciences. "But we will always be the first because this is Auburn."

Students at five additional schools – Florida State University, University of Alabama, University of Arkansas, University of Tennessee and West Virginia University – will compete amongst themselves to determine its top designer. The six school winners will vie against each other for two coveted summer internships at Robin Ruth.

Voting on this year's designs will begin Nov. 14 and end Nov. 20 at 11:59 p.m., at www.sdlproject.com. The design earning the most votes will be announced Dec. 1.

Jablonski said the plan is to expand the Student Design League even more in 2017, with at least 15 schools involved.