Claudia Geissler '16 will be very busy this summer.
The only student to receive both the 2015 Penny Fox Internship Fellowship Award and theFrieda Fehrenbacher International Travel Fellowship, Geissler will spend the first half of her summer in New York City and the other half in Europe.
Geissler, a Fashion Design junior with a double minor in Textiles and Business, is also the first Moore intern at MILLY in NYC, a contemporary women’s brand by designer Michelle Smith, featuring bold designs with a feminine edge.
Veronica Scarpellino in Moore’s Locks Career Center said that Smith has a fond affection for Moore, having taken classes here during high school through the Young Artists Workshop.
“I wanted to work at MILLY because their aesthetic really inspires me,” Geissler said. “They are very innovative; use a lot of eye-catching, graphic prints-- something which caught my attention being a textiles minor-- and use bold colors. I want to do women’s wear, but it’s nice to know they have other opportunities, like children’s wear, resort wear, swimwear, and accessories.”
She ultimately believes her portfolio is what helped her stand out with the company, as she has been sewing and quilting with her mother since the age of eight. She will be doing a lot of sewing for her internship and will also be rotating through the marketing and production departments.
“I believe the Business minor helped me get the internship rather quickly,” she said. “I get to utilize everything I’ve learned here at Moore. I’ve been watching the company since sophomore year. They have always seemed like the perfect fit.”
For her Travel Fellowship, Geissler will spend August backpacking through London, Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Berlin and Stuttgart (in Germany). She will photograph modern, geometric architecture against the background of historical architecture and capture “the tension” between them. She plans to use the photographs and reinterpret them into laser cutting files to make textiles for her senior collection next year.
“I have wanted to go to Europe for a while and the opportunity presented itself with the fellowship, so I went for it,” she said. “I started using the laser cutter for my resort wear this year and I was impressed with how well it turned out and I want to utilize it and make a collection out of it.”
Geissler will open this year’s Spring Fashion Show: An Evening at The Barnes as part of the junior class “resort wear” collection, combining men’s and women’s swimwear for the first time.
She is one of only two fashion students this year (Katie Magno ’15 being the other) using the laser cutter in Moore’s Fabrication Lab to create her garments. “I learned how to use it last semester and I really liked the process and thought it was a really innovative tool,” she said. “I always strive to be innovative with my work.”
Geissler has always loved sewing, but didn’t gravitate towards fashion design until high school, when she entered a Jo-Ann Fabric competition to design and create her own prom gown. This sparked her interest in the fashion industry, in addition to placing first in fashion design at the Technology Student Association (TSA) Delaware State Competition in 2012 and Top 10 in Fashion Design at the TSA National Competition in Nashville, TN later that year.
After attending the Summer Art & Design Institute at Moore, Geissler realized fashion design was what she wanted to do as a career. She hopes to work for a company that does women's wear and runway shows in the future.
“I loved the school and the program,” she said. “Moore has well prepared me. I really like all the opportunities that we get here.”
Geissler has previously interned with CollegeFashionista as a 'Style Guru' capturing and writing about campus fashion. Through the connections she made at Moore, Geissler also assisted at several area fashion shows. And last summer, she created fashions for PC Network, Inc.’s booth at the 2014 Women’s Business Enterprise National Council’s National Conference and Business Fair in Philadelphia. The fashions reflected PCN’s innovative brand as a woman-owned technology infrastructure services company and the overall fashion and technology concept PCN dreamed up for their exhibit.
“I’ve had great exposure to the industry and have gained a lot of experience to put on my resume, which probably also aided in my getting the internship,” she said. Having a double minor didn’t hurt her chances either. Although she doesn’t plan to start her own business directly out of college, she said it’s important to know the basics of running a business when working for a company.
“I wanted to get the most out of my education,” she said.
As for her summer fellowships, Geissler is chomping at the bit to get going. She realizes what an incredible opportunity lies ahead of her.
“These fellowships are incredible,” she said. “It really allows students who take initiative to grasp opportunities they have been dreaming about. Not many people apply and follow through. It was a lot of work in addition to my studies, but it was definitely worth it.”
Check out Claudia's Behance page to view her work