Sleep was the last thing on Amanda Plummer’s mind in late July as she waited for one of the most exciting phone calls of her life.
The 2016 Fashion Design graduate had applied for the Creative Knitwear Design Masters Program in Italy, and that was the day she would find out whether she got in.
“I mistakenly told them to call me around 1 pm their time, so it was around 5 am my time, and I was up half the night, nervous I’d miss the phone call,” said Amanda. “But I got the call and they told me it was a unanimous decision from the selection committee for accepting me.”
The program selects only 10 students each year from all over the world. Amanda will fly from Salt Lake City, Utah, first to study in San Martino in Rio, in the region of Emilia Romagna, from October to April. Then she’ll go to Rome to the Accademia Costume & Moda from April to June.
“I was one of the top ten accepted, so they will be sponsoring my collection at the end of the program,” she said. Amanda says her portfolio was the key to her being accepted into the program, and she credits faculty members Danny Noble, Colleen Moretz and Lorraine Beckett.
The course is taught in Italian and English.
"I'm currently practicing Italian with a few online programs, and I'm watching a lot of Italian TV to get used to the speed at which most people speak," she said.
Amanda will have the opportunity to learn about and work with the latest industrial tools and experience first-hand the challenges of a professional knitwear designer. She and her classmates will also visit companies to learn about the most technologically advanced knitwear manufacturing processes.
"During my internship junior year, I worked in production," she said. "I found it really interesting to see the process to turn a sketch into a real piece of clothing on a large, industrial scale."
The toughest thing after filling out all the paperwork for the program is packing, she said.
"I have to fit a year of clothing into one suitcase, but I'm up for the challenge," she said. "If I forget a few things, well, I don't think going shopping in Italy would be so bad."
Amanda says she is beyond excited to be going on this adventure.
“To explore Italy, meet amazingly talented students, to work with incredibly experienced and talented teachers and designers, and to be able to produce a small collection to present to the Italian press is going to be such a life-changing experience.”
"I'm also excited to build relationships with industry professionals," she said. "I hope that by the end of the program I will be able to find a job in Italy or somewhere in Europe working as a knitwear designer."
You can find out more about the program here.