Apparel and merchandising student gains hands-on experience with notable designers at New York Fashion Week

Cam Thomas wearing black clothes and sunglasses

Cameron Thomas, a first-year student majoring in apparel and merchandising at Colorado State University, derived great motivation from his experiences at New York Fashion Week. 

New York Fashion Week is a week-long showcase of international fashion collections. Looking to enter the field of apparel design, Thomas set out to New York with great anticipation, seeking to gather knowledge from a community of experienced and creative designers and individuals. 

Cam Thomas at New York Fashion Week
Models for New York Fashion Week

Before Thomas was able to venture to New York, he committed to CSU and the apparel and merchandising major offered by the Department of Design and Merchandising. Thomas approached his major with confidence. 

I have always been deep into fashion throughout my whole life, and when I started making clothes myself, it was a no-brainer to make the trip from Colorado Springs to Fort Collins to learn more, sharpen my skills, and earn a degree in apparel and merchandising from one of the top-ranked fashion programs in the U.S.,” Thomas said. 

Reflecting on his time in the program, while it has only been a few months at CSU, Thomas was appreciative. 

“The DM department really does feel like a community here at CSU, and it’s a blessing to have professors, peers, and various classes that can help me succeed,” he said. 

Looking from New York to the future 

Thomas set out for New York on Sept. 8 and made a comparison between where he is and the famous and accomplished designers presenting their collections at Fashion Week. 

“Being surrounded by the world’s most notable faces in fashion made me realize that even the biggest names are people too and had to start somewhere to make it to where they are now,” said Thomas. 

Cam Thomas at New York Fashion Week
Cameron Thomas, right, at New York Fashion Week

Among the many designers and influencers, events led by Ev Bravado and Tela D’Amor highlighted the week. These designers oversaw the Nike x Serena Williams apparel collaboration, setting the stage for industry-changing work. 

Thomas was not only able to meet acclaimed designer Bravado but was also asked to help the models prepare for the show behind the scenes. 

He did not let the fame of these individuals diminish his confidence. Instead, he watched and listened and allowed their knowledge to meld with his own motivations. 

“Now that I have been immersed into the biggest fashion scene in America and walked away with the opportunity of a lifetime and connected with notable people in the industry, I can only strive for more and build on what I accomplished in New York,” Thomas said. 

The opportunity provided inspiration for Thomas, solidifying his desire to lead his own apparel business and, one day, be the person whose collections are highlighted at events such as New York Fashion Week. 

This experience, paired with the apparel and merchandising courses at CSU, was an inauguration for future success. 

“With dedication, I believe my clothing designs and garments can become pieces that people from all around the world will want to own,” said Thomas. 

The Department of Design and Merchandising is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.