Isabelle Clement, a senior graduating with a degree in apparel and merchandising at Colorado State University, fell in love with CSU the minute she stepped foot on campus. Growing up in Niwot, Colorado, CSU became her home away from home.
“It felt like home from the start,” said Clement. “After touring campus, I found out about the design and merchandising department. I read over the course content and class structure and everything clicked!”
Studying at CSU
Clement says her time at CSU was full of support and encouragement. Faculty members in the Department of Design and Merchandising encouraged Clement to think in a global context and learn insights and explanations about human interaction. For her senior capstone project for the product development concentration, Clement designed an adaptive apparel line named “Jewel” that is specifically for older women entering and experiencing menopause.
“I am very grateful and filled with gratitude for all of the faculty that helped me to be prepared for the next steps and have the confidence to enter the uncertainty,” said Clement.
While working towards her degree, Clement worried about her future professional career and finding what she is passionate about.
“I have many interests and I want to make sure that I don’t leave anything on the table,” said Clement. “It’s hard to look at uncertainty straight on and see if you’re taking a step in the right direction.”
Clement participated in numerous activities and clubs both at CSU and in the surrounding community. She served as the outreach coordinator on the College of Health and Human Sciences Dean’s Leadership Council, various positions in her halls and residence life, and as the vice president and president for Fashion Group International. Clement also spent time volunteering at the Boulder Homeless Shelter and Fort Collins Rescue Mission.
During her time abroad, Clement studied in Toulouse, France, at the Toulouse Business School. She took several business classes including international business, cross-cultural management and leadership, and strategic marketing. Some of Clement’s favorite memories were those that she spent with friends and in the town.
“We had conversations about lifestyles, ways of thinking, our plans for the future, favorite foods, and everything under the sun,” said Clement. “After our last French class for the day, we would grab snacks and sit by the river with the locals. Outside of class we went to a Women’s World Cup match, learned about winemaking in Bordeaux, enjoyed eating tapas, and dancing in the plaza on Sunday afternoons.”
Clement was part of the leadership team of Fashion Group International who put on the Sustainable Fashion Show in 2018. The show, “Urban Stars,” featured attire designed by students and made from leftover materials.
She also served as an undergraduate research assistant for Size North America, a national body-scanning effort to learn more about peoples’ average sizes, taking age and ethnicity into account, to assist apparel and manufacturing companies with their product design and fit.
Adjusting to the pandemic
Clement says that she will miss the community of CSU and Fort Collins the most. After completing her product development and production internship with Burnett New York this semester, Clement is searching and volunteering to gain more experience in the fashion industry.
“I am passionate about finding alternatives for fabric and supply chain practices and raising awareness for the importance of artisanal craftsmanship,” said Clement.
Adjusting to life because of the COVID-19 outbreak has given Clement time to focus on learning during this time of pause. “I am learning the importance of my mental and professional foundation,” said Clement. “I am hoping to create a strong base so when the outbreak calms down I will be prepared to take on opportunities.”
Clement has accepted a position as a product design support worker for the Rajana association in Cambodia. Her job includes producing fair trade products and blending traditional Cambodian skills with contemporary designs.