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The University of Alabama

UA Apparel Design Students Experience New Aspect of Fashion World


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — University of Alabama apparel design students had the opportunity to venture outside of their design world during a new class project that was inspired by a television character known for her sense of fashion – and love of shoes.

University of Alabama apparel design students make last-minute adjustments before the photo shoot.

University of Alabama apparel design students make last-minute adjustments before the photo shoot.

Students in a department of clothing, textiles and interior design class,  known as CTD 340 Portfolio Design, were tasked with creating a storyline that removed the much-loved, and sometimes envied, character from HBO’s “Sex and the City,” Carrie Bradshaw, from New York City and placed her as an undergraduate student at UA.

The students participating in the “Carrie Project” had to create six different and distinct looks for the fictitious Carrie, who was played by fashion retailing major Casey Straughn, of Mobile. Some of the scenarios included sitting on the steps of Gorgas Library reading Vogue magazine, waiting for her date at DePalma’s and rushing down the steps of Reese Phifer on her way to her next class.

“We thought about what Carrie would be doing if she were really here,” said 27-year-old Tuscaloosa resident Shannon Warren, a UA senior majoring in apparel design. “Where would she hang out, what kind of friends would she have. We thought about our real life on campus and put Carrie in those scenarios. Then we pulled styles from different local boutiques that we thought were very ‘Carrie-ish’ to make the photo shoots come to life.”

Fashion retailing major Casey Straughn, who is playing 'Carrie Bradshaw,' is photographed walking down the steps of Reese Phifer.

Fashion retailing major Casey Straughn, who is playing ‘Carrie Bradshaw,’ is photographed walking down the steps of Reese Phifer.

The students worked with local retailers Effies, Lucca, Part Two, Solo, Twice As Nice and Grace Aberdean Habitat Alchemy in creating the looks, and then scheduled photo shoots at six corresponding locations within Tuscaloosa.

The project culminated with the creation of a fashion layout, in tabloid format, featuring the storyline and photos from each look.

“The overall goal of the project was for the students to learn how to create and execute an editorial photo shoot of their original designs,” said Dr. Marcy Koontz, an associate professor in the College of Human Environmental Sciences’ department of clothing, textiles and interior design. “Although this project in particular did not feature their original work, they participated in all aspects of coordinating the shoot (fittings, styling, location scouting, location direction, etc.) so that when they begin photographing their own work, they will know how to do it.”

Another benefit was working with the local retailers and learning how to effectively communicate with their prospective customers, Koontz added.

“I’ve never done anything like this before,” said 20-year-old junior Bria Robinson, an apparel design and fashion retail major from Pleasant Grove. “This project will definitely help me with my future career aspirations. Knowing how to piece different things together to create an overall look and providing visuals of that look to customers so they’ll want your clothes more. These are important things to know as a designer.”

For more information about the project or to provide feedback to the students, visit .


The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.