UNC design class makes apparel to raise money for COVID-19 frontline workers

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- UNC senior Ashton Edge and her classmates are learning first hand about the chaos that comes with bringing a product to the market.

"I think one thing is that life is ever-changing so you have to adapt and also just putting people and the needs of people at the forefront and seeing how you can adapt your goals and what you're working towards to meet the needs of others, just lend a hand where you can it's just the biggest thing and the most important, especially in times like this."

Dana McMahan is a UNC professor teaching the FashionMash Workroom Product Design class. Typically students create a collection and fashion show for an assigned client, such as Puma, but due to COVID-19 halfway through the semester, the students had to pivot everything completely online.

"I've been at the university now for 13 years. And so, yes we've seen lots and lots of different types of what we call creative chaos in this class. No matter how hard you try to control it things, kind of go their way. But this is a whole other level or what I would call design chaos.," UNC professor Dana McMahan said.

McMahan teaches the FashionMash Workroom Product Design class, typically students create a collection and fashion show for an assigned client, such as Puma but due to COVID-19 halfway through the semester the students had to pivot everything completely online.

"There was a need to pivot fast," said McMahan. "There was a need to do it in a relevant way, there was a need to do it in a meaningful way. The fact that all of those things happened it was such a, it was well orchestrated by the students that really came together as a team. And even though they got a lot of individual expression out of it, it took all 40 of them together working in concert to, to make it happen."

In just a few weeks the class launched Fluidity Designs a full line of athlesiure products they designed themselves using an on-demand manufacturer, along with an online store. The proceeds go to GetUs PPE, an organization designed to help frontline workers of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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"I think you'll see it in the designs in the best possible way, you know they want to send a message of hope, and they want to send a message of being inspiring," said McMahan. "They want to recognize you know where we are and we need to do everything we can to help. This process has given them a chance to participate in you know a small way."

"It's honestly been really amazing," Edge said. "I think it's made it a lot more meaningful experience because I think just sitting at home, a lot of us and a lot of us not in Chapel Hill. I know I'm home now to have just been kind of sitting on our hands and wanting to help but not really sure how, and so it's given us an outlet to not only use like our creative outlet for us but also something that's so personal to all of us."

In one week, the class raised more than $3,000.
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