PhilaU Students Win AATCC Award for Wearable Technology Innovation

A team of four Philadelphia University fashion merchandising and management students won second place in the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) Concept 2 Consumer® student merchandising competition for their wearable technology innovation, Sunergy Outerwear.

Alaina Giovannone, Alison Wallace, Morgan Bordlemay and Rebecca Himmel, all 2015 graduates, designed a line of women’s and men’s outerwear equipped with adjustable heating technology. The design would allow consumers to customize their coat temperature up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit through a mobile app. The winning PhilaU team will receive $750.

PhilaU students designed a line of outerwear equipped with adjustable heating technology.

PhilaU students designed a line of outerwear equipped with adjustable heating technology.

“They were able to complete a 360-degree view of their product so that when you looked at their work you knew exactly what brand story they were trying to tell,” said Mark Sunderland, textile engineer and strategist and director of academic operations for Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce.

Sunderland and Les Sztandera, professor of computer information systems, co-taught the spring 2015 product development and innovation course in which students developed their projects for submission to AATCC. Industry experts at such top firms as Walmart, Levi Strauss & Co. and Columbia Sportswear, judged the competition.

“The fact that our students were selected by judges with such a high level of qualifications validates not only their work on this project but the success of our curriculum,” Sunderland said.

PhilaU’s focus on career readiness through collaborative student work and real-world, industry-sponsored class projects prepares students for success in the workplace. For fashion merchandising and management students, this comprehensive approach covers every facet of the industry, from product design and development to marketing and merchandising.

This was AATCC’s first national merchandising competition. Participants were challenged to create a business concept for a new line of outerwear that includes a technology feature.

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