Lindsey McGreevyLindsey McGreevy likes a challenge, to take design risks.
Last fall, the fashion, dress and merchandising student stepped outside her comfort zone of designing formal gowns and participated in the Student Design League, a t-shirt design competition created to empower student designers and give them the chance to showcase their talents and school pride.
It proved to be a smart decision.
McGreevy’s t-shirt design was selected as the WVU fan favorite; it’ll be available on campus this fall.
“I feel incredibly excited,” she said. “It’s unbelievable that I could end up seeing people walking around campus in something I designed, and I haven’t even graduated yet. This was an amazing opportunity.”
Last fall, students from WVU’s graphic design and fashion, dress and merchandising programs joined an elite group of designers from Auburn University, Florida State University, University of Alabama, University of Arkansas, and University of Tennessee to create a unique shirt or hat design that embodies their perceptions of school spirit and pride.
The top four designs from each university were made available for public vote. In addition to having their designs produced and made available for sale, students were also competing for a chance to intern at Robin Ruth, an international casual lifestyle and traveler’s brand, and to raise money for their programs.
McGreevy, a native of Keyser, West Virginia, was the only fashion, dress and merchandising student to be selected for the public vote.
The design was difficult to conceptualize at first.
“I'm used to designing these really feminine gowns and there I was trying to create something that all sorts of people would want to wear,” she said. “It was definitely out of my comfort zone, but I feel like I was able to stay true to my design aesthetic and ended up with something I really love.”
McGreevy wanted to create something that she wasn’t able to find in stores.
“I wanted it to be unique in comparison to the typical WVU shirts that I see time and time again,” she said. “I was inspired by the thought of combining my love for the state of West Virginia with the love of the University. I think something special about West Virginia is how beautiful it is, so I wanted to incorporate aspects of nature and not just focus on the University entirely.”
Her “Wild and Wonderful” t-shirt incorporates outlines of the state of West Virginia and the Mountaineer mascot on the front, and the phrase Montani Semper Liberi (“Mountaineers are always free”) as well as the Flying WV on the back. Varying shades of gold, blue and grey trees surround the bottom of the shirt.
“I think my favorite thing about my design is that it's completely different from what I normally like to create, but it's still me,” McGreevy said. “I'm really proud of where I'm from and it feels awesome to have made something that other West Virginians want to wear.”
Although she knows her t-shirt will be produced, McGreevy is still awaiting a decision on the internship.
“I’ve had an interview, but there are still a few more steps before they decide,” she said. “It would be exciting to intern for Robin Ruth, but even if it doesn’t work out the fact that my shirt is being produced and sold is more than enough for me."
Although her first t-shirt design was successful, her true passion still revolves around bridal and formal wear.
“One day I want to be a wedding or formal wear designer and own my own boutique,” she said. “It would be such a privilege to create one of the most important dresses a woman will ever wear. For a bride to put on one of my designs and feel like she wants to walk down the aisle in it would be amazing. I'd love to be a part of that.”