celebrating black history month with three successful school of fashion alums


photo courtesy: mariah moorer

It is no surprise that the Kent State School of Fashion has immense post graduation success rates. This Black History Month, we are highlighting the successes of three thriving and empowered women who are living out their post-grad dreams, and making a difference within the industry. 


Jordan Bigelow graduated from The School of Fashion with a Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion Merchandising in 2020. Unfortunately, Bigelow was a part of the class sent home due to the pandemic, but from hardship, she created something beautiful: her brand A Loved 1. When she was sent home, Bigelow came up with the concept of the brand.


“It was a very pivotal point in my life, we were all going through the beginning of the pandemic and I was going through some personal issues with friends and relationships and once I got home I had to face myself again, all of the distractions were gone,” Bigelow said. “So with that, I did a lot of soul searching and looking introspectively, and I had this chalkboard in my room during all of college that I would look at all the time and it said ‘A Loved 1’, so I took what I learned from studying fashion design and took my creative juices and made the brand my emotional outlet.” 

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Bigelow wanted the brand to represent something deeper. “I want to encourage other people to do the work that I am doing, to love themselves and see themselves through whatever situation they are going through,” Bigelow said. “Whatever you are going through, know that that does not define who you are and that you are still worthy of love.” 


When deciding what direction she wanted to take the brand in, Bigelow reflected on what kind of representation was lacking within the fashion industry. She decided to create something that her younger self would be proud of.


“I started A Loved 1 by thinking about the kind of voice I wanted to have in the fashion industry,” Bigelow said. “A lot of the things that I do are to be the representation that I was looking for growing up. I wanted to be positive, I wanted to have a positive voice.” 

Although there have been setbacks and the journey has not been exactly linear, Bigelow has overcome obstacles that have been thrown her way. Through it all there has been someone alongside her the whole time: her mother. 


“If it was no one else, it was always my mom,” Bigelow said. “She would stay up with me while I cried over my fashion design teachers, she would stay on FaceTime until I was done with projects and we didn’t even need to say anything. She was always adamant that I seized every opportunity and to not let myself get in the way of that.” 


Mariah Moorer, also a 2020 graduate, earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a minor in fashion media. Moorer has many accomplishments under her belt: she was featured in Teen Vogue’s 2022 article, “Why I stay: 45 Young BIPOC Voices on The Fashion Industry”, she has returned to The School of Fashion as a guest lecturer and she currently holds a position with Tom Ford Beauty as the Global Marketing Coordinator.  

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“When I first got to Kent I tried really hard to fit in but it never really worked out for me, but when I started being myself a lot of opportunities opened up to me,” Moorer said. “I think the biggest lesson of all is don’t try to fit in, just be yourself.” 


After everything she has accomplished, Moorer has the answer to the question that many college students are wondering: does your LinkedIn profile matter that much? As she explained, “Ultimately, LinkedIn is your everything, I wouldn’t have the job that I do now if it wasn’t for LinkedIn.” 


Moorer also touched on the importance of making sure that your social media profiles align with how you would want to be perceived in a professional setting, which is something that is often overlooked by most college students. 


“Make sure your profiles are appropriate for whatever it is that you want to do,” Moorer said. “It is not a joke or a myth that employers do go and look at your social media profiles. They may not follow you, but they are still looking.” 


For students looking to obtain a position like Moorer’s post-graduation, her advice is: “Stay consistent, do not take no for an answer. In the words of Kris Jenner, ‘If you get a ‘no’ you just aren’t talking to the right person,’ which is very true. Stay true to yourself, don’t stop until you get whatever it is that you want. Hillary Stone is your best friend. She will help you in any way that you need, she is a tough cookie, but it is so worth it. Without her, I would not be where I am.” 

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Kaela Wilson graduated in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in fashion merchandising with minors in economics and marketing. Wilson is a content creator, model and also holds a corporate position. Wilson prides herself on professionalism and accredits a lot of what she has learned to her time at The School of Fashion.

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“Professional development is a very important aspect we learn a lot about the fashion industry, but learning how to navigate the professional environment is very important, especially when you are first entering the corporate setting, so learning how to present myself, share my skill set and get people to buy into what I have to offer has paid off a lot for me,” Wilson said. “Which is something I would not have necessarily thought of if it was not for our professors, the program and them instilling the importance of professionalism and things of that nature.” 


A setback that many people face following graduation is making the transition from the college setting to the corporate world, which is something that Wilson was forced to overcome post-graduation. 


“There is a lot of nuances to the professional environment that are not related to just business but also the soft skills which can result in a culture shock going from a school format into a business format where oftentimes you may be the youngest person in the room,” Wilson said. “I would not say I felt unprepared, but it was definitely a culture shock to navigate how people interact with each other.” 

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Wilson has already made many notable accomplishments so far in her career, but the one she is most proud of is the work she has done while working with Joann Fabrics. 


“When I went into the internship program, I was asked to update their attribution strategy, which is essentially the way we describe product so the customer can find what they are looking for,” Wilson said.


Wilson stayed with the company for two years after that internship project since she said the findings from her research “were used to overhaul the entire site.”


Going into the fashion industry has its own set of obstacles when it comes to making a name for yourself, but Wilson is first generation which has its added struggles.


“My biggest setback has been a lack of knowledge, as I said earlier I am first generation, no one in my family had a fashion career, so when you go off of the beaten path you have to do the research for yourself,” Wilson said. “I have overcome the feeling of having no idea what to do next by reaching out and figuring out what resources I do have available to me.” 


All three of these women have overcome obstacles and stayed authentically themselves throughout the process. Not only are they an inspiration to fashion students everywhere, but they are also a beautiful representation of the education and success that can be obtained through Kent State’s School of Fashion. These women are setting the precedent for anyone who is hoping to break into the industry, and sharing this message: you can do anything if you stay true to who you are. 

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Hi! I’m Catie Pusateri, A Magazine’s editor-in-chief. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.