By Manisha Patel, AATCC Corporate & Student Member Specialist

AATCC is happy to announce the winners of the 2019 AATCC Concept 2 Consumer® Student Merchandising Competition.

AATCC received 32 entries, with 61 students participating from nine colleges and universities. Students were challenged to showcase their skills in business, marketing, and merchandising by conducting a business model, determining a marketing strategy, and creating merchandising tools and products for an integrated new apparel line both fashionable and functional for use in the rain, focused and inspired by a specific outdoor activity.

First Place

The first-place winning entry is Störmy by Lilly Kuropat, Chloe Kehn, Meaghan Evans, and Vyvian Le from Oregon State University. They will be awarded US$1000 from AATCC, and US$500 and a jacket from W.L. Gore and Associates Inc.

Lilly Kuropat is majoring in Merchandise Management with a minor in Business. From the competition, Kuropat learned about AATCC test methods and how they are used to test fibers and fabrics to measure and evaluate their colorfastness, performance, and water resistance.

Kuropat hopes to be a fashion stylist working in a big city. She believes that working on this project for the competition will benefit in reaching her career goal. Working with a team and creating a business plan are very important skills to have for any future endeavor.


Chloe Kehn is studying Merchandising Management. From this competition, Kehn has learned the importance of a step-by-step process. This process made it all more manageable and less overwhelming. It also gave them time to dive deep into each element and really do research before moving on to the next section. Kehn wants to pursue a creative career in the fashion industry, possibly product development. She says, “The technical design of the clothing line and the team collaboration skills that I gained through this competition will be extremely helpful to me in that field.”


Meaghan Evans is pursuing a BS in Merchandising Management. After graduating from Oregon State University, Evans would like to work as a creative director for a fashion brand or magazine. She says, “I thrive in the organizational aspects within creativity and I love to plan and see the final product come to life whether it be in the form of an event, ad campaign or material product line. Furthermore, this competition gave me the opportunity to practice my skills, further reassuring me that this is the industry I want to work in for the rest of my life. I wanted to say thank you so much for this opportunity and for taking the time to really look at our project. We all had a great time working for this competition and it feels great to see our hard work paid off.”


Vyvian Le is also studying Merchandise Management. From this competition, she learned about the AATCC test methods. Le hopes to work with a sportswear company. This competition has taught her the process and research to create a garment.


Second Place

Zaa Zaa by Megan Daniels, Central Michigan University. She will be awarded US$750 from AATCC, and US$350 from W.L. Gore and Associates Inc.

Daniels is a Fashion Merchandising major. This competition taught her about the creation of a new apparel line. In the future, Daniels hopes to be involved in either visual merchandising or print making, utilizing different CAD software. The visual aspect of creating the window display for Zaa Zaa, as well as the entire creation of the project board will help her be successful in this field because it gives her experience and knowledge in two very important aspects of her career aspirations.


Honorable Mention

The Honorable Mention entry was North Star Apparel by Austin Keske, Xiomara Bustamante, and Olivia Harband, Oregon State University. They will be awarded US$250 from AATCC, and US$150 from W.L. Gore and Associates Inc.

Austin Keske is studying Merchandising Management. Keske was able to learn about the different AATCC test methods that go into designing garments by participating in this competition. He thought it was very interesting to see how the different technologies were applied and tested. Keske hopes to be a merchandiser for Columbia Sportswear. He believes his knowledge of AATCC test methods will be helpful in his career.


Xiomara Bustamante is pursuing a major in Merchandising Management with a minor in Business & Entrepreneurship. From this competition, she learned to create not only a clothing line, but an entire brand. There is a lot more to it than simply having a cool product, and it can be a lot of fun to figure out the different aspects of what will truly make a brand competitive. She also started to realize how much she likes branding, especially when it comes to usage of colors, logo creation, website layout, etc.

Olivia Harband is majoring in Merchandising Management and minoring in sustainability. By participating in this competition, Harband learned the importance of identifying and evaluating a market need. She says, “My best friend is a sailor and she frequently voices her frustrations about sailing gear not fitting or preforming properly. This project allowed me to utilize my knowledge of performance textiles, merchandising, and brand development to create a realistic solution to a real-world problem. This project solidified the legitimacy of strategic merchandising and design related to athletic apparel and beyond. I really enjoyed incorporating my technical knowledge into a creative area of design.” In the future, Harband is interested in technical design related to sustainable innovation and consumer purchasing analysis. This competition is helpful in encouraging her to continue being creative and original when coming up with project ideas.



Thank you to the following developers, judges, and sponsor!

Without their expertise and assistance, the Competition would not have been possible.



Mary Brannon, Apparel Technology Coordinator at Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising

Sandy Johnson, Senior Account Manager at Color Solutions International/DyStar

Nora Khanna, Product Development Manager at Pantone

Kerry King, Vice President, R&D at Spoonflower Inc

Muditha Senanayake, Associate Professor at California State Polytechnic University Pomona

Mark Sunderland, Director Academic Operations/Textile Engineer + Strategist, Thomas Jefferson University

Alyssa McNamara, Research Associate at Spoonflower Inc



Alan Biggerstaff, Senior Manager Apparel QA/Color/Textile at Walmart

Lauren Dalton, Sr. Manager, Quality Assurance at QVC

Michele Leckington, Fabrics at WL Gore & Associates, Inc

Craig Lindemann, Fabrics—New Product Development at WL Gore & Associates Inc

Christina Rapa, Sitka Gear / Textile Specialist at WL Gore & Associates Inc

Shannon Redell, Sr. Materials Research Developer at Columbia Sportswear

Tejada Odalis, Director of Raw Material Quality & Technical at Wacoal America Inc

Scott Wagner, Fabric Manager, PD&S at Levi Strauss & Co.




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