Skip to content

Q&A with Maggie Miller

What drew you to WashU?
I came to WashU because I knew I wanted a strong design program without sacrificing the quality of education in other academic areas. Oftentimes I even draw inspiration for my designs through other classes. WashU also gave me the ability to more easily complete a second major [in marketing) in Olin and round out my education.

What interests you most about your studies in fashion design?
I have been sewing and designing for about ten years. I’ve always been an artistic, tactile person and have found that fashion design is my favorite creative outlet. I love turning something I illustrated from my mind into something real that can actually be worn.

How would you define your aesthetic as a designer?
My designs fall somewhere between avant-garde and contemporary. I love clean, geometric, and tailored silhouettes, but also find myself incorporating “maximalist” mixtures of textures and prints.

How have your studies in marketing impacted your work in fashion design?
I am more in-tune with the customer, and know how to do proper market research and how to build strong brand equity. When designing, it can be very helpful to think about who the customer is in order to maintain a level of cohesion and depth.

What’s been the most memorable course or project you’ve completed in the Sam Fox School?
Capstone is the obvious answer! It’s taken this whole year and I am very proud of it. Another memorable project that stands out is my cardboard bug from 3D Design my first year. It was a giant, moveable beetle made from cardboard that took a significant amount of planning, precision, and X-Acto blades to create. I applied fashion patternmaking techniques to create it, but adapted for cardboard. Super difficult, and I’ll never work with cardboard again, but very rewarding.

Talk about the research work you’ve collaborated on at WashU.
Since sophomore year, I have been involved in research with my professor, Mary Ruppert-Stroescu. We have been developing the components of a wearable smart-shirt that can be used for medical-grade outpatient heart rate monitoring. As the fashion design major of the research group, I am more focused on the material and design components, including testing and producing conductive textile electrodes and figuring out how to integrate them into the shirt. Working with engineering students is a great interdisciplinary experience. We presented last semester at the national ITAA conference.

What is your favorite thing about St. Louis?
There are lots of hidden gems in St. Louis. I love concerts, and there a few intimate venues that are really great like the Blueberry Hill Duck Room. Also, there are so many great restaurants to try, especially if you branch out past the Loop.

What do you like to do away from studio?
I’ve been doing many Forest Park picnics with friends! Great pastime during COVID.