Apparel, Textiles, and Merchandising graduate connects with heritage while looking to the future

  • June 10, 2024
  • Rune Torgersen

When Storm Haight decided to go back to school, she knew it was going to be for fashion, and she knew it was going to be at Central Washington University.

Coming in as a neo-traditional student, she was initially worried about fitting in with her classmates — a worry that quickly faded as she realized that this was exactly where she was meant to be.

“Coming in as an older student, I wasn’t certain that I’d be able to hit it off with my classmates, but the connections I’ve made here have been so amazing,” said Haight, who grew up in Edmonds. “Making friends as an adult isn’t always the easiest, but I’m going to stay in touch with the people I’ve met here for the rest of my life.”

By enrolling in the Apparel, Textiles, and Merchandising (ATM) program, Haight’s time at CWU has been marked by constant hands-on engagement in a rigorous program, building a skillset that will apply to a broad variety of careers within the fashion industry.

“It’s been a lot of work, but I get to have the reward of thinking of a design and then making that design happen in real life,” she said. “I’m pretty proud of myself for gaining that skillset and being able to run through that process from start to finish.”

During her time in the program, Haight secured a summer internship working for her favorite designer, Christian Siriano, in New York — an experience that will stay with her for a long time to come.

“That was probably the coolest thing I’ve done in my whole life,” she said. “Knowing that I have that on my resume, that’s going to be important for my career.”

As her time at CWU drew to a close this spring, Haight’s final project involved designing a five-look line for the annual Student Fashion Show on June 1. For her designs, she leaned on her own Scottish heritage through a “Highland Masquerade” theme, designing her own tartan and incorporating it into a variety of looks.

“I wanted the colors of the rainbow, and for it to be super joyous and vibrant, because not a lot of tartans are,” Haight said. “It all really came together to make a fabric that I feel truly represents me and my heritage.”

Haight plans on registering her tartan with Scottish officials, canonizing it as the official design of Clan Haight. As she looks to her future within the world of fashion, she knows that the foundation she has laid for herself will continue to show her the way forward.

“Take what you have in your past, use it in your present, and plan for the future using the experience you’re gaining,” Haight said. “That’s how I’ve made my way to where I am, and it’s how I plan on continuing.”

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