POSTED: Thursday, February 17, 2011 - 8:40pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 7, 2011 - 2:11pm
BATON ROUGE, La (NBC33) -- Students are creating cutting edge couture in the classroom. Some local college students are well on the way to making a name for themselves in the fashion industry. That's thanks to one of the best apparel design programs in the south, and it's right here in Louisiana.
LSU student Alasdair Burks already has her own company. It's called Authentic Lady Collections. Burks has high hopes for the future of her company. That's why she attends LSU to study apparel design. "I really would like to hone in more on learning about the entrepreneurial aspect of fashion," she says.
Burks wasn't always an LSU Tiger. She used to attend a well-known design school in Georgia, but fate brought her back to her roots. "I'm getting in touch with the southern belle in me," she says. "And that's developing the collections I would like to do within my company."
It's a move more and more young fashion fanatics are making. "They can come here and pay a lot less and get a great education," says professor Lisa McRoberts. The apparel design program boasts about 100 students, many who go on to win awards.
Just last year, several LSU students attended the Dallas Career Day competition. Four of them came back with awards. One student actually won Best in Show and an internship in Paris.
"When the fashion department does enter competitions, we do very well," says senior Martha Landry. Landry has her own accomplishments to be proud of her. "I get to have a garment featured in Miami Fashion Week as a student designer." Landry is one of just three students world-wide that made the cut in Miami.
The successes don't stop once students graduate with a degree in apparel design. Many LSU alumni have started their own clothing lines. In March, several will be featured in New Orlean's Fashion Week, including Courtney Bourgeois and Isabel Varela. Others moved to large cities to network. McRoberts says her student, Julie Thibodeaux, lives in NYC. She's currently working on a line of purses. Recently. she was feature in Elle Magazine.
LSU fashion students add Louisiana culture to couture, proving they have what it takes to make it big. "I think it's time for people to realize how much talent is in this state," says McRoberts.