Savannah Schemenauer

“I wasn’t really expecting to hear back. I was excited that he chose my piece, of course, just a little surprised,” said senior Savannah Schemenauer when asked what her initial reaction was when she found out her sports bra design was selected to be released by AJANI, an athleisure retail brand.

AJANI is an Indianapolis-based sportswear brand offering all-purpose apparel that seeks to empower individuals from all walks of life. Students enrolled in Zoe Schumm’s AMD 415 Technical Design Processes class had the chance to work directly with the brand. AJANI’s owner, Bryson Davis-Johnson, initially sent students mood boards based on what kind of vibe he was looking for, while also offering some AI-generated options based on his own ideas. Students then came up with their own designs and submitted them to AJANI directly.

“I designed this top just based on what I know that I dislike about the current sportswear options. I just wanted to kind of expand it to a new design,” said Schemenauer. “Initially, it was just kind of throwing all my ideas into a big document and then testing out which ones kind of fit together because we were making a miniature collection.”

She went with three designs that particularly looked cohesive and focused on utilizing unique shapes and style lines. She wanted to specifically focus on the back of the design because she doesn’t personally like razorback designs based on her own experience wearing them.

For the class itself, each student designed three designs, one based on Davis-Johnson’s mood board and two original ideas. Of the designs sent, Davis-Johnson selected which designs he wanted to eventually release from his store.

Schemenauer reiterated her shock upon being selected.

“I wasn’t expecting to hear back because there were so many unique ideas and so many different directions that everybody went in. I was excited to know that he chose mine,” said Schemenauer.

Schemenauer was very impressed with the finished product, noting how clean and professional it looked being brought to life.

This project directly relates to Schemenauer’s future plans.

“I want to start in a kind of entry-level associate design position in the creative product side. I would love to go into women’s wear or something related to intimates, athletic wear and stuff like that. Just because that’s what the majority of my background has been so far,” Schemenauer said.

Schemenauer will graduate in May with a degree in Creative and Technical Design, one of the tracks offered in the apparel merchandising and design major. She has appreciated the unique opportunities that the program has provided her with throughout her four years at ISU.

“When I came into Iowa State, I didn’t even know how to sew,” said Schemenauer. “It’s a very hands-on program and the faculty really try to get students as involved in real-world experiences as they can.”

Schemenauer mentioned Dr. Ling Zhang as an influential mentor. Zhang serves as the project advisor for her honors capstone program, as well as her internship. Outside of classes, Schemenauer is involved in Kappa Delta sorority, where she’s held leadership positions, and TREND Magazine. She also submitted her designs for The Fashion Show 2024

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