• YEAR: Senior
  • MAJOR: Apparel Design and Technology, minor in Art and Design
  • HOMETOWN: Olathe, Kansas

Katie Azzi

Since the tender age of 2, Katie Azzi has had a flair for fashion. Back then, it was a pink dress, pink shoes and a pink hat. Now grown up, with an eye on a future as a product developer for a worldwide retailer, she's still a fashion fanatic, designing and making clothing that is classic and glamorous.

Let's play store

On rainy days when she was growing up, Katie loved to make clothes for her dolls. She also relished retail play. "I would set up a pretend store in my room," she says. "I was a salesperson and I would take all of the clothes out of my closet and put prices on them and ring up receipts."

Today, when not in the apparel studio, she likes to experiment with accessory and purse design. She also helped design a vest to hold infrared markers for Tobii eye tracking glasses used in a visual merchandising study by Meghan Norris, associate professor of consumer sciences and retailing.

Classic beauty

Fashions of the 1940s, 50s and 60s inspires this designer. "The clothes were elegant and classy back then. The hemlines were longer, the necklines were higher, but the women were so stylish. Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy. They were so classic. They are icons even today and they wore dresses, skirts, pants that were modest and very tailored," says Katie.

Her senior collection reflects this sophisticated sensibility: "I designed a collection that was for New Year's celebrations, from the very casual to business to cocktail and formal wear," she explains.

Sense of style

"Style is an expression of you," Katie says. "It does not only apply to clothes. It applies to most things in your life, from your car, to how you decorate your apartment, to how you cook. You can use style to say something, and, if you really embrace it, you can make impact."

Tell the truth

Have you ever masking-taped or stapled a hem when time was short?

"Never!" Katie responds adamantly. "I will find the time to do it right."