Updated: Apr 14
From SCAD student to Desiging at Target!
With fall now upon us, fashion schools are firing up their plans and students are looking for what comes next. We wanted to know more about one of the most unique design schools out there — Savannah College Art and Design (SCAD). We spoke with designer Jojo Boling, a SCAD graduate who now designs activewear for a brand new line by Target. Find out why Boling chose SCAD, what makes the school special, and her path to designing what she loves for a big brand!
Jojo in white tee, middle front
IFD: You attended SCAD, Savannah College of Art and Design. Why SCAD?
JB: I was looking at a lot of other art and design schools, then I visited [SCAD] and fell in love with the campus and the beautiful buildings. It just felt like the place for me. I had also visited some schools in New York City and felt really intimidated and not ready to live in such a big city. Savannah felt perfectly small but still far away and exciting.
IFD: What majors do they have and why did you chose yours?
Majors they offer range from Photography, Architecture, Interior Design, Fashion Merchandising, Industrial Design, Animation, Film, Performing Arts, Sequential Design, Accessory Design, Design for Sustainability…so many!
I chose Fashion Design because that’s what I had always wanted to do. SCAD has so many different majors, and I kind of wish I had done more research, but my heart was set on fashion design. Looking back, I would’ve loved to be a Fibers major—apparently that major has the most variety of jobs. Their building is also so beautiful. During my senior year I took a screen printing class there and all of the work the students created was incredible! Students focused in areas like print and pattern design, dying, weaving, beading and embroidery.
IFD: What were some class requirements?
JB: Classes required for fashion design really range. We had a lot of art history. Our major had to do life drawing, which was different than some of the other design majors. I really enjoyed fashion sketching and computer–aided design. We also took more traditional classes for fashion, like pattern making and draping. We had a history of fashion class and the business of fashion class.
Senior year was all classes for our senior collection. You start with concepting and maybe initial muslins, the second quarter class is creating all your muslins and starting to create your garments, and the last quarter class is finishing your garments and having a lot of really intense critiques with professors and the chair of the department.
SCAD is great for nontraditional learning because a lot of the lecture and foundational classes don’t require papers or tests. They let you create projects any way you want, just to show you absorbed the knowledge. This was really great because it encouraged collaboration.
My senior year I created a fashion film to show my collection instead of a traditional look book. It was fun to collab with filmmakers and tell the story of what I designed in a different way.
IFD: What were some of the event highlights?
JB: Two really fun events they do every year are the Sidewalk Arts Festival held in the middle of the city and the Sand Arts Festival at Tybee Island.
While I was there they did an Oscar de la Renta exhibit in the SCAD museum that was student assisted/curated. André Leon Talley came to that show and sat on the board of fashion at SCAD. They created a beautiful wall of flowers and had anamazing open night that we all went to and dressed up so fancy. I think Anna Wintour came to that too!
We also had a Vivian Westwood exhibit my senior year. SCAD does a great film festival and brings in speakers for fashion every year too—my senior year it was Fransisco Costa interviewing Alexander Wang.
IFD: What skills did you gain at school that helped prepare you for a career?
JB: I gained the skill of being able to generate a lot of ideas and not just settling on your first idea. I realized I loved concepting and researching trends. I also loved how they showed me there wasn’t just one way or one role into the fashion industry. They teach you from the moment you start that you need to be able to speak confidently to and about your work. Every student is required to take a speech class.
IFD: What did you like best about that SCAD?
JB: So many things! I loved living in Savannah. The city has a personality and SCAD really embraces that. SCAD renovated a lot of old buildings in such a beautiful way to keep the integrity of the original building but also put a ton of amazing art, furniture and top of the line equipment in them. The fashion building was an old elementary school and the architecture building was an old train station. I really did enjoy my education there too, I felt encouraged and safe to try a bunch of different things and ways to create.
IFD: Were you required to do an internship?
JB: We were not required to do internships, but I did do one in New York City with a brand that made activewear for a lot of different retailers.
IFD: What advice do you have for incoming design school students?
JB: Don’t hesitate to reach out to current or past SCAD students and ask about their experiences. Go visit, the tour is amazing and the city is beautiful! If you do have an area of focus you feel really passionate about, work on it as much as you can, show your process and keep a sketch book.
IFD: Tell us about your time since graduation.
JB: Right after I graduated I didn’t find a job right away. I worked in retail and freelanced and hustled just to get my foot in the door anywhere. I moved to Portland because I knew I wanted to work for one of the activewear companies out there and I felt like it was helpful to be in the area. After a year of living in Portland I got a contractor role with Nike as a color designer that ended up getting extended for a year and a half. Then I got offered a role at Target for their new activewear line as an apparel designer.
IFD: What are some of your main responsibilities at Target?
JB: My job is as apparel designer for All In Motion for Target. It’s really exciting because it’s brand new to Target this year. Every day is different, but there will be a time where I am designing and then reviewing samples, reviewing color and print execution on garments, and then concepting and researching for the next season,then getting into sketching and starting over again.
IFD: What are your hopes for your future?
JB: I’d really like to be a well rounded designer! Success for me is always being challenged and having growth. In the distant future I’d love to open my own bakery and build a brand around it that sells friends artwork and could be a great fun space in the community.
Thank you to Jojo for sharing her education at SCAD- For more information about SCAD, visit: https://www.scad.edu