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Graduate's Winning Design Now Official Buffalo State Plaid

Graduate's Winning Design Now Official Buffalo State Plaid

Posted: May 14, 2015

Alumna Kaitlyn Emminger has long been a fan of plaid. Last fall when Elaine Polvinen, professor of fashion and textile technology (FTT), encouraged her students to develop an official plaid for Buffalo State, Emminger, who graduated in December 2014, felt right at home with the challenge.

Out of 37 entries, Emminger’s design, with its strong mix of orange, black, gray, and purple, emerged as the winner. A focus group composed of the provost, deans, and representatives from the Alumni Office, Institutional Advancement, and United Students Government, among others, selected four finalists in the spring. Everyone on campus then had the chance to vote for his or her favorite. 

“When I found out I had won, I was shocked,” Emminger said. “I saw the other girls I was competing against and thought someone else would win. After all the hard work I did, not just for the contest, but during my whole time in the program, it makes me feel great.”

Emminger, who spent her childhood in Tonawanda, New York, drawing and creating things, said she estimated that she devised 30 designs on her computer before she arrived at her winning submission. Contestants had to make a square swatch with the plaid, along with a larger rectangular piece, an article of clothing of their choice, and a tie.

“Elaine (Polvinen) definitely had an influence on my design,” she said. “She helped guide me toward the right plaid.”

That right plaid will be incorporated into Buffalo State’s official licensed merchandise. Starting in the fall, shirts, ties, boots, blankets, and other items featuring Emminger’s plaid design will be available for sale through the Barnes & Noble Bookstore at Buffalo State and online. The plaid also will be registered in the Scotland Registry of Tartans; Emminger will receive a $500 award and have her name on the copyright.

She’s also hoping the win will help her land a job as a designer with an apparel company, which is what she is searching for now. 

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