2016 Geoffrey Beene Scholarship Winnert: Avani Patel, University of Texas at Austin

Major: Textiles-Apparel Design, Finance and Business Honors

Graduation: May 2016

Where are you from?  I am originally from Sugar Land, Texas.  I spent my summers in New York interning for Tory Burch, Oscar de la Renta, and Bibhu Mohapatra, as well as in London studying abroad at Central St. Martins College of Art and Design and The London School of Economics and Political Science.

What drew you to pursuing a career in fashion? I have always been attracted to fashion for its mix of texture, color, embellishment, and self expression. I find analyzing fashion business models challenging and hope to one day become a social and environmental fashion entrepreneur, Fashion Director, or Senior VP of Merchandising and Production.  

As a senior at UT Austin, what does your schedule look like in terms of coursework and extracurricular activities?  My coursework and extracurricular studies include working as Head of Show Production in University Fashion Group to produce the school fashion show, showing my collection in the spring as a senior designer, and taking experiential courses with Neiman Marcus and Nike.

What are some of your favorite fashion brands? My favorites include Giambattista Valli, Bibhu Mohapatra, and Christian Dior.

After graduating in May, where do you see yourself?  I look forward to working with retail and luxury clients in marketing & sales, pricing, and strategy.  I hope to search for ways to make an impact in this world through social and environmental causes.