Julia Ravindran

julia ravindran


Associate Professor of Fashion Design

Joined Marymount:


What drew you to fashion design?

I’ve always been very creative growing up, drawing and painting. I was also exposed to sewing by my mother, who sewed most of my clothes as a child. When I received my bachelor’s in graphic design, I really wanted to work for a fashion magazine. Being from a small town, Oneida, Wis., it seemed like more of a dream as I wasn’t ready to make that leap to move to a big city for work. I decided to go for my master’s in fashion design in San Francisco as a starting point. Thinking I wanted to focus more on textile design in the beginning, I ended up falling in love with fabrics, embroidery and garment making. I’ve been in the industry ever since.

Tell us about your product development class.

Product Development 2 is one of the most important classes that both Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising & Marketing students take. This senior capstone class allows students to investigate the process by which an apparel product is developed and launched in the marketplace. In this full-semester group project centered around a zero-waste fashion line, students explore the principles of sustainable design by creating a line that minimizes fabric waste throughout the production process. This could involve origami-inspired designs, creative pattern making techniques and efficient fabric utilization. Through research, hands-on experimentation and creative design solutions, students gain a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities in developing fashion with zero waste.

Julia Ravindran's product development class.

What advantages do you have from teaching this type of class?

Students are working in groups and learning how to problem-solve and handle a variety of situations that may arise. This is a really great experience to prepare them to enter the fashion industry, where they will be working with teams and learning to work with different personalities in a professional way. The apparel industry is one of the most damaging industries to the environment. The concept of zero-waste fashion is vital for the next generation of professionals to gain knowledge and skills to make sustainable choices both as designers and consumers.

Midway through the semester, students present their research presentations to a technical designer in the fashion industry for feedback, which allows them to make edits to their work prior to the final presentations at the end of the semester. During finals week, students present their research, presentation boards and final prototypes to a jury of industry professionals. This process provides the students with professional experience to prepare them for presentations they might make in their careers. The advantages of meeting the jury of five industry professionals is to gain valuable feedback on their projects and network for potential internship and job opportunities. We have even had some students that were offered full-time jobs prior to graduation from these presentations.

What do you hope students will take away from this class?

I hope they feel confident and prepared to enter the fashion industry. I hope they provide a new voice on sustainable fashion design in the workplace and continue to expand their knowledge on ways to implement zero-waste fashion. I also hope that they will inspire others that are not in the fashion industry to become more selective consumers when it comes to fast fashion and the brands they decide to shop.

Any exciting opportunities coming up for you this academic year?

I am thrilled that I have been accepted to present a workshop on a “Zero-Waste Project in a Senior Capstone Fashion Course” at the Costume Society of America’s national symposium in May, where I will be presenting how to expose students to sustainable fashion and zero-waste concepts and displaying the students’ work from the Product Development 2 class.

To learn more about Julia, click here.