Future Stars: The Next Generation In Apparel Design

We recently held a uniform design contest with students from our member schools.  Over 400 designs were submitted (including entries from 15 different states), and 30 of those were then posted to SCC’s Facebook page for a fan vote to crown a “uniform design” champion.  The uniform designs were not judged entirely on aesthetics, however, as students were encouraged to submit a “theme” and creative marketing strategy behind the design.

Henry Ammann, a sophomore at Tigard High School in Oregon, took the top prize when his design generated 413 “likes” while the runner up design (submitted by Zach Nash, a senior from North Douglas High School in Oregon) gained 365 likes.  The students won a prize and were later introduced to a designer from the Jordan Brand.

Our blog manager, Griffin Booth, recently caught up with Henry and Zach to find out more about the aspirations and inspirations for two future stars in the world of athletic apparel design.

SCC: Why did you enter the contest?

Henry: I wanted to range my type of design to uniforms and put myself to the test to design a football uniform that didn’t just look cool, but had a purpose behind it, and I have never done that before in my history with designing.

Zach: At North Douglas High School I am encouraged to be diverse with my activities and studies. I’m not actually in sports marketing class, but my Culminating High School Project (CHSP) teacher allows me to participate in the competitions. Mrs. Ruud, my teacher communicates with Chris Lindauer (Sports Career Consulting) and makes these opportunities happen.

SCC: What did you learn from this particular assignment?

Henry: I learned there are many other kids my age that have the same desire I do and I need to work very hard to differentiate myself from them and to get the most experience that I can designing by entering contests like this one, which can open doors for me just like this one has done.  As a side note, I would like to give a shout out to Zach Nash who designed the Oregon Ducks Jersey that came in 2nd place in the contest. He did an amazing job designing the uniform and also promoting his design, it was a close race! Nice Work Zach!

Zach: I learned that there are students just like me fighting for the same career I want in the future. I also learned that I have a quality that helps me work under pressure with a small amount of time. The greatest thing I have learned and turned my attention to is I’m one step closer to reaching my career goals.

SCC: What inspired your specific design?

Henry: The inspiration for my design came from the fact that it was Veterans Day weekend when I started designing, and I realized that I wanted to make a salute out to our troops and as I said in the writing portion of this contest, not only would the jerseys profits go to the troops but it would make people feel like giving back to the soldiers who have served, are serving or have died in the field of battle by giving themselves a sense of spirit and want to go help make other people lives better and give back to the community.

Zach: I had very little time to complete my design so I had a very small amount of inspiration to work with. The Oregon Ducks had been dominating the football scene at the time I entered my design so I thought it would be a good idea to promote their football team. I was inspired not only by the football team but the designer team behind the scenes, creating the diverse U of O uniforms. I wanted to be like them.  At first I planned to make a uniform resembling the state of Oregon’s natural subjects. I thought I could use Douglas fir trees as a good basis to my design. With the shortage of time I couldn’t develop what I wanted. I basically ended up designing my uniform in seven hours with out any idea of where it was going. I just went with the flow of things and hoped for the best. 

SCC: Did you engage in any marketing to help encourage more votes for your design for this contest?

Henry: Yes I did, All of the sports marketing classes voted for my jersey design, I also told friends during school to go and like the picture, but the day before the competition Zach Nash (My Competitor) had a huge surge of votes which put him In the lead, so I got out my phone and went through all of my contacts and told everyone who had a facebook to share the photo and tell their friends to do the same. Lets just say my thumbs were pretty sore that night after all the texting I did. And I would like to give huge props to my sports marketing teachers Adam Sarancik and Sue Suttich for helping me promote my design around the school and with their friends. 

Zach: I did promote my design on Facebook but it wasn’t easy. I spent so much time on other people’s Facebook because I didn’t have one of my own at the time. It was irritating but it didn’t stop me from collecting likes. After awhile I was obtaining votes from Europe thanks to Emma, a foreign exchange student and friend from Denmark. She really helped! Along with a Jacob, a student that recently came to my school from Alaska. Thank you Jacob! While they were attempting to collect as many votes as possible I roamed around with an iPad of a friend (Jorge) and asked people to sign into there Facebook and like my design. I usually approached the voters by asking them, “Do you like the Oregon Ducks?” It was easy to start a conversation by asking this simple question.

SCC: In your opinion, what characteristics do you think define a successful uniform design?

Henry:  Not too many colors but have specific marking/images that make the jersey one of a kind for example: The Oregon Ducks wing blades on the top of the shoulder, which gives the jersey a distinct look, and makes it easily recognizable.

Zach: The one thing that I believe defines a successful uniform design is the idea behind the design. Many business men and women try selling ideas and not just the fashionable aspects of the uniform. 

SCC: What is your dream job?

Henry: My dream career is to go and study in the Business And Entrepreneurship school at Oregon State University and hopefully during those four years of college get an internship at either Jordan or Nike and eventually work at Nike or Jordan doing either marketing or apparel design for my job, I have loved art, photography and design ever since I was a little kid and it has carried all the way to now.

Zach: My dream job is to be a footwear designer for Nike at the world headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. I want to design footwear mainly for runners but also for other clients. Making people happy with my designs would make me happy. Seeing my idea on others would make me even happier. Also I can imagine the work environment being a fast pace and exciting which I would truly enjoy.

SCC: What is your favorite brand of athletic shoe/apparel?

Henry: I got my first pair of Nike shoes when I was 3 months old and have been hooked ever since, the way they have differentiated themselves in the athletic wear industry has just blown my mind, and also all of the revolutionary clothes and technologies they have come up with is just amazing, I will be hooked for the rest of my life.

Zach: It’s really hard to say what my favorite brand of shoes and clothing is. I wear everything because I like trying new things to see what is good or bad. I have been satisfied with Nike’s products lately but I occasionally wear Asics to run in. Also as far as clothing goes I have no favorite brands, I only get what I can afford. Under Armor though has been a huge help for my winter training along with Nike’s winter running gear. That’s a really tough question for me and I can’t quite select a favorite brand. 

SCC: What are you doing now to prepare for your career? 

Henry:  I am trying to set up as many job shadows with people in the design industry as I can, Chris from Sports Career Consulting has helped me set up a Job Shadow with a footwear designer from Jordan which will hopefully happen within the next two weeks, and I am in the process of setting up two more meetings with two more people that work for NIKE.

Zach:  I’m doing everything I can to prepare for my career. I’m researching classes I need to take, and looking for colleges that provide the classes I need. I have also been taking advantage of all opportunities I come across. Having small tasks and assignments are preparing me for the future. It allows me to experience a work-like environment which is good for me. One of the biggest things I have involved myself in is making contacts with professionals to further my knowledge of footwear design. 

SCC:  OK, last question, and it is totally random.  What was the last book you read?

Henry: The last book I read was HEAT; it is a baseball story about a boy with a passion for baseball that lives in Brooklyn and his struggles with life and playing baseball, and overcoming his struggles in life.

Zach: The last book I read was “PRE”. It’s a great book about Steve Prefontaine’s life and it made me realize that dreams are only captured if you work hard. To me he is a hero. He had an incredible talent and ran with it in a sense that worked for him and made him an American hero. Many people now follow in his footsteps. 

SCC:  Thanks for the response guys.  You are both very talented and have a promising career ahead of you.  Best of luck as you chase your dreams…please keep in touch!

Henry’s winning design:

Zach’s second place design:

Griffin Booth is in his first year as Sports Career Consulting’s Blog Manager.  He is a recent Washington State University graduate where he majored in communications with an emphasis in broadcasting.  Booth began his career as an intern with sports radio 950 KJR in Seattle where he was responsible for managing the show’s podcasts.  He later gained experience as a news anchor, producer, and reporter for Cable 8 news in the greater Pullman area. In addition to his role with Sports Career Consulting, he is currently an intern with Washington State University’s Cougar Athletic Fund, helping to raise money for student-athlete scholarships.  Born and raised in Seattle, Booth is a huge fan of all Seattle sports. For any questions, comments, or feedback please feel free to contact Griffin by email at gbooth206@gmail.com.  You can also follow him on Twitter @gbooth6.

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