Innovative, passionate and Nike-obsessed are all words that would describe this creative mastermind. From spending endless late nights in the design studio to researching new insights and articles about his craft, it is easy to see how deeply Zach Mueller loves what he’s doing. Over the course of the school year, I’ve watched him pick up various awards for his portfolio as well as his garments at the annual Threads spring fashion show. I knew I had to catch up with this budding designer for a quick interview and photo shoot with some of his pieces (a leather baseball jersey and tennis shoe) before he ran off to the big city.
Name: Zach Mueller
Role: Student Designer
CollegeFashionista: When did you know you wanted to be a designer?
Zach Mueller: I knew I wanted to be a designer when I realized I spent all of my time looking at sneakers. I would be unhappy if I were doing anything else. I believe I realized this in high school at some point.
CF: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
ZM: I’m inspired by weird places. Sports, movies and art inspire me, but not really nature. One time I got in trouble for telling a teacher I was inspired by guns. The military dress is also something I like looking at.
CF: Can you describe your personal style and favorite trends?
ZM: I’m into Normcore, acting basic and keeping it simple. I like clean clothes and technology. A real “techy” pair of shoes with a basic T-shirt and pants would be an ideal outfit for me. I also like wearing plastic. Trendwise, the rise of sneakers is something I see both as a blessing and a curse. It’s nice so many people are interested, but the market has become flooded. I don’t like luxury sneakers. I’d rather wear Nike Frees and pair them with a suit.
CF: What is your number one career goal?
ZM: I want to be a color designer for sports, specifically for athletic shoes.
Learn More: Zach is currently an outerwear design intern at Lands’ End. He also works on the side with his friend at the brand Hidden Characters. Having just finished his fourth year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying textile & apparel design, he will head to FIT in the fall for one final year in Accessory Design.