AROUND TOWN: Jess Ballas

Kent State University is one of the top rated fashion schools in the country for fashion merchandising and fashion design. One thing that makes Kent State stand out is the amount of opportunities it gives its students to shine! Kent State hosts an annual fashion show in April where senior designers compete to show their senior collections. Merchandisers put on the whole show from scheduling models, doing photo shoots, creating a catalog and the production of the actual show. I pulled aside one of the talented senior co-producers to get the inside scoop!

Name: Jess Ballas

Role: Senior Co-Producer of The Fashion School’s Annual Fashion Show

CollegeFashionista: How did you get involved with the Kent State Annual Fashion Show?

Jess Ballas: My sophomore year I was a dresser for the show, last year I applied to be a junior co-producer of the show and was accepted into that position. The junior co-producer position is a two year title where you train to be a senior co-producer your senior year.

CF: Exactly how long have you been planning this year’s show?

JB: Honestly, since the day the show ended last year: April 26, 2014.

CF: What is your favorite part of being a Senior Co-Producer?

JB: I love seeing people’s strong skills and putting them to use. For example, if someone is amazing at graphic design then all of their designs will be used for our graphics. I also love fashion show production, which is what I want to go into, so whenever I can be involved in that is great. Also working with the director of our fashion school, J.R. Campbell.

CF: How has being in charge of this show boosted your resume?

JB: I think it is the biggest resume booster because it gives me a real world experience while being in school. We have worked with outside vendors, we are inviting people from the industry and have worked with Macy’s and Dillard’s who are sponsoring the show this year. It allows me to work with people and work with Kent State to make the best of my years while being in school. Since I am still in school, if I were to make a mistake, it is not on my career; I have college to fall back on.

CF: What are your plans after college?

JB: I am moving to New York on May 30th of this year. My job is still up in the air. I have a few opportunities but nothing is set in stone yet. My goal in life is to go into fashion show production, so New York is the place for that!

Learn More: The Fashion School’s Annual Fashion Show will be held this April 2015. This year, the show is in a brand new location. The runway will be held outside on the Kent State Esplanade. There are three shows for students, faculty, fashion professionals and the community to attend. The first is on April 24, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. The opening night show is April 24 at 7:00 p.m. and the awards show is April 25 at 7:00 p.m. For more information and updates about the show, visit “The Fashion School’s Annual Fashion Show: FS2” on Facebook. The whole fashion school community is super excited for this show. It is a great representation of the talent of our Kent State fashion seniors!