Textile Designer Claire Hider’s Inspired College Journey
By Cameron Walker
Claire Hider’s recent textile collection “Aligned (Undefined)” was inspired by Bauhaus, the German modernist school of art that sought to reconnect art and manufacturing. In a way, her selection of hand painted and digital designs serves as a metaphor for her studies at NC State; as she earned her bachelor of science in Fashion and Textile Design (with a textile design focus) and completed a series of internships, she was able to translate her love of art and interest in science and technology into marketable products.
“The Wilson College of Textiles was a perfect fit for my collegiate goals,” she said. “I was excited to combine art, design, and technology with inspiration from many aspects. I realized the FTD program was going to challenge me far beyond my expectations and that the relationships I would make would motivate me and show me what my career would hold.”
Although she is graduating this spring, she will not be going far. After a summer internship with creative design studio and textile manufacturer Valdese Weavers, the Kernersville, N.C., native will return to complete her Master of Science in Textiles as part of the Accelerated Bachelor’s Master’s Program. She hopes to eventually earn her Ph.D.
“I have been fortunate enough to study under abstract and classical instructors who have cultivated my artistic visions,” she said. ”It is a goal of mine to eventually teach. Legacy is important to me and it would be an honor to give back to the students coming behind me.”
Hider is already leaving a legacy behind. She recently won the inaugural Visual Arts Award in the Arts NC State Student Art Sale for her abstract painting, “Phoenix,” which will hang in Talley Student Union for the 2017-2018 school year. She is also the founding president of the first campus student chapter of WithIt, a professional organization in the home furnishings industry that offers mentoring, leadership and educational opportunities for women.
“The goal was to begin to build a network between students and industry,” she said. “I wanted to help share the amazing opportunities I had received with COT students. I have been so fortunate to be the founding president, but I am also excited to pass the opportunity on to our newest officers and help them to grow.”
She has maximized her experience as an undergraduate, growing her skill set through membership in professional societies, internships and travel opportunities.
“Claire exemplifies ‘Think and Do’ with her active professional development experiences via internships with key global organizations, as well as study abroad programs with global academic partners,” said Dr. Nancy Cassill, associate dean for academic programs at COT. “Claire is an excellent representative of the talented NC State Wilson College of Textiles’ student population, and has a bright future as an emerging textile industry leader.”
Hider has served as recruitment co-chair of the Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management Student Advisory Board and has been a member of the textile leadership fraternity, Kappa Tau Beta, the textile honors society, Sigma Tau Sigma, and the University Scholars Program for high achieving students.
“Through my internships, I was able to both apply my class knowledge and to see how others have utilized their educations within an industry setting,” she said. “Through these opportunities, I have gained insight into many aspects of the textile industry and have been able to also apply industry knowledge in the classroom. It is exciting how learning can both come full circle and continue throughout our lives.”
She elevated her scholarship to a global level studying abroad in Florence, Italy and Shanghai, China, where she studied language and culture, global markets and consumer taste.
“Through study abroad, I was immersed in other cultures and learned design skills from students from other universities across the world who have become friends,” she said. “I was also inspired through art and history and was able to study the languages of Italy and China. Having knowledge of multiple global markets has been invaluable to my class work and to growing myself as a designer.”
Though she will be returning in the fall, Hider is already reflecting on what she has learned at COT.
“I am forever grateful to the faculty and staff of the COT,” she said. “I have gained professional, personal, and creative development. My peers have become lifetime friends and we are a family…I have been able to learn from students globally, from industry, and to grow both as a designer and an individual. As I look back, it is so hard to believe that we have just completed our senior showcase. The years went fast, and every second has been worth it!”