By Kate Mulder ’21

The Wilson College of Textiles offers students many opportunities to engage in clubs and organizations to pursue their passions while enhancing critical leadership skills. Senior Kate Mulder ’21 has made the most of her student experience balancing academics with extracurricular activities and service. She is majoring in fashion and textile management with a concentration in brand management and marketing and minoring in business administration and entrepreneurship. Mulder also is vice president of the Tompkins Textile Student Council (TTSC), which she joined to “get involved in the Wilson community as a student to be able to voice my and my peers’ opinions to create opportunities as a whole.” As part of a series, she takes a closer look at how Wilson students can engage with their college.

Just as fashion trends come and go, change also occurs with student organizations at the Wilson College of Textiles. For example, Pack Fashion, launched in 2016, is now known as Platform Magazine, the fashion and culture magazine and creative community on NC State’s campus. Developed and run by Wilson College’s own students, Platform Magazine’s mission is to raise its members’ voices on fashion, culture, lifestyle, technology and more. 

The student organization rebranded to Platform in fall 2019 to expand its community both on and off campus. Students involved wanted Platform to be the go-to place for fashion and culture for the Wilson community, Raleigh and beyond.

“We have always been and will continue to be a magazine and creative community by students — a platform for their work, their perspectives and their passions — hence our new name, Platform,” said Lily O’Brien ’21, editor-in-chief. 

Platform Magazine is made up of teams including creative, digital, modeling, photography, social media, set design, styling and writing. The expansion of the magazine has allowed for more culture-focused content for all.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this semester has been the most challenging one yet, necessitating changes for the magazine. Innovation and adaptability have become key qualities for all members of Platform especially with ‘Zoom University’ going beyond the classroom into all student organizations. Learning new ways to collaborate and communicate is proving critical to success. Platform members are staying connected with each team, setting production schedules and creating designs digitally via Zoom and other tools. As a result, Platform still plans on releasing its semester’s magazine in December — but in a different way. Through the dedication and commitment of Creative Director Samia Usmani and her team, Platform will produce a digital version (also its biggest volume) since the ability to print and sell physical copies on campus is limited. 

In light of the pandemic and political unrest, Platform’s goal this year is to build a vibrant community. Students want to be the platform that people can come to for inspiration, fashion and fun as well as for education and perspective on current events and culture. Which is why Platform has a new Platform. 

Outside of new content, Platform is also working diligently on its new website, podcast, blog and YouTube channel while building awareness through social media, photoshoots, writing and design. The new website will share not only the magazine and content but also a new blog feature. 

Platform Blog is a new place for us to connect with our community within and outside of NC State,” O’Brien said. “We are starting a writers club through our blog that anyone — NC State student or otherwise — can submit to, in hopes of reaching more people and getting more perspectives. It also has become a channel to communicate with our current members as far as Platform’s news and updates.” 

O’Brien emphasizes that Platform students care about their community and have a passion for not only sharing their voice but their community’s voice as well. 

In addition to the blog, plans are underway for a podcast. Platform’s digital content director, Ngoc Nguyen ’20, and her team are organizing and producing it, wth a target release by the end of this year. 

Meet the Editor-in-Chief: 

Lily O’Brien ’21

Fashion and Textile Design

Why did you join Platform Magazine?

I joined Platform, then PackFashion, my freshman year as a way to connect with other students and pursue my passion for creation. In high school, I had been a member of the arts and literary magazine, and I also interned with a fashion photographer and modeled with a local modeling agency. So PackFashion seemed to be the perfect culmination of all my previous experiences. 

What have your positions been throughout the years?

My first semester, I was on the styling, photography and modeling teams, but quickly realized that I had bitten off more than I could chew. Starting my second semester, I was only on the photography team and would step in to model if asked. The spring semester of my sophomore year, I was brought onto the board as the director of photography, a position I shared with alumna Kori Hyer ’20. I remained a co-director of photography up until this semester when I was elected as editor-in-chief!

Photographs by Lily O’Brien

What has been most beneficial to you professionally while being part of Platform Magazine? 

Professionally, Platform Magazine has given me more interpersonal and communication skills than any other extracurricular experience I’ve pursued. Platform has so many moving parts and varying opinions and opportunities within each team that have to coordinate with each other, so communication is absolutely paramount to accomplish this. Even before I was involved with the board, being a team member took dedicated time and expressed flexibility to really make the experience worth it.


Meet the Brand Manager: 

Hannah Williams ’20

Fashion and Textile Management 

Why did you join Platform Magazine?

I joined Platform Magazine when I transferred into the Wilson College of Textiles because it seemed like a great opportunity to meet people in my major. I had never worked for a publication before but had always been interested in fashion magazines, so it seemed like the perfect fit. 

What have your positions been throughout the years?

I began as a creative assistant for a year, transitioned to creative director and then was editor-in-chief up until spring 2020. I am now working as brand director on our board until I graduate in December!

What has been most beneficial to you professionally while being part of Platform Magazine? 

Platform Magazine has given me the opportunity to work on a team in a way far different from group projects. I had never had leadership roles before, but when I began my position as creative director I found myself enjoying leading a team. This enjoyment encouraged me to continue to pursue positions on the board and improve my communication and delegation skills. Platform functions like an actual small business in the way we communicate and rely on each other, and strengthens our professional business management skills because of it.

What is your role as the brand manager?

As brand manager, I work to create an answer to the question, ‘What is Platform Magazine?’ I am trying to create a cohesive image of our brand using branding tools such as a booklet with consistent fonts, colors and language that we use. This project is ongoing with Editor-in-Chief Lily O’Brien and our other branding team members. My role also includes any collaborations or expansions that our magazine may do such as working with a clothing brand, an advertising company or any other opportunities.

Kate Mulder ’21 serves as a student ambassador for both the Wilson College and Pack Abroad (having studied at Lorenzo de Medici Institute in Florence, Italy) and as vice president of the Tompkins Textile Student Council. She also directs e-communications for her sorority, Delta Gamma, and has been involved with the corporate sponsorship efforts for Dance Marathon. This year she is working in the Office of Marketing and Communications to help tell the Wilson College story.