Skip to main content
Our People

Lilly Barozzini ’24: Fashion Design and the Full College Experience

Lilly Barozzini standing in front of two mannequins with her designs and a mood board.

Growing up in New Jersey, Lilly Barozzini always knew she’d end up in a creative career. 

“My family is full of very creative people. We’d come home from school, and there’d be crafts on the table that we would all do,” she remembers. 

She discovered her interest in fashion design in high school, but even with world-renowned programs at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Parsons School of Design just up the road, the Wilson College of Textiles was still her first choice.  

Barozzini’s with models from senior collection Morning Meditation after the FTD Emerging Designers Showcase.

“I toured a lot of schools in New York, and it just felt very much like New York would inspire you, but the space and the people wouldn’t. I’ve always been a person that needs a community. I need people that will support me and help me grow,” she says. “And then coming here in high school for the Summer Textile Exploration Program, I fell in love with the studio space and the people that I met.”

At NC State, she’s also had the opportunity to enjoy the more traditional college experience, cheering on the Wolfpack and getting involved in student organizations like Platform, NC State’s fashion and culture magazine, and Best Buddies, a group that pairs up NC State students with members of the community with intellectual disabilities to create lifelong friendships. 

Lilly and Susie at Best Buddies

“I have been paired with my buddy, Susie, since my first year of college and we just, like, go bowling and it’s just a moment to slow down, appreciate life, and learn to be present.”

Now, graduating with her B.S. in Fashion and Textile Design with a concentration in fashion design, and gearing up for an apparel design job at Abercrombie & Fitch, there’s no doubt in her mind she made the right decision. 

What has been your most impactful experience? 

Winning and showing my first collection on the runway in the AATS Fashion Exposé. Being able to show my first collection as a sophomore was a mind boggling experience. It really clarified for me that this is what I want to be doing. It proved to me that all the hard work of pouring yourself into a collection is worth it. 

And then studying abroad in Italy is probably the second one because that was just an incredible experience that made me grow individually and as a designer.

What did you learn during your time abroad? How did it impact you as a designer? 

I took a few different classes while I was there but one was Sketching in Florence, where we would go around Florence and sketch still life which was such an interesting experience. I also got to take Accessory Design and History of Renaissance Art. The professors were just incredible over there. I was really inspired by the architecture and just thinking about different eras of art, too. 

Also, the Italian approach of taking a step back and slowing down has impacted my senior collection so much. I’m very much like a go go go person but I learned the lesson that sometimes it’s more beneficial to stop, sip your coffee and have a conversation instead of  chugging it and running to the studio like I used to do.

A sketch from the Sketching in Florence course
Purses made in Barozzini’s accessories course

Which people have influenced you most during your time at NC State?

I feel like I’ve had a lot of people coming in and out of my life, impacting me during different parts, but one person has remained constant. My roommate Emerson is majoring in fashion and textile management. We met at STEP [the Summer Textile Exploration Program] and we were randomly paired up as STEP roommates, and we have lived together until now. 

We both hope to go into apparel design after graduation, so to be able to support each other during our capstone collections and grow together these last four years has been really cool. 

Emerson Huffman (left) and Lilly Barozzini (right) with Howling Cow ice cream.

Tell us about your upcoming job with Abercrombie & Fitch! 

My journey with Abercrombie & Fitch [A&F] started with the Sophomore Summit, which helped get my foot in the door, and then I was an intern for Gilly Hicks – an athletic wear brand for Hollister, last summer. I loved my team and I grew so much. I got to work on onesies, dresses, sports, bras and tanks, which let me approach the brand as a whole, which was really fascinating to me. One of the sports bras I designed is even being sold in stores right now!

Barozzini and her Gilly Hicks team last summer.

It was also really cool because they would ask me for my perspective on different activewear fabrics since they knew that I had learned a lot about the science behind textiles at NC State. 

I’ll be an assistant apparel designer, but I have no idea where I’ll be within A&F’s corporate design teams in this new job. But I think going through last summer just made me feel like wherever I’m placed will be the right place for me right now. They really blew me away with their company culture and efforts to make everyone feel included and cared for even in such a big company. 

What advice would you give your first-year self? 

I’d probably say stop and stand and appreciate the moment you’re in right now. Because I feel like so often, we’re all running around chaotically.

And then also, appreciate where you are when you know you’re on a journey of growth. Because even though you might feel like you have so far to go, you’ve also come so far. I think I would tell her to take that moment to appreciate where you are and what you’ve been doing. And not stress too much about the future. It’s going to happen.