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Cynthia Istook


Textiles Complex NA


Dr. Cynthia L. Istook received her Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising, Clothing, and Textiles from Texas Christian University. She worked for Sanger Harris (a Federated Department store) for almost three years in the management training program as an assistant buyer and department group manager. Dr. Istook obtained a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. degree from Texas Woman’s University. Her master’s thesis research concerned the durability of Texcellana 80% Cotton- 20% Wool fabric. Research for her dissertation was centered on Computer-Aided-Design (CAD) in the apparel industry.She has taught Fashion Design at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, Fashion Merchandising at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, and Marketing at Texas Woman’s University.  Dr. Istook was appointed to the NCSU faculty in the Fall of 1997 as an associate professor in the apparel management program.  She teaches FTM 317-CAD for Fashion Design, FTM 497- Senior Collection Studio, TTM 515- Advanced Apparel Production, and TTM 517 Advanced CAD for FASHION.In May 2010, Dr. Istook became the first female to be promoted to Full Professor at the Wilson College of Textiles at NC State University in its more than 100-year history.  She was also the first female to be appointed to a named professorship and is currently the Cornelson Distinguished Professor of Textile and Apparel Design.


Fashion, Mass Customization, Body Scanning, Sizing and Fit

Dr. Istook has conducted extensive research in the areas of 3D Body Scanning, sizing systems, fit, mass customization, and rapid prototyping. These endeavors have been directed at finding ways to enable the industry to meet the clothing needs of its customers. She works on national committees to help establish data integration standards for developing technologies, as well as sizing standards for apparel products.

Since an understanding of the target market is essential for profitability, consumer preferences, needs, and descriptions are a basis for much of the practical side of the research.  Finding ways to meet consumer needs through better market research, improved customization processes, better forecasting, improved fit of ready-to-wear, better use of available technologies, and shorter time to market are all integral inputs to the research being conducted.

Dr. Istook conducts workshops and seminars for industry leaders and educators to facilitate their understanding and use of the developing technologies.  Past workshops have included: 3D Body Scanning, Mass Customization, Rapid Prototyping, Digital Printing, and a Technological Review for the Apparel Industry. Other areas of interest include:

  • Pattern Grading Processes
  • Mass Customization
  • Rapid Prototyping
  • Digital Printing
  • Alteration Processes Fit
  • Grain Orientation in Apparel Production
  • Product Development Processes
  • 3-D Body Measurement Processes
  • Consumer Apparel Behavior
  • Design of Fashion Products


FTM 415 – Fashion Product Development,
FTM 497 – Senior Collection Studio,
TTM 587 – Graduate Collection Studio,
TTM 517 – Advanced CAD for Fashion


Post Doctoral Study Business Administration University of Texas

Ph.D. Textiles and Clothing Texas Woman's University

M.S. Textiles and Clothing Texas Woman's University

B.S. Fashion Merchandising, Clothing, and Textiles Texas Christian University, St. Worth

Area(s) of Expertise

3D Apparel CAD
3D Body Scanning
Fashion Design
Mass Customization


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