India Johnson | Spartans All-Access | Michigan State Cross Country

India Johnson | Spartans All-Access | Michigan State Cross Country


(mellow music) – New York Fashion Week,
at least in America, it’s like, the pinnacle of
what designers work for. And I’m super excited, it’s
a great experience to be here and I’ve never experienced it before, so I’m super excited to at least have this be my first time here (laughs). It’s a extremely unique opportunity to be an undergrad student and to just be starting figuring out what I wanna do as a designer, and being able to come
here is really eye-opening. Hopefully get to network
and meet some people, and get some tips on how to
actually operate this industry. (mellow music) Freshman year wasn’t the
easiest transition for me. I came into the program and had these really high
expectations for myself. Kinda had a hard time with
the training and racing, learning how to race, kind of,
not in the front of a group. I kind of had a really rough
time figuring that out, and it took a little bit longer than I think it usually does for most people. (mellow music)
(announcer speaking) I ended up actually breaking
my foot later in the fall, and missing Big Tens and
regionals and nationals, and then, that kinda carried
over into the spring, where I red-shirted.
(mellow music) (chattering) Sometimes, it was just like,
being in the dorms was a lot, being around a lot of people, and just kinda knowing that
I wasn’t gonna be running, and having everyone else on my floor that would get up and go to long runs in the
morning, was really rough. (mellow music) A lot of different things were going on, emotionally and physically, and I think that was kind of a time
for me to figure out what running meant to me. And it challenged me
to kind of figured out why I was doing what I was doing, and what I want to do later on in life. (mellow music) What you can do is, I
mean, if you’re not happy, and you don’t think that this
is the right place for you, then you can just transfer. Now, I kinda knew that,
in the back of my head, that was an option, but it
forced me to kinda realize why I came here in the first place. (mellow music) I kinda sat down with my
parents and talked about it, and a lot of people, and kinda
had a lot of conversations that were really tough to have. I mean, nobody wants to
sit down with a friend and say, “Hey, I don’t think
I’m gonna be here anymore.” – [Coach] Come on, lades, let’s go, India. Come on, ladies. It kind of made me realize after talking to a bunch of people, like, that was the reason that I came here was because I met people along the way that I knew were gonna care
for me more than a teammate. More as like family.
(mellow music) (announcer speaking)
(applause) (mellow music) After I had decided that transferring wasn’t what I wanted to do, and that I needed to be here, I was like, “What do I really
wanna do with my life?” I realized that we had an
apparel and textiles program. I got really lucky, and
talked to my advisor, and he was like, “It sounds
like you’re gonna get “a lot more outta that “than you are staying in the KIN program.” I ended up double-majoring
for a whole year, and then later, I was
like, “Yeah, he was right.” So, I dropped KIN, and full-time apparel
and textiles student now. (laughs)
(mellow music) – Through our licensing agency, The Collegiate Licensing Company, every year, they bring the opportunity to their partner institutions regarding the New York Fashion Week, and whether the schools
would like to participate. And so, starting a few years
ago, we jumped onboard. We have a really great apparel
and textile design program here at MSU, and we thought
it would be the perfect fit to get some of those
students involved with this. – I had saw the email,
and I saw a flyer for it, and at the time, I was enrolled
in a fashion drawing class with one of my favorite professors. (chatting) She was talking about it in class one day, and she came up to me, and she was like, “Are you gonna do it?” I was like, “Uh, I don’t
know, I though about it, “and I just don’t think I have the time, “because the project’s
due in three weeks.” And she’s like, “No, you should do it.” – [Announcer] Out of the
South Eastern Conference. – What they had to do was
create some kind of design of how the MSU brand spoke to them. What does the MSU brand mean to you? It could be through colors, through words, through logos, through buildings, iconic buildings on
campus and architecture, just whatever about MSU
spoke to the students, they could incorporate into their designs. And so, they had to
create one actual piece where they made it and
sewed it and all of that, and then, they also had to
do three separate designs, you know, they call them “croakies”, so they’re the artwork
deisgns of them, so, and then, they have to tell us why, why they created this piece and why this spoke to them
in the way that it did. – I sketched something out, it’s deconstructed tennis shoes that then were made into a
tube top and running buns, which are women’s
competitive running shorts. (gentle music) The design that I made were actually shoes that I had collected from the
cross-country and track team, so they were my teammates’ shoes that I had then taken apart
with scissors and pliers. I’d literally made a garment that was made from teammates’ apparel that we had then trained
and worked in for months, without even realizing that I had did it, is that I had made a garment that literally represented my teammates and represented my time here
through their actual garments. (mellow music) My story was about why I stayed here, and the hardships that I had, and that was because of my teammates, and because of the friendships
and the relationships I had made along the way. – We take all of these submissions, and then we have a panel and some judges, and we vote on them and
we kind of rank them, what we feel is our best and
who told a complete story, and their submission backed up what the brand meant to them. (mellow music) – Waited about three weeks or so, and I was like, “Oh, they
must have decided who won, “’cause I haven’t heard back.” Literally that morning,
I thought that, and then, I biked to class to go
meet with my professor before the drawing class. I was in a rush, out of breath, run up the steps, open my phone, and I have an email, and it said, “Congratulations, India,
you’re going to New York.” To realize that I had kinda taken a leap from a program that I felt secure in to a program that I wasn’t
necessarily positive if it was gonna be right for me, and ended up being able to win
a trip to New York out of it, with only being in the
program for two semesters, (laughs) so, it was super exciting. (chatting) – This is an incredible
opportunity for India, and all of the students that
we have sent in the past have come back just
raving about the program. They’re getting access
to behind-the-scenes at New York Fashion Week, one of the most iconic industry
fashion events that exists. And so, they’re getting to connect with designers onsite, through panels, and just have those
one-on-one chats with them and just see how did they get their start? What did they go to school with? How do you even come up
in an industry like this? And then, they also go and
get to see behind-the-scenes of some of the top brands today, like, you know, Champion, and
different brands like that, and just really understand
what the whole process is to bring these creative ideas
out into the fashion world. Really, the sky’s the
limit with this program and what you can get out of it. (mellow music) – It was really overwhelming, and it kinda showed me I
have a lot of work to do. I think that I’m gonna grow
a lot in the next few months of kind of figuring out what exactly in the
industry do I wanna do, and I think those are the things that I’m gonna be really
motivated to work on these next few months,
because of this trip. (laughing) – The students that we have sent have been some of the best and
brightest within this program, and, you know, it’s just something we look forward to
continuing in the future. – For this university to
have so many opportunities and so many different
majors that I could kind of bounce from one thing to
another almost seamlessly, I’m really thankful for. Would I have been able to go to New York in any other program
or at any other school? Who knows, but it’s so awesome
that we have that opportunity and that I was able to do that and meet so many people along the way and get to experience
things that other students don’t necessarily get to have. And I’m so thankful that Michigan State has that opportunity for
all of their students, and I’m super thankful for that. (mellow music) (intense, rhythmic music)

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