Armstrong mixes art and fashion as Stylitics ambassador

The graphic design student has interned for Donna Karan and Barney’s in New York.


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Art student Emily Armstrong is putting her lifelong passion for fashion to good use and is helping others to do the same.

Armstrong is a student ambassador for Stylitics, a “fashion insight” company that enables the fashion-conscious to create a virtual closet, earn points and redeem them for gift cards and discounts.

Clothing brands also use the website as a research tool to see what consumers are buying and wearing in real time. Using social media, games and the virtual closet feature, fashionistas are finally able to tell their favorite brands what they want to see on store shelves.

“There’s a dimension where you can make your own style profile, and that is kind of set up sort of like a Pinterest,” Armstrong said. “You can share your closet and your style with friends. You can think of it also as like a fashion social networking site.”

Armstrong began as an ambassador for the website soon after its inception last fall. She said she met the cofounders of Stylitics in New York at Fashion Campus NYC, an event hosted by Parsons The New School for Design, and they began corresponding.

Armstrong, who will be a senior this fall, is no stranger to the world of high fashion. Before working with Stylitics, she interned at Donna Karan New York. She began an internship at Barney’s, a department store in New York, on Monday in its print graphic design department.

“I will be helping to create posters and banners found in the stores and could have the chance to help develop ideas for the world-class window displays in the Barney's stores,” she said. “I am excited to be in a fashion environment but doing my artwork at the same time.”

Armstrong pulls influence from minimalist designers such as Jil Sander and Marc Jacobs, according to an article on MU’s College of Arts and Sciences website. A professor once compared her work to that of 1900s artist John Sloan.

Armstrong said her favorite part of her job as an ambassador has been working with the cofounders to design a poster promoting Stylitics’ high school ambassador program. The poster was featured in the Wall Street Journal and will be used in the nationwide campaign to recruit high school students for the website.

Armstrong has worked on a “fall fashion report” of MU, for which she took pictures of fashionable students and sent them to headquarters, which then put together a nationwide style report. She also created a video for the website that featured her discussing her thoughts about products endorsed on Stylitics.

“I really, really enjoy doing the creative side,” she said. “I’m in my groove and doing my thing because I’m an art major.”

Armstrong was also featured in the Wall Street Journal on April 4 for her work as an ambassador for Stylitics and the valuable experience she gains despite earning neither payment nor college credit.

She told the Wall Street Journal her position at Stylitics has forced her to practice professionalism and assertiveness, especially when asking chic strangers on the street if she could take their photographs.

After graduation, Armstrong sees herself in New York doing “anything artistic.”

“I will probably say that graphic design will be the venue that I will fall into,” she said.

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