Knitwear Designer Olga Mashkova-Henry Wins Target Design Initiative Award
Olga Mashkova-Henry, a senior in the School of Fashion's BFA Knitwear Design program, has won
the Target/CFDA Design Initiative Award and accepted the position of a one-year paid internship as
a designer with Target in Minnesota.
This is a highly competitive, nationwide opportunity, and participants hold degrees from the
country's top fashion schools, with only three to six students from each of the invited colleges
and universities able to apply each year.
"This project is possibly the most difficult for the students to succeed at as they have to show
incredible originality with their ideas but must harness their creativity to design for a customer
outside of what they know," says Simon Ungless, Director of Graduate Fashion. "Olga worked very
hard to develop the understanding of the core Target customer and produced a great project for
them. She deserves this great opportunity. We are very proud of her.”
The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) created its Master's program in 1998,
providing one-year, paid internship opportunities with a designer, design company, or major retail
company to graduating seniors. Currently, the Master's program operates in conjunction with Target
Stores as the "Target/CFDA Design Initiative". The very practical, hands-on program is designed to
expose the recent graduate to all aspects of the fashion business.
Growing up in Russia with no importing forced Olga and her mother to sew their own clothing, but
led Olga to find she enjoyed the process. As fashion is not considered a serious career choice in
Russia, she left in 2000 to pursue her dream of becoming a designer in the United States.
She arrived in San Francisco with only $550 in her pocket but immediately set out for work. The
process has not been smooth but that "struggle made me push harder," admits Olga. "When you want
something, you just do it!"
In the School of Fashion, Olga has found her passion studying knitwear design. "I find it
exciting and challenging to create my own fabrics with different yarns. I love the possibility of
bringing my ideas of unique textures and patterns to life," says Olga. "My designs are styled as
casual, comfortable knitwear with unusual and unique little details, something you would wear to
work and to a casual event afterwards."
Being chosen in this national competition is very exciting for Olga and a great reward for all
her hard work. "I like that Target is a place where the whole family will find something to buy and
being such a large company, Target provides many opportunities for professional growth and will
allow me to explore different directions of design work. Also, as an activist," adds Olga, "I
respect Target's involvement in community giving with a variety of educational and fundraising
programs. I was amazed to find out how many different organizations Target supports and how much
volunteering occurs within the company. I want to work for a company that actually cares.”
For more information on our Fashion program, please visit our
Fashion School pages.