Charles Freeman

Charles Freeman
Photo by Megan Bean

Fashion plays a large role in how we view ourselves and others, and perhaps no one on campus knows this better than Charles Freeman.

The assistant professor of apparel, textiles and merchandising first became interested in fashion while in college at Florida State University, where he received his bachelor's and master's degrees.

Before going on to Louisiana State University for his doctorate, Freeman worked as a custom tailor in Jacksonville, Fla. A job he considers to be part psychologist, part stylist and part tailor, he credits it with teaching him a good deal about fashion.

"You try to tell the customer what you think they need to wear, but they have an expectation as a customer, too. Knowing that it comes down to what the customer wants is a valuable lesson to learn in this field," he said.

Freeman passes this knowledge along to his students, who are able to use the same tools the fashion industry uses in the design process. Because of this access to industry-quality facilities and tools, the students are that much more prepared to step out of the classroom and into a job.

"When our students head out into the workforce, they're leaving with the skills they need to be competitive," Freeman said.

Freeman also believes there's no shortage of opportunities for students on campus to seek out and find inspiration, especially with today's technology.

"I can watch a Michael Kors fashion show live on my iPhone, wherever I am," he said. "With the technology we have, location is not an excuse anymore."