Recently, SmartGlamour designer and NYC professor, Mallorie Dunn was interviewed by Communications Specialist and Women Who Create mentee, Emily Safron.

Learn more about SG's pivot to education below:

    1. Recently, you pivoted from SmartGlamour to focus more on education, can you explain what that transition was like? What helped you make this decision and how did you successfully do it?
      SmartGlamour pivoted to focus on education in March 2023 – it was a decision I began to make in late 2022, early 2023 and then put into action. I have spoken on it at length here if you are interested – but the quick synopsis is: after nine years of handmaking for SmartGlamour, I wanted and needed to focus on restoration for both my physical and mental health. Additionally – aside from Fashion – I have been interested in educating, helping, and problem-solving my entire life. Before learning about the Fashion Industry in high school, I assumed I’d be a math teacher. After receiving my Fashion Design degree from FIT in 2007 – I attended Pratt Institute to earn an Art and Design Education degree. Being an actively intentional inclusive fashion designer is important and needed – but I can’t do it alone – pivoting to education will allow me to impact countless burgeoning fashion designers, to assist me in shifting the industry towards a more positive direction.
    2. Tell us more about your time working as an instructor. What colleges do you teach at and what do you teach? 
      I am an adjunct professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology and The New School – Open Campus/Parsons. Currently, you can find me teaching many classes for FIT – for multiple departments: Undergraduate Fashion Design Degree, Continuing Education, and Pre-college. I teach both sewing and draping courses for the undergrad department, draping, sewing, small business, and inclusive pattern making for continuing education, and sewing and draping for pre-college. At The New School, I have previously taught a NYC focused business course – and currently teach both continuing education and pre-college courses during the Summer. Those courses focus on fashion design overall – touching on design development, sketching, draping, pattern making, and sewing.

    3. What has the transition from your prior work with SmartGlamour to teaching looked like? What is similar and what is different?
      My transition from working solely on SmartGlamour as an e-commerce business to one focused on education has been easier than I thought it might be. As I mentioned above I have always been someone interested in problem solving – that remains true when my problems are internal as well. My decision to pivot, and how I would do so, was very intentional – so the results of such have been smooth and welcome. I’d say the largest difference – is no longer always being the one in charge. I teach privately through SmartGlamour – but as mentioned – I am a professor at two of the most world-renowned Fashion schools in the country, if not the world. And I certainly do not run them. Being a part of a system – instead of the creator of the system – can take some getting used to. But it certainly gives me much more free time, which I am enjoying.

    4. How can fashion design students get in touch or work with you? 
      Students can get in touch with me in a few different ways – depending on what they are looking for. If you are looking for virtual instruction – live or pre-recorded – head here to SG’s Class page. You’ll find pre-recorded singular classes – both on fashion history and business, and on sewing and design. You’ll also find ways to book virtual and in-person private lessons with me. You can also always email me at If you are looking for in-person classes at FIT – this Spring, I will be teaching a variety! 

      For beginners – take a look at Sew Like a Pro 1 – I am section 202403-20514 on Thursday evenings. For intermediate sewers – Sew Like a Pro 2, which will run right after 1. If you are already a maker and are interested in starting your own Small Business – check out Small Business Fashion Production – which runs on Saturdays. For those who’d like to learn how to drape on dress forms to create your own patterns – check out Let’s Drape! – on Wednesday evenings. And to take that skill and expand upon it – learn how to alter your patterns for all size bodies during Inclusive Fashion Patternmaking.

      I will also be teaching a Sewing for Stretch Fabrics course later in the Spring – and will update this post when that is live – and also share on our Instagram page.

      For high school-aged students – I also teach for Pre-college at FIT and this Spring we will be starting a new Draping course – 10 Saturdays beginning in late February. That will be live soon – sign up for email updates here.

      I will also be teaching this Summer at both FIT (for high school and adult) and hopefully The New School as well – stay tuned for social media for those announcements.

    5. What has been your biggest accomplishment in this industry overall? 
      My biggest accomplishment in the fashion industry is the accumulation of many individual responses directly from customers of SG, models of SG, followers of SG, and students – thanking me for helping them feel seen, heard, validated, and listened to. I speak and have spoken about this at length on various platforms and classrooms – but the mainstream fashion industry is exclusionary – and it does not need to be. Everyone wears clothing. Everyone deserves to be seen as a desirable customer. Everyone deserves equal access. Saved indefinitely in SG’s Instagram story highlights – are stories, break downs, case studies, and research data – shining a light on the realities of the fashion industry – and how it can be improved upon. Take a look if you have not before. We can not opt-out from clothing – so fashion must stop making it all but impossible for folks of marginalized identities to take part.

    6. Have there been any significant changes that you’ve seen in the plus size fashion industry since getting involved? 
      There have been many changes to the plus size fashion industry since 2014. It often grows at twice the annual speed compared to straight sizes. But there is always more to be done.
      Plus size fashion bloggers who took off running when social media platforms were invented truly must be lauded for the noise they made. They made these companies take notice of the customer population that was being vastly underserved. However,  fashion design students are still not being taught the reality of customers’ sizes. The world and fashion industry at large still see plus size shoppers as a niche market – when that is quite frankly an impossible statement. (More on that here.)

    7. What is your biggest advice for fashion students who want to get involved and make a difference?
      My biggest piece of advice for fashion students is truly to continue being students. Take as many classes and courses as you can. Also – in the world of TikTok – make sure to vet who you are learning from. There are many “hacks” on the internet that are not actual design techniques. It’s too easy to make things look great in a highly edited video. And past courses and classes – do research. Look for data. Listen to consumers. Pay attention to folks who differ from you. And remember – anyone who can afford your products is a valuable customer to have.

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