NC A&T Fashion Design Student Helps Create Urban Outfitters’ HBCU Collection

NC A&T student U’lia Hargrove worked closely with Urban Outfitters to create a six-piece HBCU collection.

VERTSBORO – International lifestyle retailer Urban Outfitters (UO) launched a special historically black capsule collection for colleges and universities (HBCUs) this week, featuring designs created with summer interns from select HBCUs, including North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

From concept to creation, the students worked with the UO buying team to design a 24-piece apparel and lifestyle collection celebrating the culture and community of their respective schools called the UO Summer Class ’21 Collection, the first of its kind.

“Being able to share our resources with the talent at HBCU and work alongside these students creatively as they developed their own product, made the summer class rewarding not only for our students, but for every employee at HBCU. UO who was able to be part of the program,” says Dalila Shannon, UO Women’s Division Merchandising Manager and Summer Class Mentor.

U’lia Hargrove, a fashion merchandising, design and supply chain management student, worked closely with UO’s women’s sweater team as a buying intern.

“It was my first time in a big city like Philadelphia,” the Henderson, North Carolina native said. “We were able to participate in photo shoots, meet the CEO and design every aspect of the collection for our HBCU. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Urban Outfitters to educate their customer base and bring light to our schools.

Clothing includes Champion sweatshirts and long sleeve shirts with original student graphics. For NC A&T, there are six pieces including a premium letterman jacket produced by Ebbets Field Flannel depicting student interpretations of the collegiate staple.

Elizabeth Newcomb Hopfer, Ph.D., associate professor of merchandising and fashion design, is honored to have one of her students selected to attend UO’s 2021 summer class.

“This experience will allow her to shine in the brighter, more inclusive fashion industry of the future while providing her and other Summer Class participants the chance to celebrate NC A&T’s historic achievements and other HBCUs,” she said.

The collection, officially licensed by CLC, will be available for purchase exclusively on and include a charitable donation to the students’ respective alma maters.

The collection also includes designs for Clark Atlanta University by CAU students Dacia Redmond, Jalen Bradford and Jasmine Logan, and for Howard University by Howard student Janae Claxton.

Joseph E. Golightly