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Alumna donates $500,000 to rename program

Michael FairclothUNT’s College of Visual Arts and Design has received a gift in the amount of $500,000 that will assist in the enrichment and renaming of the already noted fashion design program as the Michael Faircloth Fashion Design Program.

Alumna Lisa Troutt, with a previous career in fashion design, and her husband, Kenny, have given the first major gift that will support the $2.5 million goal to name the program.

“This generous donation will allow us to honor an esteemed alumnus, Dallas fashion designer Michael Faircloth, above, and provide support for our dynamic and enterprising fashion design program,” said Eric Ligon, interim dean of the College of Visual Arts and Design.

Lisa Troutt was a student in the College of Visual Arts and Design studying fashion design when she met Faircloth, who has continued to work with students at his alma mater. Faircloth’s friendship with Troutt developed into a professional and enjoyable designer-client relationship.

“Michael is not only a good friend, but also a talented designer who has established himself as an authority in fashion design,” said Troutt. “Kenny and I are delighted to provide support that will ensure fashion design students at UNT continue to strive for the perfection he maintains in his work.”

Faircloth, a native Texan, established his first couture salon in Dallas more than 30 years ago, and has quietly gone about gaining a serious reputation in the fashion arena. His elegant designs are geared toward women who recognize the beauty of a refined aesthetic. His international clientele heralds his couturier’s sense of cut as well as his discriminating eye for graceful detail. One of his accolades is having been selected to design the inaugural wardrobe for former first lady Laura Bush at President George W. Bush’s inauguration in 2001.

“I am humbled and overjoyed that my friend and my alma mater desire to recognize my achievements by naming the fashion design program for me,” said Faircloth. “My experience and education while studying fashion design at UNT certainly laid the foundation for my success, and it continues to support my view of fashion as a discipline of art.”

The fashion design program at the University of North Texas prepares students for a career as a fashion designer, illustrator or for the many production positions in the fashion industry. The program educates students to create designs that are both innovative and current, while being marketable and suitable for manufacture. Graduates have landed prestigious design positions for companies such as Oscar de la Renta, Dillards, Watters Bridal, Fossil, Ralph Lauren, Theory, Panhandle Slim, Haggar, JC Penney, Nicole Miller, Monique Lhuillier, Zac Posen and Calvin Klein.

“We are grateful for this donation, which will help support our program and remind students of the success that they can achieve with a degree from UNT,” said Janie Stidham, associate professor and coordinator of UNT’s fashion design program. “We are proud of Michael’s many accomplishments and proud to have our program named for him.” 

Posted on: Mon 01 June 2015

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