Outfit? Check. Cap and gown? Check. Nebraska degree? Almost!
By the age of 5, Nebraska’s Cherish Perkins was sketching designs and dreaming of a career in fashion. By 10, she was in sewing classes, creating her designs. And now, she is days away from graduating with a degree in fashion merchandising and launching her own company.
Before college, Perkins thought she knew everything about the fashion industry. But, after studying fashion for four years, she has built up her knowledge base and skills through the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s textiles, merchandising and fashion design curriculum and hands-on opportunities like designing fabrics and helping local businesses create visual displays.
“I didn’t realize how much work goes into the process of designing a line and I was shocked to learn that when I got to UNL,” Perkins said. “I love that the program is so one-on-one and lets us experience every part of the industry: sewing, textiles, merchandising, designing, etc.”
Perkins took her passion for learning outside the classroom and was motivated to develop more skills that would be crucial to her success as a fashion designer. Through serving as the creative assistant for the College of Education and Human Sciences’ Global Exchange and president of Montage Fashion Club, Perkins learned about working in the professional world. She was polished in using the creative side of her brain, but involvement on campus pushed her outside of her comfort zone, teaching her to speak in front of crowds and run interviews, publish articles and juggle multiple projects.
With only finals between her and a degree, Perkins is excited to direct years of dreams and hard work into her next journey —starting a company specializing in women’s wear and getting closer to becoming a well-known fashion designer. As she crosses the stage in Memorial Stadium, Perkins encourages Huskers to leverage university resources, build relationships and stretch their abilities whenever possible.
“College is what you make it so take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way,” Perkins said. “You never know who you may come in contact with, so always put out your best version of yourself.”