Today@Sam Article

Heritage Magazine: Where Passion Meets Runway

July 3, 2024
SHSU Media Contact: Mikah Boyd

Sydney-NYFW-Original.jpgSydney Sams knows that working in fashion is more strategic and complex than most people realize, with every article of clothing and storefront display carefully prepared by a team of fashion experts. The senior fashion merchandising student knew this as she started her educational journey at Sam Houston State University and paired her major with a minor in business to help her on her way.

“I think fashion merchandising is literally a mix between fashion and business because you get that creative outlet, but also, it’s more strategic,” Sams said. “Fashion is very meticulous. Everything in a store, on a website, wherever you shop, is meticulously placed and I think you have to know how to run a business to be able to know how to have a style or a trend succeed.”

With the skills she has learned during her time at SHSU, Sams was able to secure a summer internship with Levi Strauss & Co. at their San Francisco headquarters. She and her fellow interns were seen as equal partners and worked on projects that would be in stores across the nation. One such project was the creation of storefront displays for some of the Levi outlets around the U.S., which Sams spearheaded.

Her work on the storefronts included selecting different outfits and poses for the mannequins based on current national fashion trends and localization for stores in different climates. Sams said her time creating the displays was one of her favorite experiences at the internship since she was able to utilize all her skills and see the fruits of her labor, not just from the internship, but from her studies.

“I thought that was such a great opportunity for me,” Sams said. “I felt a lot of times like I was so unworthy of the job because I’m from a small town and graduated from a small high school, but it was awesome to be able to see my hard work brought to life. Other people were able to see it and appreciate it as well.”

Sams grew up in New Waverly, just down the interstate from SHSU, where her mother and grandmother attended before her. She said her acceptance as a Levi Strauss & Co. intern has brought her immense validation and shown her that even a small-town girl can make it in the big city.

And she didn’t stop at San Francisco. In September, Sams went to the East Coast for New York Fashion Week (NYFW) as SHSU’s official representative through the University of New York Fashion Week (UofNYFW) program. The high-profile event is organized by the nation’s top licensing agency, Collegiate Licensing Company, and IMG, which operates NYFW.

Sydney-NYFW-Horizontal.jpgSams spent her time in New York learning from design companies like Champion, a sportswear retailer, where she studied how merchandising differs between casual wear like Levi’s and athleisure clothing from Champion.

“It was good to see a different perspective other than Levi’s because Levi’s and Champion are really not even in the same spectrum of clothes that they produce,” Sams said. “It was different to be able to get a sportswear type of perspective on apparel.”

The UofNYFW students also spent time in Times Square and were able to attend a fashion show featuring designs from Son Jung Wan. Their designs appealed to Sams and solidified her goal to pursue a career in creating and merchandising formal wear and owning a bridal shop. After both experiences, Sams remains humble and grateful to everyone who took a chance on her.

“I definitely think that I’ve learned so much this year, going into this I knew nothing,” Sams said. “I think in both places, I felt very comfortable because I knew that there were people there that wanted me to learn and to learn from them.”

To read the full version of Heritage Magazine - Spring 2024, follow this link.

- END -

This page maintained by SHSU's Communications Office:

Director of Content Communications: Emily Binetti

Asst. Director Content & Social Media: Emilee White

Communications Manager: Mikah Boyd
Telephone: 936.294.1837

Communications Specialist: Campbell Atkins
Telephone: 936.294.2638

Please send comments, corrections, news tips to