Mark Bissell ’22 Wins Prestigious Scholarship and Looks Forward to an Exciting Career
March 24, 2022 — Mark Bissell ‘22 was shocked. Even after being one of seven Marist College fashion students to be honored nationally as a general selection to the 2022 Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF) competition, he says what came next floored him. In February he was selected as the first recipient of the new Marty Staff Scholarship.
The Marty’s Light scholarship is in honor of the late pioneer in the fashion industry who died last year. The scholarship is being awarded to one FSF winner each year who is interested in menswear. With the honor of being awarded the Staff Scholarship, Bissell will receive unique mentorship opportunities with fashion professionals from the selection committee, including Marty’s close friends and colleagues.
“Considering Marty’s immense contributions to the fashion industry and learning about how many amazing people have been involved in the creation of this scholarship is quite overwhelming, I’m so honored to be included as even just a small part of his legacy,” said Bissell.
Mark Bissell working in the Senior Design Studio at the Steel Plant
With distinct qualifications to earn this scholarship, Bissell is honored to be the first recipient and was touched when learning about what the selection committee was looking for in a student.
“Reading these articles talking about the type of student they were hoping to find for the scholarship made me somewhat emotional - it felt like my hard work had been validated and that I had the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself, and again I am so honored and grateful for this award,” said Bissell.
Bissell credits the use of cutting-edge technology, learned at Marist as a major contributor to his success. With technology being more and more transformative within the fashion industry, CLO3D software, which is technology that provides true-to-life garment visualization, has been transformative in Marist’s fashion education and the industry.
“Although it is still new, CLO3D has completely changed the fashion design education, and I expect it to have an even greater impact as it becomes more widely used and implemented with design programs,” said Bissell.
The way CLO3D works is that it virtually prepares templates of various garments you intend to produce, allowing for digital alterations before making a physical product, eliminating the primary area of concern in the fashion industry, waste. A design student uploads an “avatar” to the software that resembles the body they plan the garment for. The user can then manipulate the avatar features, measurements, fabric types, or print designs.
Mark Bissell’s design renderings in CLO3D
“We introduced CLO software instruction last year to our design students and we are excited to be opening it up to all of our Fashion Program students, both design and merchandising in Fall 2022,” said John Bartlett, Director of the Fashion Program. “CLO is a revolutionary system that provides true-to-life 3D garment simulation and is the future of sustainable design. Marist Fashion is committed to equipping our students with the latest technology and an understanding of where the industry is heading.“
Coming into the fashion program with little sewing experience, Bissell is now finishing his senior year designing with cutting-edge technology and entering the workforce as the fashion industry moves into the future.
“Marist is not only preparing their students for the technologies they will be faced with in the design world after graduating, but encouraging us to use these new technologies to address relevant issues in fashion such as size inclusivity, waste reduction, and overall accessible design,” said Bissell.
Bissell has been a leader in the successful use of this software. Six of his final collection garments were designed using the CLO3D software and printed in the Maker Lab, all fitting on the first try and approved for the final collection.
Professional Lecturer of Fashion Design Richelle Valenzuela (standing) providing Mark Bissell (seated) with CLO3D design feedback.
Designer at American Eagle
Following graduation, Bissell will be joining American Eagle as part of their Design Teammate program as an Assistant Designer in July 2022. Going through a rigorous application process for the open position, Bissell is excited for what the future holds for the rest of his time at Marist and future at American Eagle.
“Accepting the offer has given me such a great relief about finishing the rest of the semester and so much excitement about my future after Marist!” said Bissell.