Student Achievement

Marist x Walkway New Merchandise Collection Debuts Online


Fashion students collaborated with the Friends of the Walkway to create a one-of-a-kind merchandise collection celebrating the Walkway’s 10-year anniversary.

May 6, 2020—A team of Marist Fashion Program students have partnered with the Friends of the Walkway in Poughkeepsie to design, create, and sell a limited edition capsule collection of merchandise in recognition of the 10-year anniversary of the opening of Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park. The collection, Marist x Walkway, will be available online beginning Friday, May 8 at

The collaborative process started a year ago and the original plan was for students to stage a pop-up shop on the Walkway. In the wake of COVID-19, however, the plans for the shop were changed to respect social distancing requirements and to discourage gatherings in the park. The online release consists of eight pieces of wearable apparel, a canvas tote bag, Walkway and Hudson River-themed paisley bandana, and two pillows. All items are available in strictly limited quantities while supplies last. The second half of the Marist x Walkway collection is slated to debut in fall 2020, which will feature original items created in conjunction with students who were enrolled in the Product Design Studio course in the Fashion Program, making use of the makerspace lab in the Steel Plant building.

Merchandise designs

“We’re so grateful for the amazing team of Marist students that have chosen to undertake this project in support of the Walkway,” said Elizabeth Waldstein, Executive Director, Friends of Walkway Over the Hudson. “The student’s creativity and passion is apparent in every piece of work they have created, and we’re excited for everyone in the Hudson Valley to love the collection as much as we do.”

Marist is donating the cost of all materials, production, and profits to support the Friends of the Walkway Over the Hudson and its mission to bring programs and amenities to the park, including an electric tram, and undertake capital projects such as installing lighting on the bridge, and provide a friendly and welcoming experience for more than 600,000 annual visitors.

In addition to the merchandise, Marist students in the School of Communication and the Arts produced a documentary short film about the program, are responsible for crafting social media and marketing plans to promote the collection, and are creating unique pieces of visual art inspired by the bridge and Hudson River Valley to be included in raffles and silent auctions at Walkway events.


Documentary Short Video created by Marist student Inez Armendi

“I have been so impressed by the members of the Marist community that have been part of this collaboration,” said Jennifer Finn, Department Chair of Fashion Design and Merchandising. “From our students enrolled in fashion courses to faculty members and volunteers who wanted to contribute, the energy has been tremendous.  Each member of this partnership has been amazing to work with, and it is really exciting to see this project come to life.”

For Kaili Lewis ’20, a Fashion Merchandising major, the main lesson was about community. “This collaboration showed me how important it is to give back and to bring people together. We’re not only benefitting this gem in the Hudson Valley, but also the people of Poughkeepsie and the region.”

This capsule collection of merchandise is the latest in a long line of key partnerships between Marist and the Walkway. When Walkway Over the Hudson opened in 2009, the College designed and hosted its first website. Marist also provided vital assistance in translating Walkway’s audio tours (known as “Talkways”) into Spanish, Mandarin, and Italian, among many other projects.

Some of the unique t-shirts available for the online auction

Visitors to will also be able to browse 21 unique t-shirts reflecting the 2020 collections of the senior fashion design majors at Marist. Each unique garment has been donated to the Friends of the Walkway and will be available to own via an upcoming online auction. “These pieces are essentially art pieces that tie into each senior designer’s collection but also relate to the Walkway,” said Finn.

Ultimately Finn was excited for students to have a chance to develop merchandise to help a beloved local landmark—despite the obstacles. “One of the key skills my students developed as a result of this project is adaptability,” said Finn. “Because of COVID-19, we really needed to switch gears and that was an important moment for the students; work will always have twists and turns and creative problem solving is needed in every field.”

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