York. Paris. London. Milan. The world of fashion is truly one that
crosses boundaries and covers the globe. For Katarina Mejean, AS18,
pursuing a degree in fashion merchandising at the University of Delaware
took her as far as Hong Kong.
Born and raised in New York to parents who came to the U.S. from France
and Germany, Katarina grew up with an appreciation for various cultures
and travel. She decided to come to UD in part because of the
University’s strong study abroad program and knew it would be important
to get hands-on experience if she hoped to launch a successful career in
the fashion industry.
In the summer of her sophomore year, Katarina set her sights on Asia,
where she had never been, and even secured an internship as a material
services intern with Under Armour Hong Kong.
She spent three months interacting with locals as well as communicating
with businesses in nearby countries like Vietnam and Cambodia, learning
both the culture of East Asia and more about the fashion and retail
industry as a whole.
“What better way of learning than by going to Asia and going to a hub
such as Hong Kong and being able to really integrate yourself and learn
from them firsthand?” Katarina says.
Katarina often talked with her parents, Bruno Mejean and Martina
Hund-Mejean, P18, about her study abroad experience, which later helped
her land an internship and then a job as a merchandising development
trainee with Saks Fifth Avenue.
However, Katarina saw how difficult it could be for other fashion
students to pursue much-needed study abroad opportunities. Her parents
have long supported a number of charitable causes and have encouraged
their children to think how they too can become involved with the
community and world around them.
As a family, the Mejeans discussed what they could do to support future UD fashion students.
“When we looked at the Delaware program, and in particular the fashion
program, which has a number of wonderful opportunities for students to
go overseas, we felt that these programs were not easily available to
everybody because of the cost,” Martina says. “And so, we wanted to do
our part to help to make them available to more students, especially
students who are not able to afford it.”
By creating the Mejean Family Student Experience Fund, through the University-wide engagement and fundraising campaign, Delaware First,
the family will help students in the Department of Fashion and Apparel
Studies who are eager to learn through real-world situations. The
opportunity to study abroad or pursue an internship are invaluable
experiences for any student, but especially those majoring in fashion.
By learning outside of the classroom, students are exposed to the latest
business practices and have access to technology in a rapidly changing
industry, as well as make connections to potential mentors and future
“I want to help make sure that more students get this opportunity
because it is so important in today's global environment to be able to
travel and study abroad, and I just noticed not a lot of people could
not do it unfortunately,” says Katarina, who will also continue to play a
role as an alumna by serving on the Department of Fashion and Apparel
Studies Advisory Council.
The fund ensures that more students will have access to international
fashion industry leaders, experiences and opportunities—experiences that
have proven to be instrumental to Katarina’s future.
Through the Mejean Family Student Experience Fund, students won’t just
explore the world of fashion, but explore what their future might hold.
Since both Martina and her husband work in competitive global
industries, they see the difference international experience makes when
hiring decisions are made.
“The world is getting smaller and smaller, and we truly believe that
young adults will thrive much better in this kind of world if they have
these international experiences,” Martina says. “It will make them
better people, not only from a work point of view, but it will change
them holistically. Their international experience will help them
navigate different beliefs, different thinking, and different
For more information on how you can support Delaware First, email Stacey Muzzi or call her at 302-831-0764.