Skip to main content
UT retail students designed four options for this year's competition.
UT retail students designed four options for this year’s competition.

UT students will have an opportunity to showcase their design talents and retail know-how in a national design competition sponsored by Robin-Ruth, an international casual lifestyle brand.

The company selected UT to participate as one of six high-ranking retail programs in the United States.

“Our students have already submitted design ideas to Robin-Ruth,” said Myra Loveday, associate director of the Rocky Top Institute in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences. “The company is now working with our students to help them refine their design ideas and get them ready for the next phase of the competition, which allows the public to vote for their favorite.”

The public can vote for one of UT’s four designs from November 14 through 20 on the Student Design League website. The student whose design gets the most votes will be offered an interview for one of two internships in Robin-Ruth’s New York City showroom.

“A friendly competition among universities highlights the fun and creative side our programs offer,” said Kara Rose O’Malley, a junior from Scituate, Massachusetts. in retail and consumer science.

UT’s student design winner will then compete against the top finalists from the University of Alabama, the University of Arkansas, Florida State University, West Virginia University and Auburn University.

“This is an opportunity for talented student designers to have their work come to life and worn by others,” said Ben Jablonski, CEO of Robin-Ruth. “Our company likes to invest in up-and-coming student designers and programs by giving them a creative outlet to promote and display their school spirit.”

Robin-Ruth will announce the overall winner December 1.

“It’s exciting to have the UT and Knoxville communities get behind us during this competition,” said Loveday. “Participating in this student design challenge with a global design brand will enhance our students’ design perspectives and product development skills.”

The VolShop is supporting the competition and will feature UT’s winning item in its stores in the fall of 2017.


Myra Loveday (865-974-6615,

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,