Under Armour forges connections with MICA students and alumni
Posted 03.01.14 by MICA Communications
If you want to see the breadth and scope of MICA talent, look no further than Under Armour. The Baltimore-based clothing and accessories powerhouse not only employs MICA alumni in jobs and internships, but it is forging new relationships with current MICA students. Like MICA, Under Armour is involved with the community, whether they are supporting breast cancer research, celebrating military heroes, or creating positive social change throughout Baltimore neighborhoods.
Brianna Antonaccio '11 (graphic design) started out as an assistant graphic designer for Under Armour's accessories team nearly three years ago. After designing graphics for football, baseball, and outerwear gloves, Antonaccio realized the company could do a better job creating gloves that were more appealing to women. She brought her idea to life.
"I designed a full assortment of women-specific gloves that will be coming out winter 2014," Antonaccio said.
Today, Antonaccio designs products for the women's accessories team. "Under Armour is presenting me with great opportunities, and in two and a half years, I moved from an assistant graphic designer to a product designer," she said.
Antonaccio's educational experience at MICA helped to prepare her for this career path. Through internships, guidance from MICA faculty and staff, and connections within the College and local arts communities, she has been able to grow as a designer and shine in her profession.
"The Graphic Design Department at MICA was very focused, and when I got to my senior year, my classes were small enough that professors were able to give very individualized attention, which helped me get to where I am today," Antonaccio said.
Antonaccio is not the only MICA alumnus making a good impression at Under Armour. Theo Pinto '13 (environmental design) started out as an intern and then was hired as a design coordinator, where he puts together the look of in-store environments. Though he didn't have retail design experience when he started out, Pinto credits his MICA experience with helping him to adapt. "I think MICA really teaches you how to think outside the box and trust the process," he said. "You learn any job through experience, so the retail part I nailed down in time."
"Under Armour has been one of the top employers of our alumni," said Brockett Horne, chair of the Graphic Design Department. And current students are also benefiting from the relationship.
When teaching a workshop as part of the Flexible Design Studio class last spring at MICA, Patrick Horvat, senior manager of apparel graphics at Under Armour, asked graphic design students to create a T-shirt line inspired by the city of Baltimore. The designs of three students--Sarah Park '14 (graphic design), Amelie Au '14 (graphic design), and Laura Sucre '14 (graphic design)--are currently available for sale at Under Armour's Harbor East store.
"The creativity and energy at MICA are very inspiring and provide our brand with a unique opportunity to gain insight from the next generation of creative thinkers and influencers," Horvat said. "The ability to interact with such talented and creative students and faculty allows Under Armour to push creativity to new places while also providing students with real-life work experience." Sarah Park '14 (graphic design), Amelie Au '14 (graphic design), and Laura Sucre '14 (graphic design)-are currently available for sale at Under Armour's Harbor East store.
The students also got a crash course in the business side of graphic design, having to get designs approved by Under Armour's corporate executives and the legal department. They had the opportunity to present their designs before Under Armour staff as well.
Park described the experience of having her design chosen for the Harbor East store was overwhelming, yet awesome at the same time. It also left a lasting impression. "I've been applying to other apparel internships after collaborating with the designers at Under Armour," Park said.
"MICA students are well positioned to succeed at Under Armour because MICA faculty members take a vested interest in their success and in guiding their careers," Antonaccio said.
That's a fact that is unlikely to change.
"We have only begun to see what we can accomplish together through this partnership, and we are excited to see what the future holds," Horvat said.
Image captions (top to bottom): Brianna Antonaccio '11; and Alter Ego Football gloves and All America Football gloves designed by Antonaccio (detail); Theo Pinto '13; The most recent project done by Theo Pinto at Under Armour, a concept for a high-end boutique in Beverly Hills from the sketching process to the final rendering of the space (detail); Designs of students Sarah Park '14, Amelie Au '14, and Laura Sucre '14 for Under Armour (detail); design featuring MICA and Under Armour logos; and Park (left), Sucre, and Au at the Under Armour flagship store in Baltimore.