Alumni Stories

Karina Reed

Fashion Design

Assistant Product Developer and Designer for Kroger/Fred Meyer
The Art Institute of Portland

Karina Reed

The range of experience I gained in school opened my eyes to all the different facets of apparel design and the various careers that were possible with my degree. Karina Reed , Assistant Product Developer and Designer for Kroger/Fred Meyer Bachelor of Fine Arts in Apparel Design, 2014 , The Art Institute of Portland

Karina Reed is working as an assistant product developer and designer for Kroger/Fred Meyer in Portland. She’s responsible for communicating with factories, assisting senior designers with collections, and collaborating with buying team. “Most of my day is spent reviewing artwork, fit, and color submits with senior designers, specialists, and buyers—and communicating approvals or changes to factories,” she says. Karina also researches trends for upcoming seasons and analyzes selling for current and past seasons. She points out the best perk of her job—traveling the world for development trips.

Karina is a past winner of Sock It To Me’s “Design-A-Sock Competition,” earning the top spot over 5,500 other entries. “It's a surreal experience walking into a store and seeing my design for sale, and knowing that people all over the country have bought them,” she says. Karina also saw her senior collection on the runway at Portland Fashion Week. “Getting to share it with my friends and classmates made it even more special because we had all gone through the same struggles to reach that goal.”

Karina, who in 2014 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Apparel Design from The Art Institute of Portland, says that her education helped her to choose the right career path for her interests and talents. “I honestly never considered product development as a possible career path until I took Tech Sketching and Digital Surface Design [class] and realized how much I enjoy designing digitally.” She recommends that current students be aware of how they’re presenting themselves during interviews. “From your portfolio to your handshake to your shoes, you are constantly being judged in this field. It would be nice if skill was the only thing that mattered but in reality people often hire the person they most want to work with, or whose aesthetic most closely lines up with theirs. Do your research, know your stuff, and always be prepared to defend your work.”

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