Pima Community College’s resident fashionista

Interview and photos


Pima Community College will  holding its annual fashion show May 4 at the Fox Theatre. 

Nancy Spaulding, the head of the Fashion Department, recently sat down with the Aztec Press. 

Q: What is your favorite piece on display?

A: “I haven’t seen everything yet, so I couldn’t say what my favorite would be.”

Q:What is your favorite fashion trend?

A: “Print mixing, totally.”

Q: What is your favorite fashion decade?

A: “I would say probably the ’60s because I grew up in the ’60s and everybody was rocking the good stuff then.”

Q: What is your favorite part of working in Pima’s fashion department?

A: “The fact that it is just full of creative people, and people love fashion and want to create new trends and new designs. It is  just a fun department; it’s work but it is a fun department.”

Q: What were you doing before coming to Pima? 

A: “Before Pima, I was working in the apparel industry. My last corporate job was hosiery in San Diego and I managed a Victoria’s Secret, The Walking Company, Spree, so many of them, but I have been in design, manufacturing and product development my entire life.”

Q: That is what you went to college for?

A: “It is and I actually started when I was 8, but I didn’t know it. I just started sewing stuff when I was eight and my aunt was a costume designer and my cousin was a knitwear designer, so it’s in the DNA.”

Q: So I assume that is what got you into fashion?

A: “Yeah, I grew up on the East Coast and we didn’t have computers back then and so you had to entertain yourself, so I was always making stuff constantly. I started out on my great grandmother’s treadle machine. I was always making and designing things.”

Q: So do you like the “old-fashioned way” with something like the treadle machine, or do you like the new technology?

A: “I love both.The technology makes it faster. Like in my digital fashion design class, I teach students how to design their own textile prints, and then I print fabric for them.”

Q: What does fashion mean to you?

A: “Fashion to me is about the culture, it’s about what’s happening in society, it’s about global happenings, it’s about the street, it’s about couture, it’s about celebrity, it’s a mixture of everything. It comes down to whatever makes you feel comfortable, whatever makes you feel really great.”

Q: What kind of classes do you teach?

A: “I teach a lot of the fundamental classes like intro to fashion design, fashion drawing, digital fashion design, a couple of the clothing construction classes, draping. I do some of the other advance classes.”

Q: What transfer partnerships do you have in place to make it easier for those majoring in fashion, and what does that mean for the future of Pima students that want to major in fashion?

A: “We have a transfer agreement with ASU in their B.A.