Shake your tail feathers in a tartan
Votes will determine official plaid for USC
By Ryal Curtis, firstname.lastname@example.org, 803-777-6491
Don’t be surprised to see University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides sporting a new garnet and black plaid necktie in the very near future. That’s because the school is getting its very own official tartan.
USC students, faculty, staff and alumni are being asked to vote for their favorite tartan plaid pattern. Voting runs through 1 p.m. March 11 at the new USC Tartan website.
The winning tartan design will be announced later this spring, with new USC merchandise – everything from iPad covers to blankets, backpacks, pajamas, ties and much more – available for purchase online at the Official Collegiate Tartan Apparel website.
The three tartan designs in the running to become the official University of South Carolina tartan are appropriately named:
“Tartan & Feather”
The official USC tartan is nearly three years in the making, an initiative led by students and faculty from the university’s Department of Retailing, home to the USC Center for Retailing and the USC Fashion Board.
Marianne Bickle, retailing professor and director at the USC Center for Retailing, first initiated talks of developing an official tartan for USC back in 2010. She says the new tartan should see strong demand from the Carolina community as well as, eventually, from local and national retailers.
“The tartan will help promote, market and brand USC,” said Bickle. “We expect these products to be very well received by alumni of all ages, current students and die-hard Gamecocks fans.”
Bickle says a goal of the program will be to secure university approval to send a portion of merchandise sales proceeds to help fund student scholarships.
Ongoing operations for the USC tartan project will be overseen by the university’s Center for Retailing with leadership from students enrolled in retail management and fashion merchandising courses at USC.
“We are extremely proud to have the university’s official tartan developed, marketed and sold from our Department of Retailing,” said Brian J. Mihalik, dean of the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management. “This project is especially exciting in that it provides our retailing students with the unique opportunity to bridge their classroom learning with real-world industry experience.”
Future plans call for USC tartan merchandise to be sold at traditional brick and mortar retailers, including the campus bookstore.
The USC tartan will go through the official registration process with the Scottish Register of Tartans in Edinburgh, Scotland. Currently, only 17 other U.S. universities have registered school tartans.
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