The University of Wisconsin-Stout student wasn't worried, however, about her resume for long. Shortly after she learned about the award, she accepted a full-time job as a technical clothing designer at Target corporate headquarters in Minneapolis.
Ley, who is majoring in apparel design and development, will graduate in May and begin work at Target in July 2014.
Ley, from Dodgeville, may mark down 2013 as her lucky year. She designed the prints for the contest, landed a summer Cooperative Education Program experience at Target and then, as a result, received the job offer.
She was runner-up in the Concept 2 Consumer Design Competition sponsored by the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists. The contest had 71 entries from 16 universities and colleges across the country.
"I was surprised," she said about hearing of her contest award, which includes $750 and a valuable Pantone color book for apparel designers. "I knew so many people were entering, and the other students' work from UW-Stout was amazing."
First place went to a student from Kansas State University.
The contest called for students to design a coordinating skirt and leggings for females ages 16 to 24. Five colors from a palette were predetermined, and students were able to pick two additional colors.
Ley's grouping of prints, inspired by African tribal traditions, is called Folklore. "My design process is figuring out what my inspiration is. I wanted to use tribal items for my shapes," she said.
Ley, who likes art and at one time considered majoring in art education at UW-Stout, said she took a class in apparel line development that helped her with this project. "The class taught me how to create a story line and theme," she said.
The Folklore prints were created by Ley in the software program Adobe Illustrator for the class Computer Aided Design, taught by Associate Professor Jongeun Rhee.
"Lindsay's designs, both her garments and print designs, are outstanding because they are very appropriate, innovative and appealing for the millennial target market," Rhee said. "Her work was professional in many ways — the creativity, quality and details."
UW-Stout students have consistently fared well in the AATCC competition, taking first and third in 2012; second and third in 2011; and second in 2010.
Ley said she made the right choice by coming to UW-Stout.
"I've told so many people I'm proud to come from UW-Stout. Professors are willing to help you as long as you put forth the effort, and that's what I appreciate. I have a connection with each one of them. We're lucky to have only 20 students in a class to better connect and network," she said.
Ley's design portfolio includes clothing that has appeared in the annual spring Silhouettes Fashion Show put on by UW-Stout apparel students, and she also has modeled in the show.