With over 15 years of fashion industry experience, Alphonso McClendon joined the design and merchandising faculty at Drexel’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design in the fall of 2009. Most recently McClendon was Director of Product Design for Pants, Denim, Swimwear, Hats, Bags and Prints at Nautica. For over a decade at Nautica, McClendon held instrumental roles in global launches and new product designs. He has traveled extensively through Europe and Southeast Asia working with design and manufacturing professionals from China, Taiwan, Japan, England, Italy, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Philippines.
McClendon was the driving force behind the success of Nautica men’s swimwear for the past decade, earning accolades from Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdales, Belk, Parisian, Dayton-Hudson and international vendors. His swimwear designs have appeared in Men’s Vogue, Details, GQ, Outside and DNR and were on the TODAY SHOW and the SOPRANOS. Over a six year period, he designed athletic swimwear for Nautica-sponsored Professional Volleyball Players on the AVP tour, working with fabrics ranging from recycled polyester to bamboo blends.
He supports a teaching philosophy that includes execution of creativity with a functional foundation built on strategic research, intuitive problem solving and exceptional craftsmanship. Referencing his education in Accounting and corporate experience, McClendon realizes the importance for designers today to have a working knowledge of the business of fashion to stay competitive in a dynamic marketplace.