Being the president of the University Fashion Group (UFG) at UT is a position with a lot of responsibility, but behind the title is just a quirky soon-to-be college graduate. Natalie Poché is a Textiles and Apparel Design senior with a love for Mexican food, a passion for adventure and an obsession with Young the Giant. She’s a 22-year-old student with a bright and fashionable future. By Kristen Hubby
Poché has been a part of UFG since she saw the group tabling at a fair her freshman year. Before being named president, Poché was model coordinator for the organization. “My favorite thing would be interacting with everybody and making all of our thoughts become reality. I love hearing everyone’s opinions and merging it with my own to create something,” Poché says. Poché’s main role as president is to delegate tasks to other officers in the group, make sure everything is organized and see the group through UFG’s goal of the year: Spectrum.
Spectrum is the annual senior fashion show that is organized and run by students in UFG. The featured pieces are created and designed by the senior designers, one of them being Poché. Her collection is inspired by Bauhaus, a German art movement in the 20s that focused on modernism and geometric shapes. “I was very inspired by this and literally how strange things are. What resonated with me the most was going back to simplicity,” Poché says. She incorporates geometric patterns in the seams and throughout her collection.
One of the great luxuries of being in the University Fashion Group is being able to attend New York Fashion Week each year.The members work backstage as dressers and make sure everything runs smoothly. “You are not aware of what’s behind the scenes, you are just caught up in the moment. When we worked Lela Rose’s show it was very surreal. It was like ‘Oh my god, I’m here,’” Poché recalls.
Last season, Poché was able to work directly with designer Trina Turk. She worked with a model coordinator and did all of the model fittings, as well as making sure all the clothes were organized correctly.
As for Poché, the one-week trip to New York is not enough: She says she already misses it. After graduation, she plans to move to New York and work for a designer. “Eventually — I’m seeing about 10 to 15 years, when I’m old and wise — I really want to branch out and do my own thing,” Poché says.
In the meantime, Poché will be doing the things she loves most around the city of Austin. One of her favorite things to do is explore the city and find little unknown mom-and-pop shops. “I just love being in and around Austin,” Poché says. If Poché is not in the lab designing, she says she'll be relaxing and enjoying a margarita or two at a Mexican restaurant with friends. “Anywhere with Mexican food, you can see me there,” she adds.
For Poché, having the presidential position of UFG has done much to change her life, but little to change her personality. “People usually see me as head of UFG, but if you know my friends or my family they will tell you I’m just goofy and as awkward as can be.”