I like to think of myself as a design process thinker with an appreciation of application-based (product) outcomes.  I am passionate about the design process and how the process of studying design contributes to the success (or failures) of functional apparel products. 

As a hybrid apparel designer, I integrate three design spheres:


Studying design process research for the apparel industry, I work with unique target populations that inspire research-driven design and development of functional apparel products. As a continually developing student myself, I see the value of research-led apparel product development.  


Recognizing that the apparel design process requires a highly sophisticated and specialized skill set it is important to foster a classroom environment that emphasizes inquisition and exploration, to which designers can develop flexibility and fluency in design. Within these environments, it is possible to equip students with the knowledge and skills base that is transferable and sustainable. 


Working on a varied range of projects that range from graphic design to the development of the entire collection for clients, I keep my mind and skills fresh with a variety of projects. The underlying thread that connects these different disciplines is the creative use of technology. 

These spheres are not isolated, but rather they inform, question, challenge, and inspire each other. 

  • My teaching inspires new streams of research and professional development.
  • My teaching synthesizes industry partnerships and apparel curriculum.
  • My research explores unique target markets which can inspire student designers. 
  • My research defines new processes to improve the apparel product development process.
  • My practice applies my research findings to products and processes.
  • My practice also keeps me abreast on industry and user needs that can be used as experiences for students. 

The research itself provides an important long-run perspective on the issues that we face on a day-to-day basis.
— Ben Bernake

Biographical Sketch

Kristen Morris earned her Bachelor of Science degree (2007) and Master of Science degree (2011) in Design and Merchandising from Colorado State University. In 2015, she received her Ph.D. in Apparel Design from Cornell University. 

                  ...until a real head shot!- 2014

                 ...until a real head shot!- 2014

Throughout Kristen’s career, she has seen the value of creative scholarship and evidence-based design.  Kristen has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards including two first place awards from the Lectra Graduate Student Awards for use of technology. She was also the recipient of the Helen F. McHugh Graduate Student Fellowship. Previously she was a full-time graphic artist and Art Director for two years between her Bachelors and Masters degrees. She had maintained industry contacts through contract design for activewear manufacturers since 2007. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor in The Department of Textile and Apparel Management at The University of Missouri. 

Kristen has presented her research at international conference meetings including the International Textiles and Apparel Association. Additionally, Kristen has published collaboratively in The Design Journal, Applied Ergonomics, and The International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology, and Education.

Kristen’s main areas of expertise are in product development, functional design, and collective creativity through collaboration. She is investigating how athletic apparel companies incorporate user feedback into product design.  In the second phase of her research, she surveyed runners in  to develop better cold-weather base layer shirts. In a recent article in the Cornell Chronicle Morris said, “Athletes are so passionate about their sports that they are highly willing to share ideas about what they need from apparel in order to perform better. Plus, there’s a great deal of creative energies that occurs when you open up the design process to them.” 

Kristen’s dissertation, Implications of Users and Facilitation on Collaborative Innovation in Functional Apparel Design, was supervised by Dr. Susan Ashdown.  

Contact Me

137 Stanley Hall, Columbia, MO 65211


Last Updated: 12/16/2015