Kelsey Sager (BS '19)

Kelsey Sager smiling while standing in a studio setting with dress forms behind her.

From volunteering at the Texas Fashion Collection, designing and modeling in many TWU fashion shows, participating in the Alpha Alpha Chapter of the Phi Upsilon Omicron Honor Society and practicing Irish Step Dancing, Sager had a busy schedule. Then she designed Texas Woman’s official tartan.

History major and Fashion Design minor, Sager grew up surrounded by fashion and sewing. Her mom did the costumes for a local children’s theatre and made elaborate Halloween costumes for Sager and her sister. Her aunt, on the other hand, had a gift for finding fabulous vintage clothing in estate sales and thrift stores. This fueled Sager’s fascination with clothes and sparked her interest in history.

I remembered one very important person in TWU’s history: Beulah Kincaid, TWU’s very first graduate. I instantly looked on the Scottish Register of Tartans and found the Tartan for the Kincaid Family clan.

“I actually learned how to recognize the different periods by their clothes,” says Sager. “I think all of this combined is why, at about 8 years old, I switched from wanting to be a movie star to a fashion designer.”

The switch from fashion design to costuming was solidified when Sager discovered theatre and dance, specifically, Riverdance. When asked how she discovered Irish Step Dancing, even Sager doesn’t know.

I have absolutely no idea!” she says, “Most dancers’ response is that they saw a Michael Flatly show (i.e. Lord of the Dance, Riverdance, etc.). I had no idea what it was other than a dance form, but I thought the name was cool, so I wanted to do it.”

Sager’s involvement in the Celtic community of Irish Step Dancing meant being well versed in the many types of plaids. When she entered the design competition for TWUs official tartan, she immediately knew where to pull inspiration from.

I actually learned how to recognize the different periods by their clothes. I think all of this combined is why, at about 8 years old, I switched from wanting to be a movie star to a fashion designer.

I remembered one very important person in TWU’s history: Beulah Kincaid, TWU’s very first graduate,” she says. “I instantly looked on the Scottish Register of Tartans and found the Tartan for the Kincaid Family clan.”

With inspiration from Kincaid and the interconnected culture of TWU “with students and professors aiding in one another’s growth and education,” Sager completed her design, named it Boldly Go and won.

Every time I see something related to the Tartan project I get a surge of excitement and think ‘Wow! I did that!’,” Sager says, “I feel so honored that I get to be a part of TWU’s already incredible history and that my first real mark in this world is for the place that has helped me grow so much.”

When she isn’t costuming or dancing, Sager acts as Initiation Chair for the Phi Upsilon Omicron Honor Society. In the future, Sager plans to build a career specializing in historical costuming.

A swatch of plaid print with maroon, white and black stripes.
The TWU community voted on Kelsey Sager's plaid inspired by the family plaid of TWU's first graduate, Beulah Kincaid, to represent the university.

Page last updated 8:49 AM, January 29, 2019