Talk with Hannah King about her education and career, and the word “boundaries” is likely to come up. And that’s because boundaries, for King, are something to be broken.
Perhaps the most obvious boundary-breaking exercise King took at Georgetown was when she and fellow design student Joaquín Van Thienen created an online platform for buying non-gender-specific clothing for their Design Leadership class. Removing gender categories, they concluded, would help personalize the shopping experience for all. In a wonderful twist, the name of the site, which appears under a simulated barcode is: “Insert Brand Here.” In other words, you define the brand; the brand does not define you.
While at the School of Continuing Studies, King broke some other boundaries as well: the boundary between sports and fashion marketing (she had concentrated on sports marketing as an undergrad) and—in keeping with a program designed to break boundaries—between public relations, research, strategic thinking, and design.
“I used to think that research and strategy were completely different from design,” King says. “And I think the biggest takeaway was showcasing how important—and, more importantly, how interdependent and interconnected—all of these processes are.”
A week after graduating in 2021, King accepted a job as a graphic designer for Global Internal Communications for the renowned fashion house Michael Kors in New York. You might call it “designing for the designers.”
Encouraging her throughout have been instructors dedicated not simply to imparting information but also supporting a person and a career.
“I really walk away with not only tools and, of course, incredible pieces for my portfolio, but with the knowledge that these people are going to be invested in my future for a very long time,” King says. “That’s cool.”