Faculty Spotlight: Sharon Scalise

Sharon Scalise

Sharon Scalise
Department: Fashion Studies

As a young child with a well-dressed mother who made many of her clothes, a full closet of Barbie clothes that were copies of high fashion designs, and a grandmother who thought she should have a needle and thread in her hands to keep her busy, Sharon Scalise was immersed in fashion from a young age. 

"I learned quickly to understand good fit, beautiful details and how to track trends," she said. "That started in junior high, when I was stuck in a school uniform, and my fantasy wardrobe grew into scrapbooks of magazine pictures. At 13, I learned to sew and never turned back, designing costumes for school plays and dance teams."

Before joining College of DuPage as the coordinator of Fashion Studies, Scalise was the Fashion Merchandising chairperson at the Ray Vogue School of Design, currently the Illinois Institute of Art, and a fashion design instructor at Mundelein  College of Loyola University. Prior to that, she was a department manager at Marshall Field’s on State Street.

With a degree in Home Economics Education, Scalise loved student teaching but wanted to work with college students in order to share information about textiles, visual merchandising, textile design, fashion design and the fashion industry.

"I had great teachers as role models, and I drew enthusiasm for teaching from them," she said. "Fashion is a fun curriculum to share. It's new every season, always changing.

"I hope my students enjoy coming to class and are enthusiastic about their projects, leading them to an engaging career that they love. For some, it is difficult to balance work and school. To see them organize, work through their challenges, complete projects and classes, advance their knowledge and skills, graduate, continue their education or go to work in fashion is very inspiring."

More about the Fashion Studies program