Spotlight: John Shannon

By: Barbara Kirwan

“So you’ve seen that new DJM shirt, right?”

This phrase has been fluttering around campus thanks to John Shannon’s work on River + Stone’s tribute to President Murray. It was President Murray after all who first suggested this collegiate brand.

John is a senior at Marist from Long Island, New York. His passion is product development, which is why he is a Fashion Merchandising major with a Business concentration and a Product Development minor. Last semester he took the Private Label Development class, where one of his assignments was to create the President Murray t-shirt. John gave me a few insights into his creative process and what it is like to be a part of River + Stone.


Describe what it is like to be in Private Label Development.

“The class was stressful but enjoyable. I loved working on River + Stone projects varying from graphics to jewelry to scarves. The deadlines were demanding, but in the end, seeing my designs come to life made it all worth it.”


What was your best experience in the  class?

“Aside from given the freedom to create graphics, it was definitely my classmates who made it a great experience. Collaborating with different people gave way to new and varying perspectives on designs. We became this little private label family due to the small class size.”


How did you come up with your recent hits: the President Murray t-shirts and the beer proof shirts?

“I saw a lot of trends that were projecting today’s celebrities in a mash up with familiar historical figures. I saw one in particular of Lady Gaga and Queen Elizabeth. This inspired me to create a graphic of President Dennis Murray’s face on a historical figure. President Murray has been such a huge part of Marist and has really supported the fashion department so I thought this was a great way to pay tribute to him.

I had a lot of fun creating the beer proof shirts. I really just looked at current trends and tried to create something that every Marist student would love to wear.”


Where do you find your inspiration?

“I follow trend databases such as WGSN, and a lot of street-wear blogs on Tumblr. I then create trend boards with color stories, pull inspirational photos, and take a look at what is trending in the market now.”


Do you have any interesting stories behind your process?

“I have a relatively simple process. Usually I just put on my Beats, blare some Lady Gaga, and get to work.”


What have been your favorite classes throughout your career at Marist?

“Fashion classes are my favorite, especially my textiles class. I find it very interesting to learn about all different types of fabric, their characteristics, and how they react to chemicals and dyes. I’m currently taking the knitwear class and I love it! And of course Private Label Development was another one of my favorite and most rewarding classes.”

John and the other students in Private Label Development have inspired not just students but the entire Marist community to show their school pride in a unique way. In addition, his developments show the variety of opportunities that can be found in the fashion department and at Marist in general. All of John’s work can be found exclusively at MPorium.

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