Panyia Xiong ‘17

Product Development Specialist at Kohl’s Corporate


Designer knew fashion was meant for her

Paniya Xiong, '17, found her passion through a high school arts program with a fashion design class. The class illuminated for her various fashion career opportunities.

Finding her perfect match

She chose Mount Mary University’s fashion design program because it offers exciting study abroad opportunities alongside the sewing courses that helped her “fine tune my craft.” Mount Mary also offered a substantial financial aid package, and “it was close, but not too close to home.”

Currently a product development specialist at Kohl’s Corporate, Panyia credits her product analysis class for fostering her understanding of the collaboration and teamwork required in design, development, planning and buying for a corporate brand. Fashion textiles class helped her understand the process and timeline of textile development, which informs the timelines of garment development. Patternmaking classes taught her the nuances of garment construction, allowing for more informed communication on the job with her technical design counterparts.

Determination will conquer all

“One of my mottos in life is that if it is a job that I want, I will always be prepared for it.” She’s built a development plan to track her abilities, aspirations and career goals. She continues to build her portfolio to maintain and gain credibility.  

At Kohl’s, Panyia collaborates with her team to manage the process of new product development and to enhance existing products in order to effectively meet customer expectations. She leads and provides feedback, and strives to make processes more efficient. Her team meets weekly to foster inclusivity and education.

Advice from Panyia

“There are so many jobs in fashion. Begin to visualize your career goals in your first year even if you’re not sure of your path after graduation. Network and involve yourself in the jobs and workspaces that you may see yourself in one day to expose yourself to potential fashion careers and build connections to the people who can help get you there.

I experienced multiple milestones while studying fashion at Mount Mary. I learned a great deal about my ambition, explored my curiosity and broadened my perspective.”

I’ve always loved fashion, and I don’t think I will ever stop.

Paniya Xiong, '17