Fashion student altering outfit on model

Outcomes & Alumni Success

O'More College of Architecture & Design

The O'More College of Architecture and Design produces talented and successful alumni from its programs. With a strong focus on hands-on learning and real-world experience, graduates of these programs have gone on to make significant contributions to their respective industries, earning recognition for their creativity, technical skills, and innovative design solutions. From launching their own successful design businesses to working for leading fashion and interior design companies, our alums make a meaningful impact in the design world.

Payton James
Payton James | Fashion Design '17

Payton James launched her handbag business in the fall of 2018 and most recently was picked up by Free People as part of their online offerings.

Interested in fashion ever since she was little, James dabbled in apparel design but ultimately made the switch to accessories after learning more about the niche in school. She credits O’More for giving her the skills she needed to be a part of the fashion industry. “O’More taught me what it takes to be in this ever-changing industry,” James said. “You really have to factor in everyone’s criticism, because that helps you learn what your customer wants.”

Read About Payton’s Product Launch.

Fashion designer and Adjunct Instructor at Belmont’s O’More College of Architecture, Art & Design, Ashley Balding is also a graduate of O’More College of Design.

Balding was honored with two awards in 2018 by the Nashville Fashion Alliance for her work with Ona Rex. The first was for Women’s Wear Designer of the Year, and the second, along with photographer Brett Warren, was for Creative Collaborators.

She is very passionate about fashion and thankful for the community O’More has given her. “O’More has not only been a huge support of my path, but they instilled the desire to push boundaries from the beginning. I’m so grateful to have such a great community around me.”

Read About Balding's Awards

Ashley Balding
Ashley Balding | Fashion Design '14

Van Hoang
Van Hoang | Fashion Design and Merchandising '09

O’More College of Design 2009 alumna Van Hoang was named the Nashville Fashion Forward Fund Award Recipient of 2018. Sustainability is at the core of Hoang’s design philosophy. She wants to be a part of the change that ensures there is a healthy planet for others that come after us to thrive. Her triple bottom line is people, planet, product. Through her work, she wants to change how people perceive sustainable fashion, understanding that the two are not mutually exclusive. Hoang’s mission is to give the customer an alternative to what has become the traditional fashion system.“O’More was really instrumental in providing me with a solid foundation of skills I needed in the fashion industry,” said Hoang. “O’More provided me a network of people who want to support me and see me succeed, which is amazing.”

Read About Hoang's Award and Fashion Career.

"As Vice President of Merchandise Strategy & Product Development for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, I use all the skills that O’More provided me. I’ve worked for other amazing brands like Victoria’s Secret and VF Corporation. The success I’ve achieved started with my decision to go to O’More. It was the first step in harnessing my creativity and has led me to where I am today. When considering colleges, O’More was at the top of my list. The environment, faculty and class sizes appealed to me. The unique and intensive curriculum definitely set me up for success. My first job was through the internship program, becoming full-time before graduation. Since then, my experiences have ranged from design and sourcing to merchandising. Because of my training at O’More and the practical applications I learned in these disciplines, it helped set me apart as opportunities arose.”

Lisa Baldzicki
Lisa Balzicki | Fashion Design and Merchandising '97

Alyssa Weardon
Alyssa Weardon | Interior Design '20

Graduating during the online era of 2020, Interior Design alumna Alyssa Weardon hasn’t let the turbulent times slow her down. She recently made the Class of 2023 of the National Kitchen & Bath Association's prestigious Thirty Under 30 Program and is making her mark on the design world as a lead designer at Monarch Lane Interiors.

For Weardon, going to Belmont was always the dream. During her time as a student, she was President of Belmont’s International Interior Design Association chapter and spent her time getting plugged into the industry.

“Belmont is where I learned how to network,” she said. “The biggest secret to success in the interior design industry, especially in Nashville, is that the more people you know and who know you, the more opportunities come your way.”

Anais Nin has said that “each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” That sentiment is particularly true for the founders of Modern Remains. Lauren Moore, Evan Millard, and Betsy Trabue met each another at the O’More Interior Design studio. Their friendship was forged during long days and late nights together in the studio. It was in the quietness of the dark that they dreamed of one day working together. Following graduation each worked for different designers in different cities, but kept in touch. As Nashville continued to grow, the friends followed their dreams by moving home in fall 2017 to open Modern Remains in August 2018.

“Each of us is deeply entrenched in the others’ worlds–we care for one another, and truly respect each others’ beliefs and philosophies.”

Evan Millard, Lauren Moore & Betsy Trabue
Evan Millard, Lauren Moore & Betsy Trabue | Interior Design '12

Susan Besser

Susan Besser | O'More Faculty

Susan Besser, an adjunct instructor in Belmont’s O’More College of Architecture & Design, was recently awarded two prestigious awards from American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Besser won the ASID Gold Award for Small Kitchen Design 2018, which she also received in 2016, and the ASID Tennessee State Award for Educator of the Year in 2018.