Skip to main content
Howling Success

Howling Success: Jada Williams

This month's Howling Success graduated in May and spent her four years at NC State building community through several organizations dedicated to helping historically underrepresented student populations find success.

Jada Williams shows off her "Stop! In the Name of Fashion"
Jada Williams shows off her "Stop! In the Name of Disco" collection.

Upon walking into the lobby of the main building of the Wilson College of Textiles on Centennial Campus, one sees gold, pink, orange and blue sequined dresses displayed on mannequin figures. 

These dresses are from the “Stop! In the Name of Disco” collection designed by Jada Williams. This month, Williams graduated from NC State with a B.S. degree in Fashion and Textile Management. That degree is another step on a lifelong journey for Williams, who’s had a passion for fashion and clothing design from a young age. 

A Passion for Fashion

“It started off with me playing dress up as a kid,” Williams said. “But my Mom noticed that every day that I went to school, even when I went to middle and high school, I would just dress up every day. When I would go to school and church, I just loved to dress up. She could tell I had a love for clothing.”

That love for fashion in clothing, naturally, led Williams, a Raleigh native, to NC State and the Wilson College of Textiles, one of the top textiles schools in the nation. 

While at NC State, Williams has, in addition to continuing to grow in her chosen field, found her passion for building a community with others. During the 2023-24 school year, her fourth at NC State, she served as the president of the Kappa Omicron Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

The sorority, which Williams has been a member of since the spring semester of 2021, seeks to promote unity and friendship among Black women at universities across the world. It has a motto of Service to All Mankind, and stands on the three pillars of sisterhood, scholarship and service. Since 2021, Williams has served as president, hostess and social media chair. 

“It’s been such a large part of my time here at NC State,” Williams said. “It’s been a substantial  part of my growth and also my community of friends here, having sorority sisters that I can depend on is great.”

Being part of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, was also a way for Williams, whose mother and older sister are also members, to continue a family legacy. 

Williams took pride in inspiring the youth during service outreach events, such as a reading at Leesville Community Library in honor of Black History Month this year. 

“Participating in service events like that shows them what our sorority represents. It allowed those young Black girls who were there during the reading to learn more about who we are and see someone that looks just like them pouring back into the community,” Williams said. “Seeing how excited they were and knowing that it will be a memory they will forever carry with them feels really good.” 

Building Community 

Williams has also found a way to build community among other minorities on campus in her chosen field through the African American Textile Society at the Wilson College of Textiles, where she served as vice president this past year. 

The club is open to anyone who wants to join, but it was originally created for minority students at Wilson College of Textiles. Each year, the club puts on its annual fashion show, The Fashion Exposé, which allows students to create a fashion collection to showcase. 

For Williams, this organization was another critical resource to lean on throughout her time at NC State. 

“Other than talking about classes that we’re taking that are the same, the African American Textile Society is similar to a cohort,” Williams said. “We all came in together, and we get to grow together and see each other branch out and start different careers. These  people that are in this organization are friends I’ve had since I first got here. It’s really nice to have a group like that.” 

Growing Her Skills

From her second through fourth years at NC State, Williams was also a student content creator for the university’s Social Media Hub. 

In this role, she was able to create various types of content, such as creating graphics, covering campus events and interviewing fellow students. Williams was also recognized for creating the two most viewed videos of NC State’s history on Instagram with one over 512,000 and the other over 207,000 views. 

“There’s so many different aspects that I learned from the student content creator program that go hand in hand with my fashion background that I was able to use and apply at Wilson College of Textiles,” Williams said. “Even now that I’ve graduated, I’m still going to be able to use it.” 

Williams also helped with University Theatre’s production of “Jekyll and Hyde” this year and volunteered to help the program on Friday afternoons. 

She now hopes to pursue a career in costume design in the television and movie industry. During the summer of 2023, she completed an internship with the production of Mary Poppins at the North Carolina Theatre, where she designed costumes and met Broadway performers. 

As Williams looks to move forward in her costume design career, she knows the various organizations she was part of at NC State provided an experience that will serve her well. 

“My time at NC State and in these many different organizations has allowed me to really step outside of my comfort zone into so many influential roles and I will forever be appreciative,” she said.