NC State Distinguished Alumna: The Only Black Designer In The Room

Until Angela Medlin, (NC State ’91) was in a position to hire talent while working for brands like Levi Strauss & Co, The North Face, Eddie Bauer, Nike and Adidas, Angela could not help but notice that she was the only Black designer in the room. After 30 years in the industry she made a life-changing decision – she was going to design for herself again. Medlin, who received the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award, went looking for a challenge.

“I think the hardest thing to do is design product that you do not connect to or no longer align with the direction,” says Medlin. “I realized that when I decided to move on to the next brand it was because I had either outgrown that space, or there was something I didn’t believe in anymore. I needed to be challenged in a different way.”

As a testament to rediscovering her love for design, Medlin also launched her pup-centered brand, House Dogge, in 2017. Three years later the pup-centered brand offering customizable, comfortable, and eco-friendly items found itself on the list for Oprah’s Favorite Things of 2020.