Go State Designs: Upcycling Old Clothes to Gear for PSU Football Fans

Story/Video posted April 26, 2021 in Arts & Entertainment, News by Annie Shih


McKenna Kimmel is a Penn State senior majoring in Chinese and finance. The more interesting fact is that she is also the founder of Go State Designs, a small business that upcycles thrifted clothing by painting, sewing and embroidering to create apparel made for Penn State football game days.

Like many people in college, Kimmel said she loves fashion and wants to use her creativity to make an impact, especially to reduce fast fashion.

“All the materials I got are thrifted and second hand,” Kimmel said. “It is another way to breathe new life into old clothes.”

TWNLZW5uYSBLaW1tZWwgaXMgc2hvd2luZyB0d28gZGVuaW0gamFja2V0cywgc2hlIHVwY3ljbGVkIHdpdGggcGFpbnRpbmcgZm9yIFBTVSBmb290YmFsbCBnYW1lcywgaW4gaGVyIHJvb20gb24gQXByaWwgOS4gMcKenna Kimmel shows two denim jackets she upcycled with paint for PSU football games, in her room on April 9. Photo by Annie Shih

In the beginning, Kimmel said she saw a lot of college students wearing jean jackets, so she began to upcycle jean jackets for Nittany Lion football fans. She said she continues to find inspiration by watching what people are wearing, on the street and on Pinterest.

Kimmel said she used to sell her  clothes on Etsy and other platforms. Now she is only using Instagram because she said it is easier to manage sales on one platform.

Before the pandemic, she also parrticipated in pop up events, such as Pop Up Avenue and selling in front of Doggie’s Pub on game days.

School still goes first for Kimmel even though she is running a small business as a student. She said an ideal day for her is to wake up early, start on her schoolwork, and then transition to her clothing business for the rest of the day.

“The reason why I decided to do Go State in college is because it is super versatile, and I can do as much as I want at different times and it really fits my schedule,” Kimmel said.

Kimmel said even though she is graduating this year, she hopes to continue selling her clothing on future football game days. 

Follow Go State Designs on Instagram: @gostatedesigns

Before Go State Designs


Go State Designs isn’t Kimmel’s first apparel company. When she was in high school, she created Quiver Archery Design. Similar to Go State Designs, Quiver Archery Design was for archery competitions. It was initially only for women clothing, but then it began offering unisex apparels.

Kimmel was a competitive archer for about seven years. She said she started her first fashion company was because she noticed that there was lack of women’s clothing for archery. Now, since Kimmel doesn’t shoot anymore, she has stopped operating Quiver Archery Design.