Student creativity and Hokie pride will come together again this fall to mark the fourth year of what is quickly becoming a favorite Virginia Tech tradition.

Socks are back! For a short time only, Hokies have a chance to get an exclusive pair of Virginia Tech socks when they make a gift to support something they love about the university. This year the campaign has expanded and will feature an all-new limited edition item — a specially designed knit hat.

The contenders for this year’s sock and knit hat patterns were created by students in the fashion merchandising and design program. Hokies around the world were asked to cast their vote to determine which designs would be featured.  

Professor Jung Eun Lee, a faculty member in the Department of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management, guided students through the experiential learning process as they worked to develop and submit their creations.

“I give students real world experience, such as this sock design project,” said Lee.  “Students get excited about seeing their designs on a piece of paper or computer turn out to be a real product.”  

Over 8,500 voters chose their favorite designs, more than doubling last year’s voter participation and showcasing the rising popularity of the spirited campaign.  

“Students who have participated in this project all said that they enjoyed the projects a lot,” said Lee. “I believe that this experience will give some directions to our students about what they want to do after graduation.”

This includes Rachel Frimpong, the student who had both her designs selected as the winners for the campaign.

Frimpong, a fashion merchandising and design major who will graduate next year, wanted to create something unique compared with the other Virginia Tech merchandise Hokies may already own. She drew inspiration from game day gear, including the dramatic overalls and bright colors, as well as from Burruss Hall itself.

“I wanted to go for something that anybody can wear and anyone can look good and anyone can feel their best in,” Frimpong said.  

Many of Frimpong’s designs are inspired by vintage and retro fashions, so she wanted to incorporate that into the project.  

“I’m happy that I got to follow the Virginia Tech brand while staying true to myself and my personal aesthetics as a designer,” she said.

One of her favorite parts of the project was getting to see something that started from a drawing or idea get to the end to become a finished design.  

Giving Tuesday is a worldwide charitable giving event that takes place each year after Thanksgiving. The choice of a pair of socks and/or a knit hat will be available to Hokies who give $15 in support of any of Virginia Tech’s colleges, departments, funds, or programs. Keep your item for yourself or choose to have it mailed to someone as a gift — perfect for the upcoming holiday season.  

Both designs are available in limited quantities and only through Dec. 2. So whether you choose to let your Virginia Tech pride warm your feet or your head (or both!), be sure to secure your special edition socks or knit hat to show off your Hokie style. Visit to make your gift and secure your Hokie gear.

By Julie Flanagan