Danielle Sponder Testa, M.A., is in the business of fashion – strategy, merchandising, international expansion, and sustainable development. Based in Los Angeles, California, Danielle most recently spent 4 years as the Lead Merchant over International at Forever 21. Prior to Forever 21, Danielle lived in the UK were she was a part of the team that launched Topshop in Nordstrom stores across the USA. Danielle’s knowledge in merchandising and buying stems from working for Forever 21, Topshop, and Target as well as consultancy work and insights gained through graduate research. Danielle has a diverse background including experience in fashion styling through Women’s Wear Daily, freelance projects through Iowa State University, the London College of Fashion and Design School Kolding, and extensive project and team management experience. Danielle is available for research, consultancy and presentations.


Industry Career

Danielle spent 7 years in the retail industry for companies such as Forever 21 and Topshop. Most recently, she managed the International and Domestic-cluster Merchandising groups at Forever 21. While at Topshop, Danielle was a part of the team that launched Topshop shops within Nordstrom stores throughout the USA. Danielle’s diverse background ranges from merchandising, planning, buying, market expansion, styling and marketing to provide a holistic understanding of the industry and brand needs. Her career has been largely project-focused, developing teams, strategies, systems and structures. Danielle’s professional passion is managing international merchandising and buying decisions to meet local consumer needs.


Research in Academia

In Fall 2017, Danielle returned to Iowa State University to complete her PHD, fully focusing on project-based industry research and training the next generation of industry professionals. At Iowa State, Danielle currently teaches the Jr. and Sr. level Merchandising Labs and assist with an international research and teaching project targeted at teaching cultural differences and variations in business entrepreneurship across the USA and India.

Current Research

Danielle’s current research lies is utilizing academic research for industry application specifically within the apparel and lifestyle retail sector. For participation in this research, please contact Danielle through the ‘Contact’ page.

Future Projects

Danielle is constantly pursuing new and unique ideas.  If you have ideas or opportunities to share with Danielle please get in touch through the contact page.