The trip to New York City allowed students insight into the business of fashion as well as exposure to a variety of potential career paths.
Connecting with the Business of Fashion
Students had unique experiences including industry tours and meetings at Macy’s, JS Collections and WSGN.
At JS Collections, a company that specializes in designing dresses for special occasions, students connected with a fellow Bear. Abbigail Dansby, assistant designer and MSU alumna, spoke with students about her role and her experiences after college.
They also met with the head of product development, a technical designer and a sales director.
“The meetings gave us an excellent opportunity to network with individuals who work in the fashion industry in a variety of fields,” said Debra Zerr, junior fashion merchandising and design major.
Students also met with Lori Gassie, a costume designer and stylist. She designs custom performance costumes for figure skating, dance, baton and more. She also is a wardrobe stylist for personal clients and productions.
Gassie shared how she built up her own brand and opened a conversation about how students could successfully start their own businesses or fashion lines.
WSGN is one of the top fashion trend forecasters. The meeting allowed students to learn about long-term consumer trends, new and breaking trends, global street style and live reporting from trade show floors.
“The trip is an invaluable experiential learning opportunity for our students,” said Dr. Elizabeth Rozell, department head of MFD. “They get to see the inner workings of fashion design, merchandising, industry research and so much more. The industry experience that our faculty discuss in class comes alive during the trip.”
Connecting with Alumni
Students also attended an alumni dinner to make more personal connections.
The dinner hosted 15 alumni, including Dansby, who live in New York City and work as merchandisers or designers.
Each alumnus was given an opportunity to introduce themselves and give students some insight on their experiences after graduation. Students were able to talk, ask questions and exchange information.
“It was so useful and amazing to meet alumni that are willing to help us,” said Zerr. “Those unique connections will aid me in success upon graduation.”
Students also were able to explore the city in their free time. Outings included visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art and seeing a Broadway show.
The MFD program offers students the tools they need to excel in the fashion industry. Students receive a comprehensive study of culture, art theory, and process and product development.
The department also hosts events where students can showcase their talent and develop their skills.