Monday, April 23, 2012

Guess what time of year it is? ATM Expo time, hooray! Come out to support your favorite seniors, who are graduating from the Apparel, Textiles, and Merchandising major in the School of Human Sciences. They will be displaying everything they have made and accomplished over their course at MSU while meeting industry professionals. You won't believe what hard work they have put in over the years and the beautiful things they have made! Invite your friends, family, professors, landlords, yoga teachers, masseuses, and especially anyone that you've ever heard utter the words, "Fashion must be the easiest major!" For real, it's going to be a one-of-a-kind event to showcase the seniors' work! At 12:30 this Wednesday, April 25, report to Thompson Auditorium in Tully Hall to hear Robin Cox, merchandise planner for JCPenney and graduate from the ATM program at Mississippi State, speak about the fashion industry. Hopefully you ordered a boxed lunch, which will be available at this seminar. Head off to Apparel Design or Historic Costume and sweat and scramble over your final projects, before escaping to Lloyd Ricks Watson, 1st floor, at 3 o'clock to see all the gorgeous designs and impressive merchandising projects made by class of 2012! The expo will last until 5, and don't worry, there will be refreshments. Oh yeah, and make sure you dress to impress!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

All is well that ends well……in Dallas, TX

By Fleshia Gillon

            As we wrap up our Career week with a small tour of Dallas, we close out our exciting trip with the Neiman Marcus Store visit. Fashion Merchandise students read the book Minding the Store – a history of the Neiman Marcus flagship. Neiman Marcus was founded in 1907 by Herbert Marcus Sr., his sister Carrie Neiman Marcus, and her husband Al Neiman and while we think of it was a smart investment, the founders passed on the opportunity to invest in Coca-Cola. This story is the reason they say Neiman Marcus was founded on a bad business decision. In 1914 it was rebuilt due to a fire and from then on it has been an American success story. The original building was only 4 stories but Mr. Stanley Marcus, CEO knew it was destined to expand into something bigger and rebuilt the post-fire downtown location to nine stories

            As we make way into the store we are greeted by the head of PR who takes us through the whole store, floor by floor:

1st floor – we have a fine jewelry salon, shoes and Chanel boutique. A former pharmacy, this floor is constructed of green Swiss marble, which boasts the only building to have them in the U.S.

2nd floor – The high-end designer and couture floor which holds some of the most beautiful (and expensive) clothing in the world in addition to a Bridal salon and suite.

Typically, this floor is used for special events and the annual charity event featuring an invited designer to present his/her collection. Previous invitees have included Michael Kors, Proenza Schuler and Rodarte; to name a few.

3rd floor is all about the men. From designer jeans and high-end tee-shirts to custom made tuxedos, this floor has it all for men to look their best.

4th Hospitality room…here they have name brand designer clothing but at a moderate price and as you circle around to the interior design section a new designer is honored each month to showcase their talent.

5th executive offices

Lastly, the 6th floor is the ZODIAC Restaurant which was beautiful and if all this fashion and customer service has yet to amaze you they also have a Hair salon right next to the restaurant for when you get off work and need a quick refresh...yes really!!!!!

Neiman Marcus was a great show stopper…from their hats to their shoes it was all wonderful to see!!!!!!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Dallas Career Day 2012, A Peek Into the Fashion Industry

So, we had to be on the bus at 7 a.m. Needless to  say everyone was lined up at Starbucks as soon as we arrived at the World Trade Center.

We headed up to  the 12th floor of the Dallas Market Center on the cool capsule elevators to begin career day and were immediately greeted by  displays of the student competitions including trend boards, fashion illustrations, DAVACO merchandising projects, and repurposed denim garments.

 The winning trend board for the cotton category (above.)
 The winning fashion illustration (above.)

After browsing the displays and mingling with other students and teachers we headed over to the Keynote Stage to hear the first speaker of the day, Hil Davis, the founder and CEO of J. Hilburn which is a men’s clothing company that produces both custom and off-the-shelf products. His speech was very interesting and he was very knowledgeable about why certain pricing and marketing techniques in the apparel industry work. He told us about where the apparel industry is now and where it is headed, why Amazon is so successful, and how websites like RueLaLa and GiltGroupe work.

We then headed to the seminars that we had signed up for. My first seminar was Fashion Reporting and Journalism with Michael Quintanilla who is a senior writer for Hearst Publishing Corp. This was my most fun seminar of the day because Michael was so nice, his presentation was interesting, and I got a lot of good tips about how to be a successful fashion journalist.

After a small break, we headed to our second seminar. I went to Creative Fashion Design where Elizabeth Anyaa spoke. She creates contemporary home and fashion accessories using natural fabrics, fibers, and techniques. She was so upbeat and funny and her West African accent and free-spirited personality were so cute. The samples she brought were gorgeous and original and she shared a lot of information about her design process.

Finally, lunchtime came around! We had sandwiches, chips, cookies, and Smart Water (the event was sponsored by it) and it was very good. During lunch, Trend Board and Fashion Illustration awards were announced. We also heard a second keynote speaker, D’Andra Simmons who has worked in many facets of the fashion industry and is now producing her own organic skin-care line, Hard Night Good Morning, and being vice president of her family’s nutrition company, Ultimate Living. She told us all about her journey from “geek to chic” and how she came to be the successful business woman that she is today. After this we all headed to our third seminar but all anyone could think about was the imminent fashion show.

 Announcing trend board and fashion illustration awards.

Next, we were all herded to the adjacent Grand Pavilion at the Trade Mart for the fashion show. This is the event we anxiously anticipated all day and it did not disappoint. The show was separated into several different themed segments such as “On the Edge,” “Final Frontier,” and “Little Red Dress.” There were flamenco dancers at the beginning of one of these mini-shows, and then a saxophonist. It was interesting seeing student designs in such a professional show. I took tons of photos so I’ll let the designs speak for themselves!

The winner of Best in Show with his two designs.

Congratulations to Amy Fortenberry whose Eco Gator design was featured in the fashion show (below)!

And here's my design on since it was mistakenly displayed on a child-sized mannequin(below)!

(Excuse my appearance in all the photos from today--I was exhausted!)

I also took photos throughout the day of stylish students from both MSU as well as other schools for future business casual inspiration.

 Yes, that's a guy in heels! But he was working it so I couldn't not get a photo!

All in all, we had a great time. Thank you to Charles and Dr. Cheek for putting up with us this whole time and also making this trip worth our while by booking the best seminars and activities, the awesome hotel, and the support and know-how required for each one of our pieces that were entered into the competition!

Written and photographed by MSU Fashion Focus Vice President, Maegan Bedells.