Original grunge-themed clothing and accessories sold at popular campus event.
Dust off the flannel. With ’90s alternative music blasting from the Kanbar Performance Space, fashion students sold their original clothing and accessories at the popular annual pop-up shop.
Students embraced the “Grunge Revival” theme of the Nov. 30 event, selling items like acid-washed sweat shorts, patchwork hoodies, distressed bucket hats and studded gloves.
“The pop-up shop is a part of a greater and ongoing pedagogical project within the fashion merchandising and management (FMM) program,” explains professor Juliana Guglielmi. “Students in three courses worked together throughout the fall semester in a project that provides real-world, experiential, hands-on learning while giving back to our local community.”
First-year students in Global Fashion Insights created the products from conception to completion following a trend-forecasted theme developed by second-year students in Retail Strategy and Structure. Visual Merchandising students set the stage and ambiance for the event and tied the theme together. Proceeds generated by the student vendors benefitted the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Student Gemma DiRico served as a merchandiser for her team, 4or Essence, which sold leg warmers. She determined product cost and profitability by analyzing labor and material costs. DiRico also selected colors, patterns and styles with the group’s manufacturer.
“I learned time management skills and how to work together with my team to make the perfect product,” she says.
Lextyn Juckniewitz’s group, Unparalleled, sold sweaters for $20 and $25. As the marketer, she says she enjoyed the real-world challenges of creating a successful line.
Aiming to be as inclusive as possible, the Renu team of Chana Aidman, Emily Butz and Sami Montz sold gender-neutral hoodies from size small to XXL.
“This project was such a great learning experience on how to run a business and brand,” Montz says. “I’m so happy with the outcome. We went from a simple idea and some paper, and now, we have a full shop.”
New to the pop-up, students outside the FMM program could sell their merchandise, Guglielmi says. Expanding the vendor base allowed up-and-coming entrepreneurs to showcase their products on campus and gain a local following.
“I’m a big proponent of sustainability and putting value back into clothing,” says Bridges, who interned at Express over the summer. “I want to give people options on clothes that speak to them but also last a long time.”
While the three-hour pop-up shop buzzed with excitement, the event proved bittersweet for FMM faculty. This year marked the first time it was held without their long-time colleague, professor Nick Freeman, who passed away this fall.
Along with teaching Global Fashion Insights for over 15 years, the industry veteran served as an internship and first-year adviser.
“He always came in dressed to the nines in his five-piece suits topped with his famous hats,” recalls FMM professor Camille Avent. “The students loved how he showed up for them in this way and his detailed stories about his experience in the industry. He was truly the treasure of the program.”