Visual Merchandising Students’ Work on Display at Connecticut Museum
Paper fashions created by students and faculty in LIM College’s Visual Merchandising Department are now on display as part of the Mattatuck Museum’s “Chrome & Couture – Say ‘Yes’ To The Paper Dress” show.
The exhibit, which opened October 1 and will be in place until the beginning of 2012, features nine paper dresses by LIM College students that were originally created for the 2011 National Stationery Show’s “Paper Runway” competition this spring, including the winning design, “Feather Fantasy,” by Alexis Michaelides and Margaret Carroll. Each of the paper dresses is paired with a vintage or exceptional custom motorcycle.
“We were excited to add the paper fashions of the very talented Visual Merchandising students of LIM College to Chrome & Couture,” said Sydney Voghel Ochs of the Mattatuck Museum. “When we saw the dresses at the National Stationery Show, we knew we wanted them as part of this exhibition, which is one of our edgiest."
Marjorie Lee Woo, Associate Chair of the Visual Merchandising Department, worked with the students and supervised the installation of their creations. A milliner, Woo also created paper headpieces to accompany the dresses in the show.
Works by LIM College students Jordan McGovern, Gina Mercatili, Lisa Michaelides, Sara Bautista, Connor de Guehery and Edin Giron, as well as Professors Grailing King and Katerina Lanfranco, are also included in the display.
Fashion Insiders Series Brings “Iconoclasts” on Campus
Five hot names in fashion visited LIM College this fall as part of the bi-annual “Fashion Insiders” guest speaker series. The powerhouse lineup consisted of fashion icon Patricia Field, Elle magazine creative director Joe Zee, designer and author Keanan Duffty, jackthreads.com founder Jason Ross, and Essence online fashion editor Zandile Blay.
Featuring leaders in their respective disciplines, Fashion Insiders evenings provide LIM College students with special access to some of the most fascinating figures in the fashion industry. This semester’s theme was “The Iconoclasts.”
According to Michael Palladino, LIM College’s Director of Student Life, who coordinates the series, “Access to industry professionals is an important component of an LIM College education. This fall’s Fashion Insiders events exposed our students to five people who, each in their own unique way, have pushed the envelope and challenged convention as they’ve pursued successful careers in the fashion world.”
Fashion Insiders began in the fall of 2010 and has built a considerable audience since that time. The Office of Student Life estimates that the four sessions drew a total of 400 students, faculty and staff.
Friends & Family Weekend a Success
Students, faculty, staff, alumni and family members came together October 21 – 23 to enjoy LIM College’s first-ever Friends & Family Weekend. Featuring three days of exciting events throughout the College campus and New York City, Friends & Family Weekend provided an opportunity for parents, siblings, and even grandparents, to experience a slice of college life and spend quality time with each other.
Casino Night kicked off the festivities on Friday, offering attendees the chance to win “LIM Bucks” by playing roulette, blackjack, poker and slot machines in Maxwell Hall. The “funny money” was then turned into raffle tickets for LIM College and designer merchandise. The evening’s big prize, a $5,000 drawdown raffle, was shared by Alexandra Penberg (Class of 2010) and three friends. There was also plenty to keep non-gamblers busy, most notably a sumptuous array of foods from iconic NYC neighborhoods, including Chinatown’s fried rice and Little Italy’s pasta and cheesecake.
Saturday offered non-stop action, starting with a breakfast and private shopping session at Henri Bendel and concluding with the College’s annual Drag Show, held this year at Bowlmor Lanes in Times Square. In between the two, participants could walk to raise money for lupus research, attend a forum about adjusting to college life, or catch the second annual “Flaunting Fearlessly” student fashion show.
On Sunday, a brunch at the Townhouse, hosted by President Elizabeth S. Marcuse and featuring a performance by LIM College’s Ultimate Choir, topped off the weekend.
Says Gail Nardin, Senior Director of Institutional Advancement, “Hundreds of our students, alumni, and family members took part in all the activities. We look forward to making Friends & Family Weekend an annual event -- and having even more fun next year.”
It’s Official: The LIM College Townhouse is a Landmark
The LIM College community has known it for close to five decades, and this summer New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission made it official. LIM College’s flagship townhouse at 12 East 53rd Street, (known in official City records as the Fisk-Harkness House), has been designated as a New York City Landmark.
The building was constructed in 1871. In 1906 architect Raleigh C. Gildersleeve, best known for the Tudor-inspired buildings he designed for Princeton University’s campus, transformed it into a grand, five-story American Basement-plan house with an asymmetrical neo-Tudor Gothic style limestone facade. At the time, the Townhouse was owned by Harvey E. Fisk, a prominent investment banker. It is a rare survivor of the period when the area around Fifth Avenue was home to Manhattan’s wealthiest citizens.
In 1909 Fisk sold the building to Standard Oil heir William L. Harkness, whose widow then sold it in 1922. From 1924-1932 the Townhouse was the home of the Automobile Club of America. In 1938 art and antiques dealers Symons Galleries leased the building, and around that time apartments were constructed on the top floors. An advertising agency took over the ground-floor commercial space in 1949. Then, in 1964, LIM College purchased the building.
In 2007 the LIM College Townhouse underwent a significant renovation. According to architect Larry Marner, who led that project, “The design of this building engages students in the respect and appreciation LIM College has for the visual world. It uses especially high ceilings, variation in color by floor, and location at the heart of the fashion world to convey to students the unique identity of their college – one closely tied to their education.”
Said Robert B. Tierney, chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, “The Commission’s decision to landmark the Fisk-Harkness House is a tribute to LIM College’s fine stewardship of this architecturally and historically significant building. We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the College to preserve the building for future generations of students and New Yorkers.”
"Next Generation" of Fashion Leaders Win Accessories Council Awards
Three LIM College students have been selected as winners of the Accessories Council’s Next Generation Awards. The Next Generation Awards program is a marketing plan competition designed to foster understanding and appreciation of the fashion accessories, eyewear and footwear industries, and the career opportunities available within them.
In Spring 2011, students in Professor Pat Baukal's Accessories and Professor Heidi Diamond's Fashion Communications in the Digital Age courses were challenged to select a fashion accessory and create an original comprehensive marketing plan to increase traffic to its sales channels and/or sales of the product. To illustrate their plans, the students were required to prepare a video presentation or storyboards, along with a descriptive narrative. On September 13, the students presented their projects, which were judged on their content, originality, potential to drive traffic/increase sales, and the students’ presentation skills.
The judges, members of the Board of Directors of the Accessories Council, were Elaine Gold of Elaine Gold Enterprises, Bruna Maney of Cipriani, Gabriel Jacopo of Imagemme, Diane Nicholson of NPD, Jodi Rose of Artisan House, Eileen Warner, and Karen Giberson of the Accessories Council.
The top three entrants received cash scholarship prizes. This year’s winners were:
First place - Lisa Zalenski was awarded $2,500 for her ideas for a campaign to boost the sale of fashion scarves by increasing their appeal to young women.
Second place - Ashley Dean received $1,500 for her plan for a website called “stylesdujour,” which would promote sales of footwear using a contest format.
Third place - Danielle Cuomo earned $500 for a plan for a website called “TrendiLocks,” which would promote and sell hair care products.
The other students who participated in the competition were: Mikael Priestley, April Conklin, Caitlin Lyttle, Taylor Lintz, Tani Cabo, Tyisha Williams, Karen Cano and Natalia Ospina.
Said Karen Giberson, President of the Accessories Council, “We were all extremely impressed with the presentations. The Next Generation Award recipients exhibited a level of creative sophistication that is a credit to LIM College and bodes well for the future of the fashion accessories industry.”
The Accessories Council is a not-for-profit, national advocacy organization whose mission is to stimulate consumer awareness and demand for fashion accessory products.
Math is the New Black: Math Center to Launch Video Series Featuring Fashion Industry Professionals
A new series of videos being created by LIM College‘s Math Center will reinforce the importance of math for fashion students by linking what they learn in class to what actually happens in the day-to-day business world. “Math is the New Black,” which will consist of six web-based episodes, will premiere at the end of the Fall 2011 semester.
Says Anahu Guzman, Director of the Math Center, “Students see the glitz and glamour of the industry in runway shows, magazines, and stores, yet they often don’t realize the extent to which fashion is a business that requires both creative and analytical thinking to be profitable.”
He continues, “Students, especially those enrolled in remedial math courses, often question how the math they learn in class relates to real life. The Math Center wants to expose these students to relevant business applications that go beyond typical textbook examples so they will be better prepared to enter the working world.”
Each video will feature a current LIM College student interviewing an industry professional who will discuss the importance of math in their job, illustrating its significance with examples of challenges that can be solved using math. The videos will then connect these examples with content in the College’s math curriculum.
Topics will include everything from market research through design, production, budgeting and planning, allocation, marketing, visual merchandising, sales, and business evaluation.
The professionals who will be interviewed for “Math is the New Black” will be young women and men who have either just launched their careers or have been working full-time for only a few years. Guzman believes that LIM College students will be able to relate with these recent college graduates as they contrast what their expectations of the workplace were when they were students to what they have actually experienced in the early stages of their careers.
Says Guzman, “If one were to analyze the process through which a fashion product moves from concept to consumer, he or she would realize that mathematics is critical to the successful completion of every step. We hope that this new video series will bring that message to life for our students.”
Introducing: Lou Acierno
There has been one constant throughout Lou Acierno’s career: assisting people.
“Either in libraries, or as a gallery director helping with exhibitions or tours, or working at the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs as Artists' Services Director, I've always enjoyed helping people find important information,” he says.
Acierno is the new Director of Library Services at LIM College. In August he took over for George Sanchez, who worked at the College for more than two decades. Prior to coming to LIM College, Acierno served as Metropolitan College of New York’s Library Director for five years.
Acierno enjoys the familial atmosphere at LIM College. “Everyone has been very supportive and kind. It's a pleasure working here,” he explains.
He also reports that LIM College has been a natural fit for him. He says, “I want the students and faculty to know the Adrian G. Marcuse Library as a research center, where they can collaborate with librarians.”
Acierno is a book lover whose favorite authors include Virginia Woolf and Jane Austen. “[Austen has] great insights into human nature and class,” he says. “[She is] very witty, and her own story is fascinating as well.”
His favorite part of his job is informing people of the depth of resources and knowledge available in the Library, especially since those resources are carefully chosen to facilitate their course work. As the Director of Library Services at an institution focused on business and fashion, Acierno is committed to meeting the unique needs of the College’s various constituents.
“You listen to your patrons and acquire the resources they need. Whether they are faculty, students, or administrators, they'll let you know what's needed.”
Students Travel Back in Time in Fashion Merchandising Course
After covering World War II in her Cultural Connections to Fashion course, Amanda Hallay gave her class an assignment that she hoped would help them further understand that era.
Says Hallay, “'Fashion is Feeling' is my mantra, and what better way to bring out the feelings of war than by asking the students to pretend it’s the 1940s and write a ‘letter from the home front’ to someone they love.”
Hallay reports that the results of this assignment were extremely moving, as students undertook additional research about American life during World War II.
“The letters seemed so authentic,” Hallay says, “that it was easy to forget it wasn’t 1943. They connected deeply with how people must have felt during the war years, and it helped them better understand how fashion is a product of the society that wears it.”
Many students assumed the identity of an LIM College student living in New York during World War II. Their wartime lives, as described in their letters, included volunteering at the USO, becoming a WAC, or growing a ‘victory garden’ in a Manhattan window box.
Students also explored the Japanese-American experience during the war, with one writing about an imaginary Japanese family being placed in an internment camp. Others discussed The Good Neighbor Policy, writing to boyfriends on the war front about Carmen Miranda, Xavier Cougat, and tropical print dresses, and two students assumed the identity of players in The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which was founded to keep baseball - and morale - alive during those years.
“I felt very emotional while writing the letter” said senior Amy Caljean. “The assignment really helped me connect to the history and the culture of the 1940s.”
Hallay believes that history should always be taught via an emotional connection with the past. She says “How people felt about the world they were living in was reflected in how they chose to dress, so the emotional connection with the people of the past that I try to instill is essential in understanding why people wear what they wear right now, and – important for trend forecasting – what they’ll be wearing in the future.”
The Cultural Connections to Fashion course (FASH227) was created by Hallay in 2008 and covers the political, economic, social, and cultural history of the 20th and 21st centuries. Through the use of film, music, television, and art, it teaches students the factors that, according to Hallay, “make fashion happen.”
Hallay concludes, “Cultural Connections to Fashion is really a history of everything, and it always amazes me how much my students take in, retain, and apply to their careers in the business of fashion.”
LIM College Among First to Join National Retail Federation Student Association
LIM College is among the first institutions of higher education to become part of the newly-launched National Retail Federation Student Association (NRFSA). The NRFSA will offer participants the opportunity to leverage a vast array of education and networking opportunities.
In founding the NRFSA, the National Retail Federation (NRF) hopes to foster and recruit talented students into the retailing industry by enhancing their educational experience and helping them build an early network of peers who will eventually become leaders in the retail world.
“NRF’s Student Association will connect young adults with top retailers seeking talent to fuel their companies’ success,” said NRF President and CEO and NRF Foundation President Matthew Shay. “This group offers students a competitive advantage over their peers through access to networking events with retail hiring managers, opportunities to take part in research opportunities, industry competitions and leadership programs, and by helping them build their resume as they prepare for rewarding retail careers.”
“Retail executives realize that in order to be competitive we need the brightest young talent, and we’re making a conscious effort to entice the very best students into this innovative industry,” said Kip Tindell, Chairman of the NRF Foundation and CEO and Chairman of The Container Store.
Marla Greene of the Marketing & Management Department will oversee LIM College’s chapter of the NRFSA. Currently, 14 students, primarily juniors and seniors, are part of the group. In January they will attend the NRF’s “Big Show” at the Javits Center, where they will have opportunities to network and meet with potential employers.
In addition to LIM College, 14 other colleges and universities throughout the nation have committed to offering students the opportunity to join the NRFSA, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Kohl’s Center for Retailing Excellence and the University of Arizona’s Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing.
The NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association. Its global membership includes retailers of all sizes, formats and channels of distribution as well as chain restaurants and industry partners from the United States and more than 45 other countries. According to the NRF, in the United States the retail industry directly and indirectly accounts for approximately 42 million jobs.
Continuing Education Student Wins Solstice Sunglass Boutique's Visual Merchandising Competition
Kristina Visceglia, who recently completed LIM College’s Visual Merchandising Certificate Program, was selected as the winner of Solstice Sunglass Boutique’s first “Summer Solstice Visual Merchandising Competition,” a design contest to create a promotional concept for the retail chain’s annual “Summer Solstice” sales promotion.
In June and July Visceglia’s winning design appeared in 160 Solstice Sunglass Boutique and Solstice Sunglass Outlet store windows and was also used for a wide variety of print and online marketing initiatives. Her concept, titled “Discovering Summer Solstice,” included a visual of a pair of Carrera sunglasses encapsulated in a clear bottle nestled in the sand before the waves of a sunlit beach.
The objective of the competition was for the students to create a compelling retail window design concept that would support Solstice’s positioning, be consistent in look and feel with the retailer’s current visual point of view, and utilize Carrera sunglasses within the creative concept. Fifteen students in LIM College’s Visual Presentation class, taught by Marjorie Lee Woo, Associate Chair of the Visual Merchandising Department, participated. The three LIM College students who were runners-up in the competition were Connor de Guehery, Tara Mangiero and Jordan McGovern.
The competition was judged by Rick Talmage, Chief Operating Officer of Solstice; Robin Scheer Ettinger, Vice President of Marketing for Safilo – Americas; and Michael Yount, Manager of Visual Merchandising/Store Planning for Solstice, in concert with Professor Woo and Visual Merchandising Department Chair Eric Feigenbaum.
When asked what inspired her design, Visceglia replied, "Since I grew up at the Jersey Shore, my mind instinctively connected summer to the beach life. One of my favorite things to do is to collect sea glass, which led to the idea of a message in a bottle, which ultimately led to the idea of a campaign featuring sunglasses in bottles.”
Visceglia and the three runners-ups were recognized during a celebrity-studded promotional event held on June 21 at the Solstice Sunglass Boutique in the Flatiron District.
“Solstice never held a student design competition like this before but we thought that this would be a win-win for all involved by providing classroom experience for the students while offering real world exposure for the winning concept along with great visuals for our stores,” said Robin Scheer Ettinger, Vice President of Marketing – Safilo Americas, who initiated the competition. “We were very pleased with Kristina Visceglia’s winning concept and this will be a great feather in her cap for her portfolio and her resume.”
CEO Roundtable Series Continues to Draw Top Execs
The LIM College MBA program’s CEO Roundtable Series continued this fall with appearances by three high-profile female fashion executives. Denise Seegal, CEO of Amsale, and a member of the College's Fashion Industry Advisory Board, was the first featured speaker on September 28. Former Kenneth Cole Productions CEO Jill Granoff visited on October 20, and Susan Falk, CEO of Betsey Johnson, spoke on November 16. Launched in 2010, the CEO Roundtable Series brings some of the top minds in the retail and apparel industries onto the LIM College campus to offer MBA students valuable insight and advice. Previous participants have included Stephen I. Sadove, Chairman and CEO of Saks, Inc. and Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSN, Inc.
"Globalspeak" Brings the World to LIM College
On October 13, Muriel Glasgow, a humanitarian activist who has worked with the United Nations, was at LIM College to discuss her experiences at the Clinton Global Initiative and First Ladies Summit.
Glasgow’s talk was the first installment in a new event series known as "Globalspeak." Presented by LIM College in conjunction with the Student Government Association, Globalspeak will bring people who are actively involved in all types of global issues to the LIM College campus.
According to Michael Palladino, Director of Student Life, "By creating an interactive dialogue at these events, we hope to engage our students in important matters beyond the classroom and prepare them to not only be successful business leaders, but also global citizens."
Globalspeak events will include a combination of guest speakers, panel discussions, and film screenings and occur twice each semester. The next speaker will be filmmaker Ole Shell on March 20.
Says Palladino, "This is an academic enhancement meant to stimulate conversation, create opportunities, and foster a global awareness of people, places and issues."
Fast Facts: Faculty & Staff
Arts & Communications
Elisabet Takehana presented a paper on “Private Persona and Group Identity: Virginia Woolf’s The Waves,” at the 109th Annual Conference of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association at Scripps College this month. In October she presented “Argument: An Aestheticized Public Space,” at the English Association of Pennsylvania State Universities’ Fall 2011 conference at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.
Amanda Hallay gave a talk on "The Magical History Tour: Revisiting the Sixties as the Decade that Revisited" at the American Association of Popular Culture’s annual meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 14. She also recently signed her seventh book deal, her first with Harper Collins. This book will be about tattoos and is slated for publication in 2013.
Michael Londrigan is serving as an advisor in the areas of merchandising, marketing, sales, and product and supply chain development for Carrie Parry, a socially responsible and eco-friendly women’s apparel line produced locally in New York.
Marketing & Management
Jasmine Bellamy was recently promoted to Merchandising Director at Avenue by Redcats. The product categories she is responsible for include woven tops and bottoms, dresses, outerwear and swimwear.
Math, Finance & Technology
Lucy Collins was quoted about the history of sunglasses in an article that appeared on eHowStyle.com.
Eric Feigenbaum, Chair, spoke at the International Retail Design Conference in San Francisco in September, and will also appear at the Retail Design Collective in New York in December.
LIM College in the News
An article on U.S. News & World Report’s website about the growth of specialized MBA programs included information about the LIM College MBA Program and quotes from Vice President of Graduate Studies Dr. Milan Milasinovic. Fashion industry executive Jill Granoff’s on-campus talk to MBA students was also acknowledged on the Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) website on October 21.
Fashion Merchandising Chair Michael Londrigan was quoted in an October 12 article about recent developments at Liz Claiborne on the Wall Street Journal’s website. He was also interviewed for a July article about retail sales figures.
The winners of the Accessories Council Next Generation Awards were announced on WWD’s website on September 20.
Author and fashion designer Keanan Duffty’s visit to LIM College was mentioned in an item about him that appeared on WWD’s website on September 14.
The Summer Solstice Visual Merchandising Competition that the Visual Merchandising Department conducted for Solstice Sunglass Boutique was reported on by several media outlets, including the WWD website, VM+SD magazine, the Asbury Park Press, and three optical industry trade publications. In other Visual Merchandising news, information about student-created paper fashions on display at the Mattatuck Museum was included in articles in two Connecticut newspapers -- the Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) and the Litchfield County Times.
Our alumni are making their mark in the world and the world is taking notice. Bianca Caampued’s (Class of 2007) party-planning and marketing company, Small Girls PR, was profiled in the New York Post in June. That same month, the New York Times ran a feature on 2010 graduate Kristy Shelberg’s job as an event and party coordinator at the Scholastic Store in SoHo.
Current LIM College students are also receiving media attention for their activities on the fashion scene. Sophomore Logan Rizzo, who’s working in public relations, was interviewed by PRCouture.com, a popular industry website, about her internships and career aspirations, and freshman Rachel Schwartzmann is blogging about fashion for the Huffington Post.