Faculty Profile: Dr. David Loranger, Graduate Studies

While working in luxury retail, David Loranger began teaching at LIM College and hasn’t looked back. He completed his PhD in Apparel, Merchandising and Design and then joined the College as a full-time faculty member in 2018.

What led you to teach at LIM?
While working at Bergdorf Goodman in 2011, I taught at LIM College as a part-time faculty member. I had no inkling that I would end up in academia -- in fact, most fashion business practitioners don’t know what credentials you need to teach unless you have a friend who provides an ‘in.’ At first, it was just for extra money, and then I realized that I liked it a lot. You get this feeling of passing on not only what you know but also what you’ve learned from mentors, like a distiller of mentorship that you got from the great people in the industry.

What are the students in LIM’s master’s degree programs like?
I love how they are very enthusiastic. For example, last Monday we were talking about different constructs and I asked, ‘Do you want to take a break?’ And they responded, ‘No, keep going.’ After another half hour, I got the same response. The students have an incredible work ethic.

Please describe some lessons you learned by working in luxury retail that you now pass onto your students.
Attention to detail is key. I think what employees have the hardest time with is the soft skills -- like coming to work on time and being diligent and double-checking your work before sending it to your boss, or customer service-type things like follow-up calls. Work in the mass marketplace is so transactional that you focus on operations, but in luxury retail, it’s highly intensive about the customer.

What is your vision for LIM’s master’s degree programs?
My colleagues and I are working to build responsive graduate programs that can address a changing industry that’s becoming more oriented toward logistics and supply. Technology is becoming huge, with growing areas such as artificial intelligence and augmented realities. Also, there are changing demographics in terms of who has buying power and what their preferences are. Future fashion business professionals need to understand this to succeed.

Why did you decide to return to LIM?
I know the goals of the school and the students. It’s also like a family, so you don’t have as many barriers to collaboration and learning. The students feel comfortable with you because it’s a smaller setting. Yet New York stands out as a place to study fashion because in terms of sheer diversity, it’s the most diverse. It’s the one place in the world where you can be a world traveler without traveling the world. Here at LIM College, it is a small community within a big city.