Fashion Forward – Model Photos and Fashion Show DVD Info


Keep hold of the wonderful memories from Genesee Community College’s 32nd annual fashion show, Fashion Forward by purchasing photographs and the DVD………

Digital copies of the show photos can be purchase for $1 a photograph.

Click to view photos

Click to view photos

These photos are royalty free, personal use and high definition.

A full length DVD of the entire show, including behind the scenes interviews, can be purchased for $29 including tax and shipping from Leighthouse Productions:

Click to order your DVD copy of Fashion Forward

Click to order your DVD copy of Fashion Forward





Fashion Forward – Genesee Community College’s 32nd Annual Fashion Show, 2013


Fashion Forward Poster

Professional Dress with Personal Best



Susan Makai is the CEO and founder of Personal Best, which is a modeling and talent school located in Buffalo NY. Susan inspired everyone in the room by tell us of how she started Personal Best 24 years ago with just someone believing in her and her talent in making people’s dreams come true.  Ms. Makai came to Genesee Community College and talked to the Fashion Majors as well as others who wanted to listen in. She began her presentation by telling us the top ten personal appearance mistakes that make employers shutter. 

  1. The fit of clothing- nobody cares what size you are as long as the clothing you have on fit you.
  2. Provocative clothing- such as skirts that are too short, sheer fabrics and garments, garments that are low cut in the front. Provocative clothing can cause unnecessary attention in the workplace.
  3. Denim- can give the wrong impression to your employer making them feel that you aren’t serious.
  4. Trendy clothing- isn’t the best investment to make because they don’t stay in style as well they aren’t always a good fit for most body types.
  5.  Novelty wear– is not acceptable to wear in any professional setting.
  6. Accessories-these should be subtle and shouldn’t take the attention of everyone else in the room.
  7. Shoe don’ts- flip flops and crocks are not shoes that are appropriate to wear at the workplace, they give off a laid back vibe to employers.
  8. Grooming- be careful how much makeup you wear and how you wear your hair it can give off the feeling that you aren’t clean to potential employers or current employers.
  9. Mismatch- it might be cool looking but for work you must stay professional and consistent looking.
  10.  Distracting- different patterns on a garment may pull the focus off of business and on to you.

Ms. Makai also gave us advice on what to wear in the workplace such as black dress pants are always a classic. The suited look is always popular for men as well as solid sweaters are a nice change up for men’s apparel. She also discussed how to connect with others which was very inspiring. She showed everyone the proper way to do a handshake because as we were taught a handshake shows you’re confident and professional.  Ms. Makai also told us eye contact body language and your tone of voice are three things that can give the person you are with the feeling that you’re not interested in what they’re talking about.

We want to personally thank Susan Makai for coming in and talking to us, you truly gave us some vital information that will stick with us forever.

Written by Natalie Brown, Kelly Wetherby and Shelby Wallenhorst

Fashion Designer Profile: Shenique’ Johnson


Shenique’ Johnson is a sophomore fashion design student here at Genesee Community College, with the passion for fashion running through her veins. She is also one of the scene coordinators for this year’s fashion show with the scene called “Mad House”, where she will be showcasing her fashion line called “The S-Jay Collection” for the spring/summer collection this year. The S-Jay Collection will be the start of her official fashion line starting this year.

Shenique' Johnson

Hailing out of Rochester, NY, Shenique’ Johnson has always had an eye for fashion.

“I’ve been taught by my grandmother, who was taught by her mother to sew and design clothes. So designing clothes has been in my blood since the day I was born.”

From taking her first fashion class in 9th grade, she always had an idea that it would be her mission for people to see her creative eye within her own taste of fashion. Her 9th grade fashion teacher noticed that she was good at designing and sewing when she gave out the assignment of creating their first pair of pajama pants and a matching purse to go along with them.

Shenique’ was known in high schools for being fashion forward, wearing crazy bright clothing. This sense of style led her to style the models in her high school’s fashion show in 2008 as well as designing her friends senior togas. By the end of school she knew that fashion design was going to be her perfect career.

Shenique Johnson 2

Since attending Genesee Community College, she has interned during freshman year for a sophomore fashion merchandising student in last year’s show “Soiree” and was giving the opportunity to feature her talent. Given a tight deadline, and having to intern as well, she went from creating three outfits, to one final piece that the coordinator loved.  After the show, a lot of friends and family asked her when it was going to be her turn to really showcase her designs? Their answer will be in this year’s fashion show, Fashion Forward, on April 27th at Genesee Community College in Batavia.

Learning Fashion Design with Raul Siro Ferreira


As the bus turns on to East Main Street in Rochester, New York, we catch a glimpse of Raul Siro Ferreirra, fast at work completing a custom Civil War inspired suit jacket for a clients upcoming nuptials. Raul is not only a world renowned designer; he is the owner of a hidden fashion gem, tucked away in one of Roc City’s most creative and eclectic locations, The Village Gate. Each 1 Stitch 1 is a sewing house that provides everything from sewing machines to t-shirt presses for use by anyone—including the designing rookie or the seasoned seamstress. As we entered the facility, we were warmly welcomed by Raul and invited to take in the atmosphere of a designer. One wall donned racks of designs that were not only created by Raul but also by up and coming hopefuls and students.

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Raul was an open book and candid about his modest beginnings in the fashion industry. A native of Queens, he began sewing at the age of 9 making his own clothing but found there were not enough patterns available for boys. This prompted him as a preteen to begin creating his own patterns. Another fact is his original career path was that of a veterinarian. He graduated from Cornell University and along with a friend opened up a practice which was short lived for Raul as he found his allergy to cats was too much to manage. This gave way to reigniting the designer’s spark.

Back to NYC he went, where he studied and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). He went on to design all over the world including for Calvin Klein, Broadway and the costumes for Spiderman 2!! In 2007 he decided to begin his own business as he believed Rochester had a talent pool and a market for manufacturing along with tax incentives. Unfortunately the business fell prey to the recession but Raul did not give way to defeat.

Lemons? No way! He turned these circumstances into a tall glass of lemonade, creating, Each 1 Stitch 1.  As he shared his journey with my fellow students and me, he would at times give way to a slight chuckle which would follow his words of fashion business truths. He advised us to stay true to ourselves and business comes first.  Friends and associates will try to monopolize your time but you must insist on taking care of your customers first as it is business not personal. Also, know your niche as a designer, as you should only be making a limited amount of merchandise until you have a profitable client base. His hope is to continuing growing his business and paving the way for all who want to learn construction and design, especially the youth who otherwise would not be afforded the opportunity to explore their creativity.  As a parting sentiment of inspiration, he let the students take remnants from his material collection. Raul’s love for fashion is evident. A veteran of Rochester’s Fashion Week, he still has a lot of designs left to share. Stay tuned as we are sure to see more fabulous fashions in the very near future.

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Interested in broadening your sewing technique?  Each 1 Stitch 1 located at 1115 East Main Street, Rochester, New York. The facilities are available for a low nominal fee; $10 per hr, $50 for 20 visits and $100.00 per month for unlimited visits. Private instruction available upon request.

Written by Raquel Goff

Sew, What’s Happening?


Today, the general public and GCC students were treated to wealth of knowledge and experience from an array of business leaders within the local fashion community. Our Professors, Donna Ehrhart and Rick Dudkowski, managed to bring these leading voices together in what turned out to be a very successful event. With the help of Natalie Brown, Event Project Manager, afternoon tea and sandwiches were severed  along with many great talks from our dynamic panel.

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Jill Bates – Jill Bates Fashion, Rochester, NY ( GCC Fashion Advisory Board)

Jill Bates, aka the “fashion physician,” is a professional seamstress and fashion designer specializing in wedding gown alterations and all types of formal wear. She has more than 30 years experience. Jill has a studio in East Rochester where she also sells a line of energy scarves called Chales and has started a hairpiece accessory line, “Something Blue”

Donald Brown – Vice President, Charles Men’s Shop, Batavia, NY (GCC Fashion Advisory Board)

Donald Brown got into retail 18 years ago after a successful decade in computer operations. That background helped him implement changes that have allowed his family’s tailored men’s clothing and sportswear store to survive in the changing retail world with the utilization of technology. Charles Men’s Shop attracts customers from througout the region who value the quality and service the store provides.

Candace Cooper – Can’de Couture, Webster, NY

What started as a senior project, turned into an up and coming fashion line for GCC fashion design student Candace Cooper. Her Can’de Couture clothes aim to offer sophisticated yer affordable style. You can see Candace’s work in a scene she’ll design for the 32nd annual, Spring Fashion show, Fashion Forward! Click Can’de Couture to see here previous designs and find out more about this young talent.

Kathy Healey – Healey Wear, Greece, NY

Kathy Healey credits her mom as her first sewing teacher and the family ping pong table as the first cutting table shared with her six sisters  After working as a buyer for Sibley’s a youth development specialist, and a cooking instructor  she started her home-based business, Healey Wear, fifteen years ago. She specializes in creating custom garments and window treatments.

Kristine Iannazzi – Fashion Designer & CEO, Embrasse-moi

A Kansas native, Kristine Iannazzi landed in Rochester after a stop in New York City’s Garment District. In 2008, she opened a lingerie boutique, Embrasse-moi, that three years later was named the #1 lingerie boutique in North America. She’s expanded her offerings to include swim, shoes, accessories, resort clothing, and active wear and looks to open more stores in the future.

Karen Schimpf – Sew On-Sew Forth, Depew, NY

A seasoned executive and lifelong western New Yorker, Karen Schimpf has been president of Sew On-Sew Forth since 2003. Offering everything from fabric supplies to classes and service on all makes and models of sewing machines. The business is an exclusive Brother International sewing, embroidery, quilting, and serger machine dealer for western New York.

Raul Siro Ferreira – Siro’s Fashion in Design & Each 1 Stitch 1 Fabric Store & Design Studio, Rochester, NY (GCC Fashion Advisory Board)

New York City native Raul Sirp Ferreora has created costimes for Broadway shows, films, and TV programs. Relocating to Rochester in 2007, he opened Siro’s Fashion in  Design, a high-end custom clothing line. His new passion is a creative studio, Each 1 Stitch 1. Offereing classes and workspace, he envisions a gathering place for the Western New York fashion community.

From left to right: Jill Bates, Donald Brown, Candace Cooper, Kathy Healey, Kristine Iannazzi, Karen Schimpf, Raul Siro Ferreira

From left to right: Jill Bates, Donald Brown, Candace Cooper, Kathy Healey, Kristine Iannazzi, Karen Schimpf, Raul Siro Ferreira

Display and Visual Merchandising – BUS 208


This is one of my favorite classes I have taken at GCC so far, as it has let me express my creative side, while also developing my team working skills. I have learnt a lot from Ms. Ehrhart who teaches this class with so much passion and vigor. It’s an 8 week class, making it quick paced, and action packed which has given me a better grasp and feel for real world applications. As part of this course, my group was fortunate enough to get real world experience by merchandising the windows at Charles Men’s Shop in Batavia NY.

Charles Men's Shop Display

Charles Men’s Shop Display

Display and visual merchandising is a very hands on class, and during the 8 weeks, our main focus was to complete four visual displays: shadow box, display case, rack and the window.

Each display gave us a chance to work with differing type of visual merchandising, which we may come across in our future careers.

Here are a few examples of our classes finished displays:

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Photos taken by Shawna Platt & Jamie Tyrrell

Eleanor Lambert – A Fashion Great


Myself and many of the fashion students here at GCC learnt in depth about the life and works of Eleanor Lambert from esteemed author and speaker John Tiffany. He captured our attention for more than an hour as he educated and entertained us through the stories of one of the most influential women in the fashion industry.

Eleanor Lambert is less well known to the average Joe than the likes of Ralph Lauren and Donna Karen, but in the whole scheme of American fashion, she is so much more important. The main reason these iconic American designers are hugely successful is due, in no small part, to the hard work Eleanor Lambert did over her many illustrious years, promoting and supporting the American fashion industry as a whole.

My eyes were truly opened to how integral and influential Eleanor was to help change American fashion and put it on the world’s fashion stage to compete with the likes of France and Italy. As fashion students, we owe so much to this amazing lady who helped create the huge fashion industry we see today in America, one which we aspire to be a part of in the near future.

We must also thank John Tiffany for working tirelessly to educate the world, by keeping the wonderful and interesting memories alive of one of fashions most distinguished and forward thinking minds.

A copy of John Tiffany’s book, “Eleanor Lambert: Still Here” which is an essential piece of fashion history, is available at the Genesee Community College Alfred C. O’Connell library.

Available at

Noted Fashion Historian, John Tiffany to Speak at GCC


Genesee Community College is offering an outstanding opportunity for those interested in fashion and strategic marketing to hear first-hand accounts of what goes on behind the runway curtains when John Tiffany delivers a lecture on Wednesday, October 24, 2012.

Tiffany is an author, lecturer and fashion historian with unrivaled insights from the glamorous and high-stakes world of fashion. His expertise comes from learning first-hand about the iconic events that propel fashion onto the center stage from Eleanor Lambert, the legendary publicist, credited with putting American fashion on the world stage. Tiffany’s book Eleanor Lambert: Still Here details her passion for promoting designers she considered truly gifted, including Calvin Klein, Oscar de la Renta, Yves Saint Laurent, Donna Karan and Christian Dior, and how her efforts catapulted them into the fashion stratosphere. Lambert raised the visibility of the industry by creating Fashion Week, the Coty Awards, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the CFDA Awards, and the International Best-Dressed List. She was also instrumental in launching the Museum of Modern Art, the American Art Dealers Association, the National Council on the Arts, and the precursor to what is now Sotheby’s USA.

Eleanor Lambert and John A. Tiffany

With more than 20 years of experience in the fashion industry, Tiffany will discuss event production, strategic marketing and public relations. His lecture will take place in room T119 of the Conable Technology Building on the Batavia campus at 1:30 p.m. on October 24 and is free and open to the public.

“John Tiffany is a brilliant storyteller and an authority on his mentor, Eleanor Lambert, commonly referred to as The Empress of Fashion,” said Jessie Barth, a member of GCC’s fashion advisory committee. “John’s great gift is in the spirited telling of the history of American fashion through the life of the pioneering woman who fashioned it into an industry, and we are very fortunate to be able to host his visit!”

Returning from NYC


Returning back to GCC is a culture shock after having been in NYC for the past few days. From the hustle and bustle of mid-town to the quite rolling fields of Batavia is quite the change. For many of GCC’s fashion students, New York City will be the intended destination at some point in their near futures as it is one of the world’s fashion heartlands. The last few days have definitely helped in our quest to get there, by further deepening our understanding of how the fashion industry works from an insider’s perspective.

On behalf of all of the students who attended, we would like to sincerely thank Mr. Rick Dudkowski, Ms. Donna Ehrhart and Mr. Jerry Kozlowski for accompanying and enabling us to experience this amazing field trip. An extra special thank you goes to Mr. D who worked tirelessly, using his NYC connections, to get us into some of the amazing and highly respected businesses within the fashion industry.

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We would also like to thank the fashion businesses and presenters who delivered insightful talks, presentations and demonstrations about their experiences, knowledge and life within the industry.

Over the next couple of weeks, myself and Samantha will be blogging in more depth about what we did, and learned from this incredible fashion field trip.

Post Provided By: Jamie & Samantha