NYC: LIM and Tommy Hilfiger

Friday morning we woke up nice and early to get ready to head over to LIM, a business fashion college in Manhattan. On our “Saunter” over (as so called by Mr. D) we tried to take a good look at the 5th Avenue window displays.  Our professors Mr. D and Ms. Ehrhart pointed out to us how the visual merchandisers used elements of design to best draw the attention of customers and move the eye through the entire display.

We arrived at LIM College and were greeted by the Assistant Director of Admissions–Mr. Anthony Urmey.  Mr. Urmey gave us an overview of all that LIM has to offer us as a potential transfer college.

Ms. Amanda Hallay is a professor at LIM, and she was nice enough to take some time out of her day to speak with us about the Merchandising program.  She was able to help paint a picture of what we would experience in classes if we chose to attend LIM.  Ms. Hallay was definitely a shining example of the expertise we could expect from the faculty.

At this point a panel of LIM students–including 3 of GCC’s own alumni–answered any questions we had for them and told us about all of the ups and downs of classes and student life at LIM.  At the end of the presentations our students were welcome to a tour of the campus. Who knows, some of us might end up choosing LIM after we graduate GCC!

In the late afternoon we were told to find a building on the west side of Manhattan. Luckily, we all made it to this location; some of us (myself included) had successfully hailed a taxi; others had bravely made the trek on foot! Whatever the mode of transportation, it was surely be worth our lightened wallets and worn-out feet; we were here to meet with representatives from Tommy Hilfiger.

When we arrived, we were directed to the Hilfiger lobby; from the crisp sofas, to the red patchwork carpet, the framed stars and stripes, and the Tommy Hilfiger promo videos playing on a flatscreen–this room itself exuded the Americana-prep that is Tommy Hilfiger.



From here, Ms. Catherine Welsh took us through the office areas, passed the showrooms, and into a meeting room where she filled us in on the history of Tommy Hilfiger (from man to brand-name).

Ms. Christina Caruso spoke with us about applying for summer internships–and offered some valuable advice for making living arrangements during internships in the city.

Ms. Anna Christensen and Ms. Amie Robinson from the Creative Projects Research and Development explained to us the process of taking the latest trends and creating a general concept for the designers to use as inspiration; this way Tommy Hilfiger captures the same aesthetic, even though there are numerous sects of design teams.

Next we got to learn about the system Tommy Hilfiger uses to create a uniform look in their visual merchandising store-wide.  Personally, I was impressed to experience the infinite number of possibilities for employment within the fashion industry.  As we students saw, fashion has truly become a specialized profession which demands hardworking individuals from an amazing number of backgrounds and areas of talent.

And so concluded our final field trip on this whirlwind city adventure.  We broke back into small groups to try to squeeze in some final shopping, see last-minute sites, and maximize the mileage on our tired legs, before turning in for our last sleep in NYC.

Day one in the big city

Today was our first full day here in the big apple!  Though it was a bit rainy in the morning, it turned out to be a fair–and action-packed–day!
I’m here in NYC with other Fashion students to learn more about design, fashion, and business from people that work in the industry in NYC.
Our first stop of the day was to the Gitman Bros showroom.

There we met with Mr. Chris Olberding; the Vice President of the company.  Gitman primarily focuses on menswear, and is a top producer of fine shirting and suiting in the USA. Mr. Olberding exhibited his zeal for the industry and spoke with us about the production of classic, quality clothing.  Olberding helped us see how much precision is involved in such an industry; though the basic design and cut of the shirts does not change rapidly, the fabric choices for each line must be chosen meticulously.  Possible fabric choices include material that is already produced and ready to be used as-is; manipulated versions of prints or plaids; a print created using a design; and reproduced vintage prints.

Along with Mr. Olberding, we were also able to meet with the personnel from the merchandising, marketing, communications, and managing departments.  We asked lots of questions and got a glimpse of Gitman’s business practices and some potential careers in menswear.
After a brief break for lunch and shopping, we got together again for a meeting with Ms. Diane Alexander, the PR Director of fashion powerhouse, Buffalo David Bitton. Ms. Alexander told us many stories–from the woes of interns with attitudes, to the high demands of some celebrities–she has seen it all.  As Alexander spoke to us, we were surrounded by Buffalo David Bitton  lines for Spring 2014 and–my personal favorite–Holiday 2013/14.
DSCN2236 On this field trip, we really got first-hand proof that networking is an integral part of  the fashion business.  Alexander explained to us all of the ways in which celebrities, bloggers, and magazines can be used to promote a line or product.  Alexander was very down-to-earth and not afraid to tell everything like it is; no sugar coating.  I loved her no-nonsense nature and one particular bit she mentioned about her interns stood out to me–“I wouldn’t ask you to do something I wouldn’t do myself.”  Even the smallest, most tedious and menial jobs must be completed.

And with that we were free to explore the city–for me, it was time to head down to the garment district in search of some new fabric to work with!

Guest Speakers From Verizon Wireless


It’s Friday morning, September 27th, in Mr. Dudkowski’s 8am Professional Sales class. We went through the usual routine of reviewing homework and forgetting each other’s names (current students–you understand; Future students for BUS 201–learn your peers’ names…you will understand) has been disrupted. Who are we to thank for our rescue from Mr. D’s much-too-early-in-the-morning name game? Guest speakers Cindy Carpenter and Jon Spencer, who have come to share with us their experiences in business with Verizon Wireless; experiences which, between the two of them, are undoubtedly abundant.

For over 15 years, Ms. Carpenter has worked in various business positions in 
Rochester and has been the recruiter for the Verizon Calls Center since 2006. Mr. Spencer, a former GCC student himself, has held positions in Verizon in numerous facets including customer service, billing, tech support, inventory, and sales, and currently holds the title of “Device Expert.”

In his talk, Spencer highlighted how fortunate he is to work in a business that is so connected with technology.  He emphasized the incredible world we live in today where technology is growing and expanding more than ever before. Spencer’s career in business with Verizon gives him the opportunity every day to be right at the hub of this age of technology and help others connect with our increasingly tech-driven society. Aside from the obvious application and knowledge of the latest gadgets, the business aspects of working for Verizon allows for human connections through customer relations.  As Spencer stated, customer interactions make his job worthwhile; the ability to introduce customers to devices which allow them to speak with loved ones over long distances, recover priceless photos, and could even change their lives, creates visible gratitude which is “Worth more than all the money in the world,” said Spencer.

A Friday morning class–usually merely the last hurdle before a long weekend–proved to be an enriching and worthwhile experience for the students in my class.  Not only did we get to hear firsthand experiences from two Verizon Wireless Employees, we were also given some advice; though we’ve heard it many times before it still rings true, as Spencer said: “At the end of the day, the paycheck and the benefits don’t mean a whole lot if you spend 40+ hours a week doing something that makes you miserable.”

Assignment Number One


This fall I began my first semester at GCC; after what felt like the blink of an eye, summer came to an end and I found myself searching out an open seat in class. One of my most anticipated classes–Fashion, Trends and Design–proved itself deserving of my high hopes.  Within the first week I already felt immersed in the world of fashion: we explored color trends, discussed the ever-ambiguous definition of “Sportswear,” and were exposed to the high-paced thrill of design.

For our first assignment, each student created an original T-Shirt design; the only boundaries being our target market and our imaginations. Immediately my mind began to take off in many directions, seeking possibly inspiration for my design.  In the end I found myself enthralled with an unlikely candidate—burlap.  I couldn’t get out of my mind an image I’d recently seen at a wedding: coarse, unyielding burlap wrapped around the stems of elegant, soft Roses. The beauty behind the juxtaposition of the primitive burlap material with the natural grace of the roses spoke to me and truly inspired my design.

The main features of my design are the burlap bows affixed to the shoulders and the princess seam-style trim.  In each feature I attempted, respectively, to translate my inspiration by using a stiff material to create a soft, gentle bow, and by adding structure to what would otherwise by a soft, flowing garment. 

After completing week 1, I feel confident that the rest of the semesters’ classes will continue to challenge me creatively and help assimilate us fashion students into the cutthroat industry that we all love. I can’t wait to see what is in store for the next weeks!

 T shirt 4 T shirt 6