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!