On February 10, 2013, twenty students and two faculty members from the Department of Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles departed Lexington for the annual study tour to New York City. For the past nine years, the study tour has offered students a chance to experience many facets of the fashion industry.
This year’s trip began with a theme of change as winter storm Nemo struck the northeast and delayed travel plans by one day. While the delay led to schedule adjustments, the trip remained packed with a variety of opportunities. Attending the Broadway production of Annie was a great highlight for the first day.
The remaining three days included tours to several showrooms, corporate retail visits, and appointments with premier trend forecasting firms. At RJM Group, a luxury branding company, the students were greeted by recent MAT alumnus Rachel Zimmer. Rachel first worked with RJM as an intern during the summer of 2012. Upon completing her degree in December, she returned to accept a full-time position with the company.
Attendance at the Vantan Tokyo Fashion Show was a memorable experience. The show featured collections from three student designers from the Vantan Tokyo design school. Meredith Gross, a Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles junior shared, “I loved the fashion show. It was amazing going backstage. I would have never thought I would be backstage at a fashion show in the Lincoln Center during New York Fashion Week.”
Another favorite visit during the trip for Gross was Kleinfeld Bridal, the premier bridal boutique in New York. Featured on The Learning Channel’s hit show Say Yes to the Dress, Kleinfeld provided a unique perspective for the UK students. Meredith Gross commented, “I currently work at a bridal boutique, so I really enjoyed learning about how Kleinfeld’s does everything in comparison to my small store.”
Dr. Scarlett Wesley, Associate Professor and study tour coordinator shared, “A highlight of our trip was the visit to Macy’s corporate offices where we met with Jean Hoskin, Ph.D., Director of Color Services. We learned all about how Macy’s makes color decisions and conducts color quality testing on all their private label merchandise. This visit was a rare opportunity to see behind the scenes product development.”
This year’s four-day trip provided many opportunities for students to gain industry insights, network with professionals and explore potential careers. Kylee Molitor, also a Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles junior, remarked, “There are just so many options in our major and to see the different job opportunities was a really great experience. I really enjoyed being able to take the colorist test and learn so much about trend forecasting.”