Student Shares New York Fashion Experience
Feb. 27, 2023
SHSU Media Contact: Mikah Boyd
By Nhi Nguyen
Madelyn Cobb, a Sam Houston State University student who is enrolled in the College of Health Science’s Fashion Merchandising program, shared that it was her dream to represent SHSU at New York Fashion Week. She learned about a special program for fashion merchandising students, UofNYFW, gave it her all, and went through the interview process, answering questions and showcasing her academic accomplishments. Madelyn was confident in her ability to express herself and how passionate she is about fashion. She was selected to serve as SHSU’s exclusive representative at New York Fashion Week (NYFW).
Cobb was one of the 30 students from 18 universities who took part in UofNYFW, a unique educational program that gives future fashion leaders a chance to experience the infamous New York Fashion Week. UofNYFW was organized by the nation's top licensing agency, Collegiate Licensing Company, and the operator of New York Fashion Week, IMG.
Students who participated in UofNYFW had the chance to get an exclusive sneak peek at Tiffany Brown Design's most recent collection as well as invitations to a runway show by famous Korean designer Son Jung Wan. The students were also given special access to the Ella Emhoff Likes to Knit! pop-up showroom. Additionally, students got to join in a Q&A session with IMG personnel and tour the backstage of the production and execution of a fashion show at Spring Studios.
T@S: Tell us about your experience at NYFW.
MC: New York is so different, everyone walks everywhere so you get to see people's fashions all the time, especially when it was New York Fashion Week, so everybody was dressed up. It was also neat to see everyone’s styles, especially our group. Everyone from different schools had a different style, for example, the Texans had similar styles, and people from other states had similar styles.
T@S: What was your first impression of New York?
MC: It was very much about the hustle and bustle, everyone is going somewhere and doing something. It is the City That Never Sleeps. I stayed out so late every night, and it was just great because everything closes later at night, there were lights everywhere and you get to see the huge billboards lit up in Times Square. It was so much different than here in Texas.
T@S: Why did you choose fashion merchandising as your major?
MC: I have always loved fashion and expressing myself through it, but I didn't think I could make a career out of it since I didn’t know anyone that had done anything in fashion or retail. Then, I started learning more about fashion and following people on social media, and I realized it's something I can pursue. I saw that in SHSU’s Fashion Merchandising program and that you can do both creative classes and business classes. For someone who was a little bit nervous, the program solidified my business classes so that I could easily fall back to business, but once I started taking my fashion classes, I just fell in love with them.
T@S: Who would you say is your fashion inspiration?
MC: Social media is the main source of my inspiration. I get ideas from Kate Bartlett @katee.barlett on Instagram. Just like me, she started out as a fashion student and is now a big influencer in the world of fashion. I love that she has made her way into the industry, that gives me hope in the sense of ‘if she can do it, I can do it too.’. Furthermore, I enjoy watching fashion shows, especially shows from Chanel; I also have subscribed to Vogue and other magazines, I’m always looking through them and figuring out what's in style or what's trending.
T@S: How would you describe fashion merchandising?
MC: In a nutshell, there is fashion design and there is fashion merchandising. Fashion design is creating the clothes, designing them or graphic design, etc. Fashion merchandising is putting the designs on the floor and selling them. Therefore, it would require a lot of management classes, marketing classes and trend forecasting classes. Even right now, I’m doing an animation creativity class and accounting class to learn how to best merchandise it.
T@S: What do you consider necessary to be successful in this field?
MC: I would say to be successful in this field, you must go into it knowing that you will have to start at the bottom. I read Danielle Beinstein's book, which taught me that you have to work your closet job before you can work your dream job, and I could not agree more. Fashion is a tough industry, it is an amazing industry, but you do have to work your way up. Therefore, I would just say for someone going into this industry, know that you're going to have to learn, work hard and just gain experience in any way that you can, whether it's classes or an internship, just go ahead and start to get into action.
T@S: What made you choose Sam Houston?
MC: I chose Sam Houston for the fashion merchandising program and what it had to offer me. It has amazing classes, I heard about SHSU, I had some friends here and it's close to home, which is great. I really fell in love with the school when I started taking my classes. Furthermore, Sam Houston has been a great community, it gave me a chance to meet so many different people. I really have connected with some of my professors, as well. They are patient with me and willing to put in the time to answer my questions because they genuinely want me to grow.
T@S: What did you learn at the collegiate Fashion Week program?
MC: I learned a lot! We had a Q&A panel with a lot of higher-up professionals, such as people who worked in trend, concept, graphic design or design in general. It was great to talk with them because they answered a lot of questions such as what employers look for, and what I should have on my resume. They brought up a good point that you need to have a portfolio. Even though you are not sewing or making clothes, it's good to have a portfolio of past projects you've done, what style you gravitate towards and employers are more likely to look at that and judge if you're really interested in fashion and if it is something you genuinely have a passion about.
T@S: When do you graduate and what is your plan after graduation?
MC: I am graduating in the summer. I used to be someone who always needed to know what my next step would be, however, college taught me to trust the process and to be happy with where I am at. I currently am working with Nordstrom as a personal stylist. My end goal is trend forecasting, which is a corporate role. I am trying to learn as much as I can, and I would love to work in management at some point. I would like to stay with Nordstrom, and I would also be open to new opportunities. I love Texas but I’m open to moving to a big city, I was thinking about maybe moving to New York for a year or two just to have the experience and to meet people, I’m very open to the future.
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