Fashion Alumni Profiles & Press
The Fashion Program has an excellent record of post-graduate placement for students.
Fashion Program alumni are employed at companies that include:
Alice & Olivia, Aeropostale, Ann Taylor,, BCBG, Bergdof Goodman, Calvin Klein, Capelli New York, Carolina Amato, Chanel, Club Monaco, Coach, Donna Karan, Ferragamo, Gap, Inc., Giorgio Armani A/X, Haddad Brands, HSN, J Crew, JC Penney, J.Jill, Jones Apparel Group, Inc., Kate Spade, Lacoste, LDJ Productions, Lord and Taylor, Macy’s, Maggy London, Michael Kors, MTV, Nine West, Nordstrom, Old Navy, Oscar de la Renta, Perry Ellis, Polo/ Ralph Lauren, PVH, Ross Stores, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tahari, Talbots, Target, TJX, The Children’s Place, Tommy Hilfiger, Tory Burch, Tumblr, Viva International Group, ZAR Apparel Group…and many more
See http://www.marist.edu/alumni/index.html for the many benefits available to all Marist Alumni.
What made you chose Marist College’s fashion program?I selected Marist over a college such as FIT because of the well-rounded education Marist offers. I was interested in fashion, but I was not 100% sure that it would remain my chosen career path. Marist’s fashion program allows you to take a variety of classes giving you endless possibilities. You are in the driver’s seat and are never stuck in one major or career path.
What was the most beneficial part of the Marist Fashion program?The most beneficial part of the fashion program at Marist would be the real life industry experience of the professors. They pass their advice and experiences on to you in every class. The connections they have in the industry are INVALUABLE and always available to you. It’s an amazing network to have.
What were your favorite classes at Marist?One of my favorite fashion classes was History of Costume with Richard Kramer, as well as Textiles with Jodi Hartmann. I still remember things from those classes to this day. In addition, the Business classes gave great insight into the other side of the industry. I also enjoyed history classes, in particular “American History Since 1877” and “America Since 1945”. I highly recommend both.
When you were at Marist, did you participate in any of their wide variety of fashion internships?Yes, I interned the spring of my junior year in the wholesale sales division at Just Cavalli Donna, a licensee of Roberto Cavalli. My intern manager was also a Marist graduate (there’s that Marist network again!). It really opened my eyes to the day in and day out happenings in the industry as well as commuting into New York City.
How did you pick the facet of the fashion industry you wanted to pursue?My internship enabled me to choose the path I wanted to take in the industry due to the first hand experience I received. I worked directly with my boss who was an account executive as well as the entire sales team. I assisted with market prep; I sat in on market appointments with specialty boutiques as well as major US department stores; helped merchandise and set up the showroom for market, and various other tasks they needed me assist with.
What exactly is an account executive in your own words?An account executive also know as a “sales manager “or “account manager” is someone who works on the wholesale sales side of a brand, selling a product to a buyer/buying team. They also negotiate financial agreements seasonally, track and react to sales continuously, present the product in market appointments, advise on the buy and manage the overall business with the buying team.
How did you land your first job? What was it?Through the extensive Marist network! Lydia , the internship and placement coordinator in the fashion department, was given a lead by another Marist graduate on an assistant account executive position at a handbag company. I applied for the position and had two interviews after which I was made an offer and started in July 2006. This company had its own brand of handbags as well as licenses for contemporary brands. My position required a lot of cold calling to specialty boutiques to create new accounts, as well as maintain and grow the business with existing stores. I also attended accessory trade shows at the Javits Center in New York City, as well as Las Vegas. During the course of my first year I was able to grow the specialty store aspect of the company’s business by double digits and was promoted to an account executive. I was also given more responsibility that included a major department store in Canada.
How did your career progress after your first job?After almost two years in handbags, I moved onto a belt company who was a licensee for trendy contemporary brands. I was there for about a year working with major US department stores based in NYC and the Southwest for their million dollar private label programs as well as foreign distributors. This was in 2008 when the economy tanked and unfortunately I was laid off. As difficult and disappointing an experience as it was, it made me stronger and more driven so was a valuable lesson learned.
After being out of work for about 9 months, I fortunately landed an account executive position at a cold weather accessory company that held the license for a well known shearling boot brand as well as an extensive private label businesses in various popular retail chains. I worked with major department stores as well as big private label accounts. I also spearheaded the initiative to develop technology products such as touch screen capable gloves, wired earmuffs and wired knit hats. This is now a new separate department in that company and a big category for them so I am proud to have been a part of that. I remained at this company for three years until I was given an opportunity at Stuart Weitzman.
I started with Stuart Weitzman as a junior account executive, (I took a step back in title as this was a larger company then I had ever been with) and assisted the director of sales with two major US department stores. I visited every single door of those major’s (traveling 3 days a week, every week for months at a time) where I would host product knowledge seminars as well as gather valuable feedback from associates on the floor. I gained important insight on our business from the ground floor and would relay that information to the buying team to help with future buys as well as effect business needs in the present. Each visit and seminar always resulted in an increase in incremental sales. Through these store visits, I forged firm relationships with the managers and associates gaining their trust and resulting in a strong partnership to our brand. After a year and a half, I was promoted to an account executive. Currently, I manage one of the major US OMNI department stores I had previously assisted on, as well as a Canadian major department store and about 30 specialty boutiques in the southwest region of the US. I just hit my three-year mark with Stuart Weitzman and my career here continues to grow as the brand grows. This is an exciting time to be part of this company.
How did you know when it was time to transition jobs?When you invest time in your career and a company you will get to the point where you ask yourself, “am I growing here in my overall role, experience level and salary?” You should always be learning, growing and acquiring skills in whatever position you have. If you get to a point when you feel you are not progressing in those important main points, it’s time to move on.
When you resign, be gracious and thankful no matter what the circumstances. ALWAYS take the high road. Remember, you do not want to burn a bridge and it is a normal part of life to feel the need to grow and move on. Any good manager knows that and will wish you well. Thank your managers for the time they invested in you and if the circumstances permit, stay in touch when you are gone.
What is your advice for potential freshman?Right now, you are in such a great position because you have so much opportunity at your fingertips. Its OK if you do not know on the first day of classes what you want to do. That’s perfectly normal. Marist gives you all the tools you need to choose the right career for you. Just know that you have chosen the right place and people to help guide you towards your individual path of success. You will have an amazing college experience with the gorgeous backdrop of the Hudson River Valley. You will meet new friends from many different places and backgrounds that will be with you for a lifetime--I am still close with my friends from Marist to this day. So enjoy! You are about to start one of the best rides of your life!
What is your advice for current Marist students and graduating seniors?My advice would be to have a thick skin not just in this industry but for the “real world” overall. It is inevitable that there will be bumps along the way with a few reality checks throughout your career. Growing pains are normal and will just make you better and stronger as well as help you grow. Always remain driven. You will be starting at the bottom when you leave college and that’s OK. It is important to work hard in whatever position you hold. Before you graduate, take every excel class or seminar you can. Excel will be your best friend and a tool you use all day, everyday. The best advice I ever received was “numbers don’t lie, people do”. In buying and sales, it is important to have a strong financial voice. Presenting data in excel helps you make your case.
Official Job Description:Maintain Zymmetry system and create style numbers as well as departmental files within the Sourcing systems Responsible for communicating all PO requests and revisions with Far East Sourcing partners and third party vendors Work collaboratively with Merchandising and Merchandise Planning to gain alignment on information needed regarding POs Communicate status of color and fabric/yarn research and development, and assist with bulk fabric commitments Assist with the creation and maintenance of certain seasonal re-cap charts, lab dip charts, and other ad hoc requests Prepare and assist with pre-classification process and attend weekly fit meetings to maintain fit status report
Alumni in the recent news.....
Rachele Fitz '10
Lauren Giambalvo '08
JR Morrissey '88
Lauren Giambalvo '08