Page 20 - foxtalk issue 2

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Winter 2011
News & Notes
Senior projects keep CommArts students on their toes
Capstone experiences finish out
college coursework
he creators of, a chic,
online fashion boutique, say their
mission is to provide girls with the
“conf idence to successfully conquer
anything.” This new “e-tailer” strives
to provide the ultimate online shopping
experience by offering luxurious pieces
at a sensible price.
Who exactly are these emerg-
ing entrepreneurs? Surprisingly, you
won’t f ind them in Milan, Paris or
Manhattan, but at Marist College.
Kyra Baker, ‘10, Michele Kopin, ‘10,
and Jenna Liporace, ‘10, are fashion
merchandising majors, and
was the product of their arduous cap-
ping course.
Similar to most capping courses at
Marist, the fashion merchandising cap-
ping class requires an intense amount of
effort but comes with the potential for
creating an astounding f inished prod-
uct. Members of the community may be
familiar with the Silver Needle Fashion
Show, an annual event that showcases
collections created by students through
the fashion design capping. The show
is glamorous, but the merchandise ma-
jors work just as hard as their design
“We literally had to f igure out every
detail for what goes into running a busi-
ness,” Baker said, explaining that the
group was paired up with a senior de-
sign student in the fall semester. After
viewing plans for her collection, the
girls had to create a business that would
sell and market it. Once the course of-
f icially began in January, they got to
work, knowing they would have to con-
vince their professors to “invest” in the
company during a f inal presentation.
Fashion majors shine of the runway, too
“It’s a very comprehensive project,”
said professor Peter Brickman. “It is a
culmination of everything they have
learned in their four years here.”
As Brickman explained, the groups
are assigned seven projects over the
course of the semester, each of which
focuses on a different objective. Because
the students are expected to cover all
the areas of running a real business,
these projects include establishing de-
tails for individual products, research-
ing a target market and creating mar-
keting and sales strategies.
“The product line alone,” Liporace
said, “included determining the fabric,
f iber content, what it costs to make and
sell, and what colors it should come in.”
While the girls admitted to having
some fun while f iguring those out, the
f inancial part was more challenging.
“We had $1 million to work with,”
Kopin said. “That’s not a lot. That’s
why we did it online. Other groups had
to account for expenses like f loor plans
and light bulbs.”
The group had to compute the typi-
cal accounting f igures, including pre-
dicting sales, returns, and allowances
for the f irst three years of running their
“I think a lot of people have a mis-
conception about fashion,” said Lydia
Biskup, the internship and placement
coordinator for the Marist fashion
program. “People tend to see only the
glamour side, but the bottom line is
that fashion is a business.”
Biskup, who taught merchandise cap-
ping this semester, said professors are
also looking to see how well the stu-
dents exhibit writing, research, and
The online boutique has a variety of diferent fashions for ‘sale.’ It is viewable at