Professor Jodi Hartmann teaches fashion courses at Marist, including Textiles, Product Development, Private Label Techniques, Retailing Principles and Practices and Product Development. Even as she discusses her role at Marist, Professor Hartmann manages course scheduling, student advising and other responsibilities within the fashion department.
What do you think is unique about the Marist Fashion Program?
First is our study abroad program because we have unique schools that are only for us, like Paris and Hong Kong. Second, we are all industry professionals.
What would you say is unique about your own classes specifically?
The way I teach with lectures and hands-on assignments. I bring a lot of visuals and I bring the industry in from my experience.
What is your favorite class to teach and why?
I don’t really have one. I love all of the classes I teach but if I had to pick one I guess it would be Product Development because that was what my career was in.
How else are you involved in the fashion department?
I work on the curriculum, I work on a lot of special projects for the program and I’ve taught and critiqued at the Marist branch campus in Florence, Italy. I also work on the development of the program in Paris at our partner school and I travel to Hong Kong to do orientation for our students that study there. I am also the link between the YMA (Fashion Scholarship Fund) and the department for their scholarships.
What are the most important skills you have picked up from your experiences in the industry?
Textiles. I traveled around the world because I was a product developer of garments from concept to the selling world and everything in between. So I can talk about the factories, I can talk about trade, how to cost a garment and what goes into making a garment.
How do you relate topics in class to real life experiences?
As we are discussing a topic, I will relate them. If we are talking about textiles, we talk about what happens at the mill with lab dips and strike offs. When there are defects, we talk about who’s responsible based on what I have done in the industry.
What sort of projects do you oversee in your class?
In my Product Development class, the students are assigned a brand in the semester and assigned the role of product developer. They do everything from concept, to designing it, selecting a fabric and selecting a color. In my Private Label class, we actually develop products for River and Stone that are then sold at MPorium (Marist’s boutique).
What projects have really stood out?
Last year in Private Label a lot of the students' products were produced and sold very well at MPorium. One of them we actually keep reordering.
How do you prepare students for careers in the real world?
What we teach here really takes you from college to career. We stress the different jobs in the industry which really opens the eyes of the students to the different possibilities. Product Development, for example, can lead to five different jobs that are in the industry.
What is the most important piece of advice you can give to students entering the industry?
When you go out into the industry, the Marist liberal arts background makes the students better critical thinkers and the industry appreciates and likes that. But, although you have learned a lot in college, you are always going to be learning more on the job. There is always going to be a new learning experience.
Written by Sarah Gabrielli '18
Profile Tags:Profile Type: Faculty
Major: Fashion Design
Academic School: Communication and the Arts
Campus: New York