Marist Students Help Produce New York Fashion Week Show for Francesca Liberatore

Marist College

POUGHKEEPSIE (Sept. 11, 2017) – Fourteen Marist fashion students had the unforgettable opportunity of working behind-the-scenes on a major runway show during New York Fashion Week (NYFW).  The students represented three distinct aspects of Marist’s Fashion Program: the production team from the program’s annual Silver Needle Fashion Show, the award-winning Marist Fashion Magazine, and an event planning course.

Students woke up at 3:30 a.m. on September 10 to travel from the College’s Poughkeepsie campus to work on Francesca Liberatore’s 9 a.m. show in New York City’s Soho district.  Once there, they were intimately involved in the planning and execution of the Italian designer’s 20-minute event.  Said Stephanie Schell ’18 of Fremont, Ohio, “Being at New York Fashion Week is such an honor.  You learn more here than you could imagine.”  Michelle Savino ’18 of Seaford, New York continued, “We get hands-on experience that we can bring into the classroom and share with our peers.”  Added Taylor Durand ’18 of New Durham, New Hampshire, “it gives you an in-person experience that you really need.  The fact that [Francesca] asks us back every year is just a great opportunity.” 

For nearly two decades, Marist students have volunteered at NYFW, handling numerous responsibilities ranging from directing social media coverage to production planning to dressing the models.  Many have gone on to intern or work at LDJ Productions, the production agency that oversees NYFW, or other event producers in the fashion world; LDJ Productions founder and CEO Laurie DeJong is a 1987 Marist graduate and serves on the College’s Board of Trustees. 

This weekend, senior design students will continue their collaboration with Francesca Liberatore when they complete an intensive design workshop on campus with the noted Italy-based designer.  Francesca received the 2016 Marist Fashion Program Silver Needle Innovation Award and has become an important collaborator with the College.  Past Innovation Award winners include designers Betsey Johnson, Son Jung Wan, and Nanette Lepore. 

Marist’s Fashion Program currently has 460 majors, approximately 100 in design and 360 studying in fashion merchandising with concentrations in business, product development, or fashion promotion.  The program is unique in that students receive a broad liberal arts-based education while completing internships in the fashion industry and gaining valuable real-world experiences. Marist’s campus in Florence, Italy is also known for its emphasis on fashion, art, design, and museum studies. 

To learn more about the Marist’s Fashion Program, visit

About Marist:

Marist College, recognized for excellence by The Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Barron's Best Buys in College Education, and Entrepreneur, is a highly selective comprehensive liberal arts institution noted for its leadership in the use of technology in and out of the classroom. Founded in 1929, Marist overlooks the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie, New York, midway between New York City and Albany, the state capital. Marist is ecumenical in character and reflects the ideals of the founder of the Marist Brothers, St. Marcellin Champagnat: commitment to excellence in education, a pursuit of higher human values, and dedication to the principle of service. Marist is dedicated to helping students develop the intellect and character required for enlightened, ethical, and productive lives in the global community of the 21st century. Marist educates 4,700 traditional-age undergraduate students and over 1,300 adult and graduate students in 47 undergraduate majors and 14 graduate programs, including fully online MBA, MPA, MS, and MA degrees.

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