Fashion-Forward Students Take Control Of Their Future At SIBA

 In Culture

Olivia Perez, a Senior Retail Management/Fashion Merchandising student at Stevens – The Institute of Business & Arts (Siba), knows the value of her future degree.“If people ask me what I’m going to do with my degree, I tell them there is more to the fashion industry than just design. I’m into the ‘business of fashion,’ which means partnering with designers to get their product in the hands of consumers.”

Take, for example, Olivia’s current internship with Lori Coulter, where she is learning about sourcing, inventory control and product distribution to Lori Coulter’s clients, including major retailers, catalogues and resorts. That personalized internship experience, coordinated with the help of Siba staff, reflects the school’s dedication to mentor and provide opportunities that will help each student reach his or her full potential.

A relatively small school—all students and faculty work, learn and create in an inspiring four-story loft space on Washington Avenue—the faculty know every student. That knowledge, paired with the faculty’s industry connections, creates a powerful tool. When retailers like Neiman Marcus or product developers like Stars Design Group want to hire, they often turn to Emily Huey, career services director, or Lynne Wasson, department head of the fashion merchandizing program, for candidates to fill some of the most coveted positions in the industry.

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To prepare them for these opportunities, students in the program take a variety of classes, ranging from computer software to business classes such as Social Media Marketing and Entrepreneurship, to dozens of fashion classes, which include Fashion Forecasting and Product Development.

And what makes Siba’s fashion merchandizing program truly unique? It’s the faculty’s commitment to providing learning experiences beyond the classroom, which has facilitated student participation in Saint Louis Fashion Week, sponsored trips to the MAGIC fashion industry trade show in Las Vegas and coordinates student attendance at Fashion Group International (FGI) events. Due to this curated learning experience, Huey says more than 90 percent of students will land local jobs in their field.

Although the fashion merchandizing program is one of Siba’s largest, it also offer degrees in Business, Interior Design, Tourism & Hospitality Management and Paralegal Studies—all of which offer students the same personalized attention from faculty and staff, specialized curriculum, community involvement and internship and career opportunities.

This article appeared in the November 2015 Issue. 

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