28 February 2024

The Magic of Fashion

FDM students broaden their horizons at a mega-show in Las Vegas

The Magic of Fashion

By Andy Reilly

Nine lucky students traveled with me to one of the largest fashion conventions in the world in Las Vegas, February 14 and 15. Each year, “Magic” attracts vendors and manufacturers from around the world to showcase their collections to industry buyers. This event is not open to the public, but as faculty in the Dept. of Family and Consumer Sciences, I was able to take students to experience this aspect of the fashion industry. 

Students attended Magic’s industry seminars at the Las Vegas Convention Center, students attended industry seminars. One seminar provided an overview of branding – did you know that brands have eight seconds to get a message across to a potential customer on social media? Another seminar included representatives from the manufacturing industries in Africa, Egypt, and Sri Lanka, who talked about their workforce skills and regional resources.

The trip “made me appreciate my fashion degree beyond what I had in the past and left me with lifelong knowledge, advice, and connections with amazing people,” says FDM student Stephanie Sirju. “Not only that, this event put you in a very realistic environment and I’ve learned to navigate myself in fashion environments a lot better.”

FDM students who attended this year ranged from freshmen to seniors. Everyone had individual reasons for attending. Some wanted to learn more about the different sectors of the industry and where they fit in, some wanted to network with manufacturers to launch their own brands, and others wanted to look for internships and jobs. As Naomi Woo said, “Having the opportunity to interact and be immersed in all aspects of the fashion industry so early in my career was the best experience….Thank you FDM!” Max Oviedo concurred, “This trip to Las Vegas is something I will remember down the line as a turning point in my career. The opportunity to see the industry from an inside perspective brought it closer to  reality for me.”

Our students even ran into local designers and entrepreneurs Alexis Akiona (Lexbreezy) and James Akiona (Kāne Collective)! 

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