UT in NYC: Map of the (Fashion) World

Map of UT in NYC

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Textiles and apparel students, 13 of them, have recently returned to Austin having spent a full week in New York City meeting some of the most influential professionals in  apparel design, visual merchandising, fashion styling, textile conservation, and retail development. The trip was the first for the innovative UT in NYC program. Modeled on the successful UT in LA for students interested in the entertainment industries and UT in DC for students interested government and policy, students majoring in textiles and apparel at The University of Texas at Austin are flown to New York City where they are treated to a whirlwind, behind-the-scenes tour of boardrooms, studios, and curatorial spaces.

Students, under the careful guidance of Ms. Iris Apfel, style icon, were invited into the boardrooms of MAC cosmetics, Bergdorf Goodman, HSN, Inc., and W magazine. Ms. Apfel introduced students to a constellation of luminaries: Mindy Grossman, CEO of Home Shopping Network with its $3 billion retail portfolio; Leela Rose, fashion designer who is retailed in stores like Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Saks 5th Avenue; Harold Koda, curator of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute who, quite literally, wrote the book on Ms. Apfel; Naeem Khan, fashion designer whose gowns have been worn by First Lady Michelle Obama, Brooke Shields, and Queen Noor of Jordan; and Linda Fargo, senior vice president, women’s fashion office, and store presentation at Bergdorf Goodman. Students were also treated to a tour of Lori Goldstein’s studio conducted by Textiles and Apparel alumna, Laurel St. Romain.

The map above represents the locations the students visited. Clearly, they covered a great deal of ground (both literally and figuratively).

Students were asked to assess their experiences. Here is what they had to say about their whirlwind trip to the fashion capital of the world:

Mr. Wyse referred to his job as “world gardening” and called licensing “directing a ballet.”
–Emily Gossen on the presentation by Kenneth Wyse, VP of Licensing at Phillips Van-Heusen

They encouraged me to pursue what I love and not to worry if others think it is good enough.
–Holly Ward on the talk by Steven Cox and Daniel Silver, menswear designers at Duckie Brown

I’ve always heard that when in doubt, keep it simple or being a minimalist is always in style, yet I think most people don’t realize how important it is to be a maximalist in fashion.
–Katrina Raz’s reaction to her tour of Lori Goldstein’s studio. The tour was conducted by  Laurel St. Romain   alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.

You really have to be passionate about what you do, and you have to be good at it.
–Kathleen Tso on how Linda Fargo, SVP of Bergdorf Goodman, became Linda Fargo

Mr. Hoey really gave me an idea of what it takes and who is involved in the process of window dressing. I left the visit even futher inspired to pursue this as a career.
–Stephant Phonthephasone on meeting David Hoey, visual creative director for Bergdorf Goodman

She still draws from her designs from the 1980s. Her ability to pull fresh ideas from older work  emphasizes the timelessness and effortless garments.  Instead of looking towards trends and what everyone else is doing, she starts trends by following her instinct at look at the various techniques that can be utilized in creating her special pieces.
–Nicole Zillman on Isabel Toledo, designer and artist

If you are interested in being part of the 2012 UT in NYC trip, please contact Nancy Prideaux (512) 471-4229 or Martha Berry (512) 471-1938.