by Dawn March, Staff Writer
Women in Business and the Saint Vincent College Career Center are co-sponsoring a fashion show of professional attire on Thursday, January 20 at 9:15PM in the Robert S. Carey Student Center.
The event will be supported by The Limited at Westmoreland Mall, a women’s professional clothing store, and Lapel’s in Greensburg, a fine men’s clothier, both of which will be providing all of the attire for the evening.
Women in Business (WIB) invited the Career Center to aid in the logistics of the fashion show. Courtney Baum, the Director of the SVC Career Center, explained she and the Career Center will be assisting in selecting the appropriate attire for both men and women to be modeled in the fashion show.
“We are hoping that the collaboration [with Women in Business], along with the Career Center, will bring a great crowd to the event,” said Baum, “from first-year students, through seniors.”
Both Baum and WIB stressed the importance of an event like the fashion show. “There are so many things for students to worry about when applying to internship positions, full-time opportunities, or even when attending graduate or professional school visits,” explained Baum. The goal of the fashion show is to help put students at ease and to provide an example of appropriate outfits for professional events. “If [the Career Center] can help students feel confident about the overall presentation of themselves as a professional, we have done our job,” Baum said.
Baum also explained that when entering the professional world, students will be evaluated in many aspects of their college performance. Students may have the “perfect resume and GPA,” but they must also present themselves in an appropriate manner to potential employers. Baum explained that “it is our goal that students will present themselves appropriately and be able to focus on the interview or professional event.”
“I think that many [students] will be surprised at what is actually appropriate attire for both groups of individuals,” Baum said.
“As students looking for internships and first time jobs, I really think that so many of us are at a competitive disadvantage against the already experienced workers vying for some of the same positions,” WIB’s Events Coordinator Abigail Bryant explained. “Knowing how to dress yourself tastefully and correctly for a variety of different business occasions is really a great way to improve your image and show people that you are serious about yourself and your career.”
Bryant explained that she believes the fashion show will give students the opportunity to see what is acceptable to wear to certain business events, such as job interviews and networking events. She also believes the fashion show will help demonstrate “how to mix and match those items to show [students’ personalities] while still projecting a very positive image.”
The fashion show will consist of business professional and business casual looks, as well as appropriate interview looks for both men and women to wear. The fashion show will also showcase one outfit for office get-togethers, such as the annual office Christmas party or a formal black-tie event.
WIB’s Executive Board President Brittany Billow believes the fashion show will be valuable for all students. “The school wants to represent itself well when sending Saint Vincent students to interviews,” Billow said. “Seniors can also gain an understanding of how to build an appropriate wardrobe after graduation.”
Baum said that the Career Center will soon be posting information about the upcoming fashion show on the Career Center Facebook page, and Billow said WIB will be advertising for the event immediately following students’ return for the spring semester.
As Events Coordinator, Bryant has been busy with the fashion show and has her hand in most aspects of planning the event. Bryant was happy to report that everyone with a part in the fashion show has worked together well, including the WIB Executive Board, Baum, The Limited at Westmoreland Mall and Lapels in Greensburg.
Baum expressed her and the Career Center’s excitement for the fashion show, explaining that “partnering with a student organization will allow us to target the intended audience, while showcasing that we also want to help students to have fun while entering the next stage of their lives.”
Billow explained that the money being used to fund the fashion show came from the Women in Business account, including funding from the Student Government Association and club fundraising from the concession stand at the Goo Goo Dolls Concert. The Career Center is also contributing financially to the event.
The fashion show will not just highlight professional fashion though. “There will be an emcee, music, and free food,” Billow explained. Sophomore Leslie Manns will be photographing the event as well.
There will be ten volunteer models total, all of which will be SVC seniors. The list of female models include WIB President Brittany Billow, member Marissa Brush, member Gabrielle Genovese, Fundraising Director Taylor Grabiak, Vice President Deanna Klick, member Maria Trofino, and member Kristin Wingard. The male models include Michael Christenson, Shawn Knepper, and Michael Vitale.
During Christmas break, female models will be meeting with The Limited’s Co-Managers Jenna Molea and Rebecca Stackhouse and Assistant Co-Managers Kym Grabiak and Rachel Vasquez to be sized for the garments. Male models will be meeting with Lapel’s owner, Kevin Miscik to have their specific outfits tailored.
Vasquez and Miscik will be helping behind the scenes on the night of the fashion show, aiding the models in changing and wearing the correct outfits.
The idea of a fashion show has been thrown around for the past few years, according to Billow. “It was first brought up two terms ago by the WIB board. Because it is a detailed process involving many participants from both the Saint Vincent community as well as outside establishments, the event has not taken place until now,” she explained. “The current board has put much time into this event already, and we look forward to the successes of this fun, informative event.”
Bryant expressed her excitement for an annual fashion show, saying, “Personally, I would love that.”
“I’m really looking forward to this event,” Bryant said. “I think that it will be a truly beneficial learning experience for students, while at the same time being a lot of fun to put on and attend.”
Everyone involved believes that with hard work and determination, the fashion show will have a positive impact on Saint Vincent College. “I think that the overall event will be a great success!” Baum said. “Being able to show that entering the professional world can be fun and exciting is one of our goals. We want students to not only look good, but also feel good about themselves and knowing how to dress is a great start.” Baum also stressed that both men and women should take advantage of the fashion show as a resource on how to prepare for their future job searches.