Shihui Fu, A Woman with a Plan
posted by Gabrielle Aranda
Photo by Liming Guan
Passion, hard work and determination. These can all get you far in life. But, add creativity and talent, and you're bound for success! This cannot be more true for Fashion Management and Entrepreneurship graduate student, Shihui Fu (also known as Sheena). Her mother is actually a tailor, so you could say she grew up with fashion.
Back home in China, Sheena had a background in Economics, but she had a different calling. "I could never forget my dream to be in the fashion industry" she says.
She intends to combine fashion design and business and wanted to be able to have "freedom as a leader and a designer." And LIM College's Center for Graduate Studies certainly had a program that fit her career goals.
Earlier this year she had the opportunity to showcase her fashion collection in New York City! There was a charity fashion show to help end child trafficking during Fashion Week that had tables where designers could showcase their products. She applied for a table but instead they offered her the chance to show her collection on the runway! And, in March, her collection appeared on the pages of New Look magazine.
Photo by Liming Guan
All the pieces in her collection are handmade and she has signed with a Chinese company to have her garments manufactured and sold in the country. "Some of the designers who have worked with this company have already become famous fashion designers in China," she says.
However, Shihui saw that after founding their own brand there were a lot of Chinese designers that had a hard time balancing the business aspect with the designing. "Their designs are great," she says, "but they can't make a profit due to their lack of market sense so I decided to pursue the fashion entrepreneurial dream in New York."
Here at LIM Shihui says that she learned a lot which could contribute to her future business. To her, the most important part is the fashion marketing aspect. "How to position the business in the marketplace and how to target the customer are crucial to a business," she believes. And the curriculum at LIM has really helped to broaden her vision of how fashion businesses should work.
When asked how fashion marketing is different in China she explains, "People communicate differently. In China the competition is intense. For me, New York is a lot easier. There's no limit for art and fashion."
It’s true that Shihui has had some pretty unique opportunities here. She’s also trying to utilize all the resources at LIM and is working closely with an advisor from the Department of Experiential Education & Career Management.
After graduation, she would like to get a job in New York City. And then, "When I have enough experience, I’m going to put together a team and start my business," says Shihui.
There's no stopping a woman with a plan!