Whether you aspire to become a buyer, a merchandiser, a PR manager or an e-commerce expert, "making it" in the fashion industry doesn't come easy. Mentoring events are an essential activity for graduate students because it provides a systematic way to meet and speak with professionals in the fashion industry who can offer advice, encouragement, and support concerning future career goals.
Every mentor has something to offer, and the benefits of mentoring can go both ways. Mentors have information, contacts and perspectives to share which can help students to more clearly focus on their long term ambitions, hidden talents and skills as well as how to map out a strategy to achieve professional goals.
For a mentor, it means stepping back from the routine, giving a glimpse of what the future could be like, and of their everyday lives in a broader context. Mentoring helps our students see themselves in terms of their ultimate potential to contribute to the fashion industry.
(Bird's eye view of mentoring event)
(MPS Students With Mentor, Nicole Porco - Account Executive at LF USA)
LIM College’s inaugural Mentoring Event offered MPS students the opportunity to hear firsthand from fashion industry professionals who are also alumni of LIM College. They shared their journey and experiences leading to their current positions. The event took place in Maxwell Hall, where LIM College’s alumni mentors gathered to share their experiences within the fields of merchandising, planning, buying, management, e-commerce, global licensing and more. They opened the program by sharing their advice for getting started in the industry.
(Mentor Gina Mercatili, Merchandising Coordinator at Barclays Center & Brooklyn Nets, with MPS students)
“Network, network, network…” Jacquelyn Wenzel, President of JWmerchandising, mentioned to our MPS students at the event. Along with Erica Young, eCommerce Marketing Manager for Ashley Stewart, their advice to the students was that networking and maintaining relationships is going to be their biggest asset in “making it” in the fashion industry. While another mentor, Gina Mercatili, Merchandising Coordinator at Barclays Center & Brooklyn Nets encouraged the MPS students, “to know the value their work and never forget what they’re worth”. Nina Pantano, Associate Inventory Planner at P&G Fragrances at Macy's reminded the students that, “you learn something every single day and by acting like a sponge, absorbing as much as you can from everyone you meet can help greatly in your career”.
(From Left to Right: Erica Young, eCommerce Marketing Manager, Ashley Stewart, Jacquelyn Wenzel, President at JWmerchandising)
Keithen Polk, MPS Fashion Merchandising student, was the key note speaker for the event. Keithen mentioned that, “having a mentor is an extremely important key to succeed in our careers because they can provide direction, knowledge and experience in order to be led on the right path.”
(Nina Pantano - Associate Inventory Planner - P&G Fragrances at Macy's with MPS student)
“Believe it to achieve it to live it. Think about it.”-Keithen Polk
(Steven Robinson - Sr. Director of Sales and Merchandising - Juniors/Girls 4-16 at Xing Lin USA International)
Coming to study in the Big Apple? LIM College's Center for Graduate Studies is the best choice for practical and theoretical training in the business of fashion! Here at LIM College, we are sure that your academic knowledge and professional career will rise all the way to the top of the Empire State Building!
10 Reasons Why You’ll Love LIM College:
The City that Never Sleeps, the Capital of the World, whatever you want to call it, New York is an exciting place to live. There is always good food, new Broadway shows, and plenty of opportunities to visit a museum or two. From student discounts to countless inexpensive dining options, you don’t have to break the bank to go to grad school. Some of the best things to do in New York are free or cost very little: visit Central Park, grab a Citibike and ride down the West Side Highway to Battery Park while taking in the amazing views of the Hudson River!
Access to industry professionals is an important component of an LIM College education. CEO Speaker Series and Fashion Insiders Speaker Series are just two of the many ways LIM College exposes their students to industry experts who in their unique way, have made their mark on the fashion world.
Internships will provide you with intensive hands-on experience in the fashion industry. Symplicity is LIM College's jobs and internships database. Students can search for full-time positions before graduation and internships while an LIM College student. Some of the companies where our MBA students have interned include Chanel, Bergdorf Goodman, Michael Kors and more.
All coursework revolves around the fashion industry. LIM College is exclusively devoted to the business of fashion. The best way to grow in this challenging and competitive field is to focus your classroom learning on the industry thus becoming a true fashion expert.
Small classes, many of which focus on active learning based methods that involve “hands-on,” experience-based classroom work.
LIM College Professors understand the fashion universe inside and out. LIM College faculty members are published authors, nationally known experts, in-demand speakers and experienced professionals in every aspect of the business of fashion. They’re also dedicated teachers who care about your professional and personal success. Professors work closely with students offering professional industry experience with a personal approach.
Friday Seminars Series aid students by exploring many subjects that are vital to the fashion industry. Covering a variety of topics such as social media in retailing, Adobe Photoshop, design sketching and much more, these weekly seminars prepare you to a become well-rounded professional in the fashion industry.
The Department of Experiential Education & Career Management at LIM College welcomes companies to our campus for many kinds of recruiting events, including Career Fairs and on-campus interviews for graduate students seeking jobs and internships.
As you pursue an advanced degree at LIM College, you’ll experience the energy and excitement of urban life. LIM College offers a friendly, close-knit environment where each student feels like they are part of a family. A truly rewarding college experience means a lot more than just going to class, working on class projects, and gaining experience in the industry. At LIM College, we know that attending graduate events, exploring the city, making important professional connections and forming lifelong friendships are just as important as your classroom studies.
(In photo: Jacqueline Jenkins, Director of Graduate Studies at LIM College, with graduate students)
Our most recent addition to the CEO Speaker Series was CEO and co-founder of Nicole Miller, Bud Konheim. Along with Mr. Konheim came Andrea Marron, Director of E-commerce and Retail. They chatted with the MBA and MPS students of LIM College. Director of Graduate Studies, Jacqueline Jenkins, introduced the keynote speakers.
From left to right: Bud Konheim, CEO and Co-founder of Nicole Miller, Jacqueline Jenkins, Graduate Studies Director, Dr. Christopher Cyphers, Executive Vice President of LIM College
Mr. Konheim started by mentioning four real life stories he wanted to tell the MBA and MPS students. Each story had a point behind it. He begins his first story about how me met Nicole Miller and how teaming up with her introduced innovation for the Nicole Miller company. “Were standing on an acre of diamonds, and were not dumb to bend down and pick them up”, Bud Konheim mentions.
Bud Konheim’s entire career was built around recognizing and seizing the opportunities he was presented with. He began his second story about how the Nicole Miller Company entered the tie business. One day, Nicole Miller was drawing a print which featured a bundle of theater tickets and one of the tickets had the letters MET across it, representing a ticket from the Metropolitan Opera House. They had ordered a bunch of dresses with this print and you if you can imagine, they were loud and disastrous. It was Bud’s genius idea, an opportunity that no one expected would be so profitable, to request a tie to be made out this loud print to accompany his quirky sense of style. A few days later they had 36 ties with this one of kind print. At that point in the world, everyone was wearing navy and red stripe ties with white shirts and navy suits, very MAD MENish. No one deviated from that color scheme. Recently opening up Nicole Miller Madison Avenue location, which still stands, they sent the ties not knowing what to do with them but sell them off as belts or a dog leashes. A gentleman shopping in the store asked to borrow one of the ties. Oh so conveniently, the gentleman happened to be the guard at the Metropolitan Opera House who took the tie back to the buyer of the gift shop. The tie was a big hit. The buyer went back to Nicole Miller and purchasded the remaining ties and placed a order for 300 more.
“Innovation is around you all the time, there’s not a piece of anything that is lost if you suck it all in and use it.” - Bud Konheim
Nicole knew she had fun drawing prints of subway tokens, Chiclet boxes pretty much anything from the bottom of her purse. This led to million dollar tie deals that were selling Nicole Miller ties at Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdales without making one sales call. Popularity grew because of the boldness of prints and this directed Nicole Miller focus to create a new print featuring baseball, football and basketball sports. A phone call from Larry Bird, who persistently requested a tie featuring his jersey, led to the creation of the story about the “thousand dollar tie” by Nicole Miller that landed the pages of Sports Illustrated.
“A really good designer isn’t a snappy talker. A good designer is visual.” - Bud Konheim
“Having the passion and motivation makes you a great designer”- Bud Konheim
Bud’s third story was about how Nicole Miller sub-labeled her designs with JC Penny. After discussing with Nicole, Bud’s point was that if the company wanted to sell America, it would take a risk to start distributing in JC Penny. Currently their clients were Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and more, but that’s was only a small fraction of America for the prices of their fashions. Bud feared for the Nicole Miller Company because the last time a designer had sub-labelled with a huge retailer was Halston and that didn’t turn out good at all. “It’s risky. Do we want to take that kind of a risk?” Bud questioned. In May 2005 the line was launched and publically announced during the Academy Awards of that year. Patiently waiting, in his suit of armor, that one of Nicole Miller biggest clients would drop the company, Neiman Marcus, Bud Konheim's deal with JC Penny released Nicole by Nicole Miller and it was a success. That was the start of the designer collaborations, where every designer wanted to be involved in.
“There’s’ opportunity every single day. Recognize it when it comes along.”- Bud Konheim
Bud Konheim’s fourth story brings him to current day and how Andrea Marron has taken Nicole Miller to being an E-commerce leading company. A fe years back, he received a call from Dartmouth Business School about a student who is interested in interning at a fashion company and he gladly agreed. Andrea Marron, received an internship at Nicole miller and impressed Bud very much. She was so educated about the technology revolution that was taking over the fashion industry. Immediately, he recognized her talent and offered her a job at Nicole Miller. Andrea replied by saying she was offered a job at Google. “Why would you want to be a little fish in a big pond? Here you’ll be a big star!”, as he pleaded her to join the company.
After 59 years at Nicole Miller, Bud had never thought of capitalizing on the runway. Andrea took the initiative to house their own e-commerce sector within Nicole Miller rather than outsourcing it to a third party. This strategically gave Nicole Miller a competitive advantage where they fulfill orders, create web development programs and media campaigns faster and quicker than ever before. Allowing the company to be more tech focused and savvy.
“The new era is not about the editors and the magazines, but about social media, the internet and the customers.” - Bud Konheim
Nicole Miller’s new collection Artelier derives from the beauty of the palace of Versailles and the rebels of the French Revolution. The collection was inspired from women revolutionaries who stormed the palace of Versailles that were throwing Marie Antoinette clothes, jewels and plates all over the place. The collection is decadent and opulent but also edgy and rebellious feel to it.
“I never had a dull day” at Nicole Miller – Bud Konheim
When graduate school slowly comes to an end... many are thankful for the end of sleepless nights and writing 40 page business plans for the Capstone course. The last thing on graduate students’ minds is starting a business. For Nicole Lewis, it was just the opposite. In her last few months leading to graduation, a creative and lucrative business idea was born. She completed her MBA and opened a start-up, TURN NYC, a rotating designer boutique that will showcase a unique set of designers monthly. Big things are ahead for LIM College MBA alumna, Nicole Lewis.
For Nicole, moving to NYC and aspiring to start her own business was her vision. Coming from a family of restaurateurs, the entrepreneurial spirit landed her at LIM College Center for Graduate Studies to pursue an MBA degree. In her entry interview with Paul Mucciarone, associate director of graduate admissions, Nicole mentioned “I saw an ad on the subway”, about applying to LIM Grad program.
Partially stemming from owning an Etsy account, an online boutique selling handmade handbags, Nicole knew she wanted to open up her own business. At the same time she needed to keep working her forty-hour-per-week job to pay her bills and live in NYC. Sewing and fashion was on top of her list and coming to LIM College would help her learn the business behind starting a fashion collection. Knowing all the components that go into designing, Nicole felt there was a lack of resources for designers once they have their collections ready. Nicole stated, “People need somewhere to sell their stuff and be spotlighted in a store” and that’s where she came up with the idea of TURN NYC. Being in grad school gave birth to this ingenious idea that will help new designers showcase their collections, create a community of followers and have a drink or two while networking.“I had no plans of going to grad school. It is as if the ad on the train spoke to me. I thought, fashion entrepreneurship is exactly what I should be doing!” Coming in with the creative side, Nicole craved the business side. “People in fashion have one or the other”.
LIM's graduate alumni and students are a double edged sword and Nicole is ready to cut through the business and creative cloths.
“I loved LIM’s free seminars”, Adobe Photoshop to E-commerce Marketing Techniques, they help gear up student’s creative juices. “I would not have guessed a year and a half ago that I would be able to write a forty page business plan”. Business plans seemed daunting to Nicole. She advises current LIM grad students to break it down into pieces. She especially liked the networking opportunities of having industry professionals as mentors, attending events, where professors like David Freschman, CEO of FashInvest, helped students get out there and mingle. "He threw us in the deep end to swim on our own but at the same time he maintained a safe school environment with my fellow swimmies”.
“I plan on scooping up a few fellow LIMers for TURN NYC” - Nicole Lewis
Turn NYC will feature about four to five different designers monthly. Nicole’s “liquid” space, would allow designers to collaborate as little or as much with Nicole to create the ideal layout for their collection. “Negotiating with buyers is scary and a lot of work”, Nicole mentioned. TURN NYC would give a designer the freedom and peace of mind knowing their collection is just as important as other designer collections out there.
Nicole is the ultimate Renaissance woman. She would handle everything from lining up designers ahead of time, partnering with bloggers and sending out press releases for designer launches and events. At the end of the month, the designer can turn over their merchandise to the TURN NYC website and sell it online. Nicole would like TURN NYC to be located in a shopping destination, but finding an affordable space in NYC is almost impossible. Her vision is to start a pop-up shop, possibly in Williamsburg, giving access to the metro area habitants from all corners of Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. In five years, Nicole envisions having a store in New York City and Miami. Having the store would allow Nicole a platform to launch her own designs.
“This is experiential retail!” - Nicole Lewis
Nicole is relying on Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative projects, to raise money for her business. “Kickstarter brings to life the creative and innovative ideas of project creators through the support of a community. Every project creator sets their funding goals and a deadline. If people like the project, they can pledge money to make it happen. If the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal, all backers' credit cards are charged when time expires. If the project falls short, no one is charged. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing.” (Kickstarter, Inc. , 2014) Nicole’s Kickstarter campaign did not reach its goal, but it didn’t diminish her will to continue to find the money to open up TURN NYC. Nicole is now re-evaluating her funding to start TURN NYC with her own capital while continuing to use Kickstarter.
Kickstarter, Inc. . (2014, March 11). Kickstarter FAQs. Retrieved from Kickstarter: www.kickstarter.com
LIM College recently introduced a new graduate degree program: the Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Fashion Merchandising and Retail Management. By offering an array of graduate degrees, our students have the ability to choose the program that caters to their individual career goals in the fashion industry.
Since there are now two master's degree programs that focus on the fashion business, many prospective students want to know which degree program is the better one to fit their needs.
The MBA has two distinct concentrations: Fashion Management and Entrepreneurship. The entrepreneurship concentration will benefit anyone who is looking to start their own business venture, or looking to take their existing fashion venture to a higher level. The classes featured within this concentration are designed to provide you with the knowledge on how to launch a business, attract investors, grow the business, and ensure its continued success.
On the flip side of the MBA is the Fashion Management concentration. A student pursuing the Fashion Management concentration is aiming for the executive level. The end goal of these students is to become the person in charge of strategic initiatives in a fashion company. This concentration is for someone who envisions becoming a leader, boldly taking a business towards its goals.
The MPS in Fashion Merchandising and Retail Management has a narrower focus. This degree was designed to empower its students to transition into the fashion industry by entering into the fields of retail management, buying, fashion forecasting, or retailing. The curriculum consists of courses in merchandising, product development, visual merchandising, and branding.
What's the best way to know which program is right for you? The answer comes from talking it out. Give me a call (646-218-4124) or send me an message. By discussing your career goals and ambitions as a professional in the fashion business, I can advise you on making the right choice for the best graduate program for you.
Pictured here are MBA students Riki Tang from China and Patricia Gomez from Venezuela.
If you walk into any of our graduate classrooms and introduce yourself, you are likely meet students from all over the world. Our MBA students come from a multitude of countries: China, Brazil, Venezuela, India, Indonesia, Canada, Germany, Turkey, Thailand, Italy, South Korea, Bermuda, Bahamas, Spain, and Australia.
International students bring a unique perspective and add value to classroom discussions. The fashion industry is truly a global business and LIM College's MBA program prepares its students to understand the increasingly international fashion business.
The internship is a very important part of the MBA and MPS programs. This is a chance to get a unique experience in a top fashion company. We currently have a Braziilian MBA student who is interning at Versace. We had two MBA students from Thailand complete their internships at Gucci. The possibilities for work experience in the fashion industry in New York are very good. Our MBA students have also interned at Chanel, Givenchy, Emilio Pucci, Giorgio Armani, Tommy Hilfiger, Prada...the list could go on and on!
Our MBA student from China, Li Xiong, started the MBA program in March of 2012. She is now beginning the search for her internship experience. She is currently looking into a possible opportunity with luxury brand Lanvin. She has consulted with our career counselor on her best options. Asking Li about her experience in the MBA program, she replied, "I love it. I am interviewing and hoping to work with a brand that I have always admired! The career counselor Nancianne has been very helpful, and so has our school's job database, Symplicity! I did have interviews with a few companies, such as Derek Lam, Elie Tahari, a fashion magazine, and a PR company. Now the Lanvin interview opportunity makes me so thrilled and I can’t wait for it! My fingers are crossed, wish me good luck !"
Studying in New York presents so many opportunities in the fashion business. That's why LIM College is in the ideal place to help you develop the fashion career you want. Aside from the professional opportunities, there's nothing like life in New York City!
MBA Student from China, Li Xiong, is searching for her first internship in the fashion industry. In this picture Li is at our Career Fair speaking with a fashion industry recruiter.
As the admissions counselor for our graduate programs, I am your point of contact so that you can get all the information you need to make a good decision. I have worked with many applicants from many countries and I can answer your questions about visas, internships, life at LIM College, life in New York, classes, and other aspects of your big move to the USA. The process of applying, getting accepted, and making the moving arrangements can be quite overwhelming. I will guide you so that you know all the steps toward making your dream to grow in the fashion industry into a reality.
If you are an international student, LIM College welcomes you and will give you a meaningful experience here in New York City. If you have any questions about applying to our graduate programs, please email me at GraduateStudies@limcollege.edu and ask!
Want to get to know more international students at LIM College? Read about our undergraduate student from Hong Kong, Aaron Ku, and his experience interning at Chanel.
For information about applying to our graduate programs as an international student, please view our detailed information about international admission.