This is the Visual Merchandising Studio Lab at the Fifth Avenue building. It’s a place where imagination and creativity can come to life. I walked in knowing only how to draw stick figures, since then I have done some pretty amazing drawings.
The lounge on the first floor of Maxwell Hall. It’s a place to relax, catch up on schoolwork, and experience different campus events that happen there almost every week.
Room 0508. Looks like just a room, right? However, it is (for now) the International Students’ safe place. Our club meetings occur here every other week and are so fun!
FashionOpolis in the Townhouse. It’s a beautiful, confortable place where so much happens --from networking with important people in the fashion industry to very informative lectures. An amazing place to be!
International Students Club Multicultural Food Sale
When we choose to study fashion in New York at LIM College, we are not only signing up for great classes – it is also a lifestyle choice - and a big change for most of us. The College presents us with so many activities outside the classroom, so that from the moment we walk in the door we are living and breathing the business of fashion.
This fall I was part of a great lunch hour event. It included a tweet contest, the International Student’s Club Multicultural Food Bite sale, and a bracelet sale that featured pieces designed to honor LIM College’s 75th anniversary.
Everyone was so excited and involved in everything that was happening. People were tweeting comments to LIM College (popcorn was given to those who shared their tweets – Bonus!) and we also wrote notes on how the school can improve (great strategy, by the way!) Everyone else was chilling and enjoying the multicultural food bites that the members of the International Students’ Club and I were selling at our table. Our club can’t wait to host another marvelous event.
The people we meet, friends we make and experiences we go through as we attend workshops, events and lectures at our school are priceless. There is always something going on in all three buildings and you can always find something to get involved with and be passionate about. My advice is to be active and take advantage of what is there for you. LIM College ROCKS!
As we all already know, NYC is a beautiful -- and very busy -- place to be. There’s always something going on or something to see. Lately I have been trying to do things that I haven’t done before and just enjoy the simple yet mesmerizing locations this city has to offer.
Take the Brooklyn Bridge, for example. I have been there so many times with family and friends when they visit, yet now I actually go there to simply take walks. There is something about walking on a bridge that makes you think more clearly.
The WTC Memorial, near where the new Freedom Tower is located, is a place which I believe everyone should go to at least once in their lives. It brings many sad memories, however it makes us put our lives’ into perspective and helps me to remember to appreciate the good things.
Central Park is definitely my favorite spot. Ok, I know I have written about it endlessly here. Yet there is always something different to see there. I love to see people in the rowboats - couples in love or families and friends laughing. I also like to sit and relax at the famous water fountain (as seen in the TV series Friends).
The most exciting thing I have done lately was to watch a taping of “Bethenny.” Her new talk show is so fun. It’s such a great benefit of studying fashion in New York that you have the opportunity to go to things like this. I will definitely try to see more shows that are taped in Manhattan.
I JUST LOVE NYC!
I guess you can call me a suburban girl – even though I won’t admit it. Lately, I seem to prefer a more peaceful lifestyle, probably because I am already energetic enough.
Since I moved to the U.S. I’ve been living in Westchester County, which starts right after The Bronx and goes all the way north to Connecticut. Here we see tons of nature and beautiful houses (and I mean real houses, not apartments) with happy and large families.
I choose to keep living here because I really do get to have the best of both worlds -- the ability to rest and have a nice quality of life, while being only 20 minutes away from NYC, where I go to fashion school and do all the fun things I write about.
The town I live in is called Mount Vernon. It is small, but has a considerably large Brazilian community. A bakery, a few Brazilian restaurants and some shops filled with Brazilian food help me not miss home as much.
Rent here is much cheaper than in the city, considering the space you get. I also get to drive my own car, which is something I have always enjoyed – riding subways, not so much! Life seems to move at an easier pace around here. Unfortunately, nothing is perfect. I do have to deal with ugly mini-vans and Moms that drive 10 miles per hour in the parkway. Oh well, we can’t have it all!
I have had so many interesting professors while studying for a fashion business degree at LIM College. Every single one has their own style and special characteristics. They have also each had their own impact on my academic and professional progress.
Katerina Lanfranco is my Design Studio professor, and even though I was a little reluctant to take this class because drawing isn’t one of my strengths, she made it seem possible. She has also challenged my abilities, and as a result, I have accomplished some great things – including my first free-hand drawing! It even has shading and everything.
She is much more than just a good teacher, she is also a very talented and popular working artist. She has taught at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and done some pretty amazing group and solo art shows around New York City.
Professor Lanfranco teaches in a very simple way. She understands that everyone has different ways to approach creativity. She also helps each of us to explore the visual side of art that brings us to visual merchandising and the concepts behind it.
Prof. Lanfranco is just one of the great professionals who teach at LIM College. I am glad that their knowledge is related to real-world situations -- those experiences help prepare us for very promising futures.
For a fashion student, being able to participate in a major event like Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York City is a dream come true. However, for an international student like me, it is even more exciting because it is something I would never have even imagined being able to attend.
The fun part about going to these events is that you not only get to help and work backstage - seeing what is necessary to put on such incredible shows – but you also get to watch them up close.
When I helped set up Rebecca Minkoffs’ fashion show, I didn’t expect to stay for the actual show. However, when the time came we got to sit on the steps and see her beautiful and modern collection.
Photo from www.vimeo.com
I have also taken a front row seat for a Miami Fashion Week show when a VIP didn’t show up. I don’t think I’ve ever been that excited in my entire life. Taking pictures and seeing the beautiful fashions up close are just bonuses that have come with every opportunity I’ve had to volunteer at fashion shows. These events really help us see the industry from the inside, be a part of it, and, especially, they give us a taste of what we want to do for our entire lives.
As a young girl, I dreamed of being a fashion designer. However, once I actually started learning about fashion, I fell in love with the business side of it. That’s when I chose the amazing fashion business school that is LIM College. I later thought I would make a good fashion stylist and maybe work for a magazine someday. I also imagined I could be creative enough to help create fashion marketing campaigns for a huge company I would enter after graduating.
Graphic from: www.buzzle.com
However, plans change. In my case this was because I was exposed to the right things and because I got opportunities to do some things I discovered I’m good at. Writing was one of them. The field of public relations also opened up to me. Since I decided to put myself out there and try new experiences, I now have new plans. They include growing my brand name and learning more about how PR is used in fashion.
Internships are also a big part of learning what we are good at, what we like to do and which paths might be right or wrong for us. I have examined all of my previous internship positions in fashion to consider what activities I might invest my time in, and which ones are not worth continuing.
LIM College is pretty excellent at giving students the chance to enter the fashion industry – however, it is up to us to use those opportunities to our advantage.
Graphic from www.symphonicdistribition.com
Most people feel sorry for me when I say I’ve lived so far away from my family and friends for such a long time. However, I don’t feel like I am missing out on that much. With today’s technology there are great ways to keep connected with everyone I know, from friends I’ve made through the years who have gone back to their home countries, to my own family in Brazil. Skype, Facebook, phone and even a simple email make me feel connected to them, even on days I want to be left alone. (Ha ha)
During all my years living in NYC I’ve barely had any time to go back to Brazil to visit. My Mom, brother, aunt, Dad, best friends -- and even some people who I’m not that close to -- came to visit me and I played tour guide, showing them all the beautiful spots in this amazing city. Last winter, however, I did go home and spent my birthday there. WOW, nothing had changed. People have changed jobs, finished school and gotten married, but they all remained the same people I always loved and I am so thankful that they thought the same about me.
No matter how far away I may be, I have never missed any gossip, or weddings (watched them online!), or even any birthday parties. But, of course, there are moments when, as international students, we feel homesick. It can happen when we listen to a song, or maybe just because a memory came up. The best thing to do though is to just get distracted, or maybe call that dear person and laugh about something. It always works for me!
Is NYC really so different from Sao Paulo, Brazil? Not that much! Despite the fact that in New York City we speak English and pay for things in dollars, there are more similarities than differences between NYC and Sao Paulo.
Whenever I drive in New York City, or even when I’m simply walking to the subway, I have flashbacks that take me back to my home country. Like New York, the city of Sao Paulo also has major traffic -- and there is always something going on to cause even more of it.
People there are also constantly in a rush, talking to themselves or on the phone, running from meetings to lunches and having a chaotic day. On the weekend you see a lot of tourists taking pictures and the locals doing simple things like going to the park – which in Sao Paulo is conveniently located right in the middle of the craziness – just like NYC’s Central Park.
Amazing restaurants and popular nightclubs are also things that my hometown shares with NYC. People also love to express their identity through fashion and show off what they have – cars, cellphones, accessories, you name it!
Sao Paulo, however, is a more intense city when it comes to violence and that is something I wish I didn’t fear so much every time I go back to visit.
It didn’t take much time for me to get used to studying fashion merchandising and marketing in NYC because I had a big-city background. However, I still am impressed every time I approach New York City and see its beautiful skyscrapers.
NYC and Sao Paulo are two beautiful cities and both have a very special part in my heart.
New York City
This semester I made a big decision and decided to take 16 credits. Wow, what a workload. However, I am really happy to have done it. I am not only taking classes I need to graduate with a degree, but I’m also learning about many different aspects of the business world.
In Finance we are playing a game that involves a simulation of buying and selling stocks and analyzing how well, or badly, they do in the market. It has been fun so far to see my stocks go up, though not so fun when they all go down!
I’m also getting prepared for my corporate fashion internship by taking the Career Pathing seminar class. It covers interesting topics and many involve experiential education activities. Besides those classes, I’m also taking Junior Writing and Ethics – two classes that so far make me feel like I already wrote a whole book. So many essays! But I do know that my writing skills have improved tremendously, which is extremely important if you’re attending a fashion college and planning to pursue a career in the industry – or any other industry for that matter.
My other two classes are Professional Communications, which is very career-oriented in terms of professional emails and presentations, and Design Studio, where I have a lot of fun exploring my creativity.
All of these classes bring something unique to my career plans. Being able to communicate properly, write at a professional level, and think outside of the box are all skills employers in the fields of Fashion Merchandising and Visual Merchandising seek, and I am so glad that as a fashion college in NYC, LIM College offers these opportunities to its students.