Last Friday night I was thrilled to be in the front row for LIM College’s annual student Fashion Show. This year’s show, held at the Hammerstein Ballroom, was titled “Confectory: A Sweet Story of Fashion.” The production was colorful, whimsical and, above all else, professional. Inspired by looks from the 1940s, 1960s and 1990s, the theme of the evening was candy -- and fashion -- through the decades.
The more than 40 models who graced the runway were a great representation of LIM’s diverse student body, and as you can see from the photo below, amazing feats were performed with body paint by future professional makeup artists from the Make Up For Ever Academy. We were also treated to an electric performance by the College’s Dance Team.
The Fashion Show is an LIM tradition that’s now in its 70th year. It has a storied history of being held in prominent venues throughout New York City, including the Plaza and Waldorf Astoria Hotels.
Conceived and produced entirely by students, it’s an incredible learning experience. All the elements that go into staging a major fashion event are there. Students are responsible for everything from the set and lighting design concepts, to obtaining sponsorships, to developing concepts for the makeup, hair and outfits on the runway. Almost an entire academic year’s work culminates in one glamorous evening.
Thank you to our faculty advisors Maryanne Grisz, Rebecca Fitts and Todd Barnes for their dedication and expert guidance, and congratulations to all the students in our Fashion Show Production Club, Fashion Styling Club and Visual Merchandising Club who worked on this year’s show. It was truly spectacular and we are very proud of you!
On March 24 and 25, LIM College will host a group of graduate students and faculty members from Japan’s Bunka Fashion Graduate University as part of our participation in the Kakehashi Project: The Bridge for Tomorrow.
The Kakehashi Project is designed to promote deeper mutual understanding among the people of Japan and the U.S. and help students develop broader perspectives so they can play active roles at the global level in the future. LIM College is one of only 21 higher education institutions in the U.S. that have been selected to take part in this cross-cultural endeavor.
During the visit, our faculty will take the Japanese students on field trips to the showrooms and offices of major fashion industry players. The students will also take a class on American fashion culture here at LIM College, taught by Professor Amanda Hallay.
This visit to New York will enhance the Japanese students’ understanding of America, and, as we show them the businesses behind American fashion labels, they will truly understand why New York is a worldwide fashion capital. The Bunka students’ activities will culminate with a reception, during which they will give presentations on fashion and culture unique to Japan.
Yet, the Kakehashi Project does not end when the Japanese students depart. This June, 12 LIM College students will travel to Japan for an all-expense-paid, 10-day study tour. They will be joined by Fashion Merchandising Department Chair Terry Burstein and Professor Derek Cockle, whose hard work over the last few months has been made this wonderful opportunity possible.
I am extremely proud that LIM College has been chosen to participate in such a prestigious international program. We hope the relationships that our students and the Bunka Fashion Graduate University students build at the academic level continue on the professional level as they all pursue careers in the global fashion business.
From January 8-18, I had the opportunity to join a group of 30 LIM College students, alumni, faculty, staff -- and a member of our Board of Directors --for the College’s annual Cross-Cultural Analysis trip. We traveled to the beautiful cities of Amsterdam and Paris, where we explored world-famous fashion and cultural sites.
Upon our arrival in Amsterdam we took a scenic bus ride (yes, there were windmills) into the City and were immediately surrounded by Old World charm. There was also an air of familiarity. LIM College’s home of Manhattan was settled by the Dutch, so many place names in New York (such as Harlem) are derived from their language.
Our first field trip was to Coster Diamonds. After a presentation, we were taken to a secure room where we could try on many unbelievable items. I don’t think anything was actually purchased, but everyone had fun.
We also visited Tassenmuseum (Museum of Bags and Purses), home to the world’s premier handbag collection. No sooner had we examined the items on display than we were off for a field trip to PVH/Tommy Hilfiger, a company to which we hope to soon send LIM College interns.
Our final day in Amsterdam began with a very sobering visit to the Anne Frank House. This was followed by a stop at the Rijksmuseum to see, among other treasurers, “The Night Watch,” one of Rembrandt’s masterpieces.
Next stop…Paris. After a quick morning flight, we spent an afternoon touring the “City of Lights” - with the requisite photo op near the Eiffel Tower - and visited Yves St. Laurent’s foundation, The Fondation Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint Laurent. It was so inspiring to sit in the legendary designer’s studio. We also learned that Pierre, Saint Laurent’s partner, still comes to work at the foundation every day.
Other stops in Paris included a tour of the magnificent department store Galeries Lafayette and a walk/climb through the artists’ district of Montmartre to find Picasso’s first studio. We were privy to a special presentation at the internationally acclaimed vintage store Didier Ludot and toured vintage and designer shops in the area of Palais Royal. An afternoon was spent at Nelly Rodi, a fashion forecasting agency. A morning was spent at Versailles and that afternoon found us mixing scents at the Osmotheque, an international research institution that traces the history of perfumery. It’s also the site of the world’s largest scent archive.
On our final day we were treated to a backstage tour of the famous French cabaret The Lido -- and before we knew it, it was time for our farewell dinner.
I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of such a fantastic trip. The sights and sounds of Amsterdam and Paris were truly something to behold, but what was most rewarding for me personally was being able to share it all with so many members of the LIM College community. Special thanks to Professors Grailing King and Nancy Miller for all the work they put into planning this experience. And, of course, I was once again impressed by the enthusiasm, energy and professionalism of our students. They were wonderful ambassadors for LIM College in Europe and the great memories we created on this journey will stay with me for years to come.
Last week, our Office of Student Life sponsored LIM College’s third annual Student Leadership Conference. Featuring speakers from leading businesses and nonprofit organizations, including Time Warner, Inc., Henri Bendel, Bottomless Closet, the American Society for Muslim Advancement, and The Ms. Foundation, this two-day event also included presentations and workshops from several LIM College faculty and staff members.
This year’s theme was “Leadership Without Borders” and the focus was on dialogue about leadership from a global perspective, which is especially critical, given the rapid globalization of not only the business of fashion, but also of the wider world in which we live. Students who participated were encouraged to explore their unique leadership styles in sessions on a diverse array of topics, including mentorship, communication, career change, conflict resolution, and issues unique to women in today’s workplace.
In addition to our own students, we were pleased to host student leaders from St. Francis College, Berkeley College, Kean University, East Stroudsburg University and the City University of New York’s Baruch College. I am confident that everyone who attended this innovative event learned a great deal about their individual leadership potential and is now better prepared to bring positive change to their communities.
I read with great interest the recent news that Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts is leaving that company to join Apple as their Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores. Similarly, this summer, Yves St. Laurent CEO Paul Deneve left his position to become a Vice President at Apple.
What does this mean for fashion? For many, the term “fashion” may once have simply conjured up apparel and accessories, but in our increasingly visual, design-conscious world, fashion is now everywhere. It is no longer just a “look” – it is a lifestyle, and its presence is in almost everything -- from the various products we choose for our homes, to the personal electronic devices we carry all the time, to the sports and entertainment enjoyed by fans throughout the world.
Regardless of what field they are in, more global brands are recognizing the need to develop deeper connections with consumers and elevate all aspects of the customer experience. The rest of the business world is waking up to what we have in the business of fashion have always known. Understanding consumers’ aspirations and how they make purchasing decisions, and forging authentic and true brand connections, is now more important than ever.
What does this mean for LIM College students? It means that the knowledge and skills acquired during the course of an LIM College education are eminently transferable, as today’s recipe for global success requires not just understanding the customer, but also continual innovation to meet that customer’s evolving expectations. That ability to adapt, that constant innovation -- that is the essence of fashion itself.
It gives me great pleasure to welcome all of our new and returning students, faculty and staff to campus for the start of the 2013-2014 academic year.
This is a very auspicious time for LIM College. This September marks the start of our 75th Anniversary year. We have been in New York City, the center of the fashion world, for nearly three quarters of a century. During that time, an untold number of changes have transformed the industry, and the College itself. Yet our mission has always remained the same – to prepare our students for successful careers in the business of fashion.
What my grandfather Maxwell F. Marcuse founded in 1939 as a one-year certificate program exclusively for women, is now, 75 years later, a master’s degree-level institution with Middle States and ACBSP accreditation, multiple graduate programs, and a growing global footprint.
Today, the world continues to evolve. Therefore, so does LIM College. One of the reasons we’ve been able to stand the test of time – and not just endure, but flourish, is because we have never stopped evolving and progressing as the world has changed around us.
Yet one thing that will never change is our unwavering commitment to our students. As we look forward to the next 75 years, we will continue to transform and elevate the LIM College educational experience and enhance our students’ prospects for rewarding careers in the business of fashion.
Here’s to the start of another great academic year!
On May 31 LIM College held its Commencement exercises at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. Families, friends, faculty, staff, and Board members joined us en masse to recognize the accomplishments of our amazing Class of 2013.
In my address I referenced the “Smart is beautiful” tagline Amazon uses in ads for its Fashion division. I did so because our graduates have learned how much more there is to the world of fashion than glitter and glamour and superficial ideas of what is beautiful.
They know there is a hidden force behind what those outside the fashion industry see as effortless beauty and glamour. That force is made up of smart businesspeople who put in a tremendous amount of effort behind the scenes.
Our graduates also know that image can only take one so far. In today’s intensely competitive and technologically advanced global business society, worth is measured mainly by what a creative and strategic mind can envision and what relentless hard work can accomplish.
I have been privileged to witness how an LIM College education has transformed so many of our graduates from enthusiastic but inexperienced college students to competent and confident young professionals. I hope the Class of 2013 will continue to live their lives with the attitude that each new experience is an opportunity to learn more and every new day is another chance to become smarter. Those who heed that advice will always come away with something valuable and, quite often, something beautiful.
From left: Ellen Tracy President & CEO Mark Mendelson, LIM College President Elizabeth S. Marcuse, Class of 2013 undergraduate Valedictorian Samantha Mellone
It’s difficult to believe that we are approaching the conclusion of the Spring 2013 semester. So much has happened here at LIM College over the past few months.
Our newly-expanded Student Center (including a Good to Go café) opened on the first floor of Maxwell Hall at 216 East 45th Street. We also made major curriculum announcements, including the addition of a new Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degree program in Fashion Marketing and the introduction of a brand-new track in Home Fashions within our existing Fashion Merchandising major.
During the course of the semester we hosted nearly 40 guest speakers on campus, including Chris Fiore, President of Henri Bendel, along with a diverse array of entrepreneurs, authors and fashion professionals. Fashion legend Patricia Field (of Sex and the City fame) also made a special guest appearance at our annual student fashion show. In another big April event, 78 students and six administrators and faculty members were inducted into our newly-established chapter of the Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society in Business.
The semester may almost be over, but we still have a lot to look forward to. Commencement will take place on May 31 at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, where Ellen Tracy President & CEO Mark Mendelson will be give the keynote address and receive the LIM College Distinguished Award and an honorary Doctor of Commercial Science degree. On June 6, six of our Visual Merchandising students will participate in DDI’s annual Student Window Challenge, spending an entire day creating displays inside the windows of Saks Fifth Avenue’s flagship store. And on June 25 LIM College will be part of NASDAQ’s official closing bell ceremonies as one of the sponsors of FashInvest’s “Speed Dating” business pitch event.
I look forward to celebrating these exciting occasions - and more - with the entire LIM College community as we bid farewell to a great spring and welcome what is shaping up to be a wonderful summer.
I am pleased to share the news that LIM College has been granted a charter by the Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society in Business. Delta Mu Delta will now serve as the College’s official business honor society, replacing Sigma Beta Delta.
LIM College’s chapter of Delta Mu Delta has been designated as the Mu Rho chapter, and it will be an active presence on campus. Our chapter will elect officers and organize activities, as well as offer a variety of scholarship opportunities to Delta Mu Delta inductees.
The College became eligible to apply for membership in Delta Mu Delta upon achieving ACBSP accreditation of our business programs last year. Students who are now members of the Sigma Beta Delta honor society will, if eligible, be invited to join Delta Mu Delta. Dual membership in both organizations is permitted. Sigma Beta Delta members who do not meet the eligibility requirements for Delta Mu Delta will still retain lifetime membership in Sigma Beta Delta, although there will no longer be a chapter on our campus.
Undergraduate students who are currently in the top 20 percent of their class and have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher, and graduate students who are in currently in the top 20 percent of their class and have a cumulative GPA of 3.80 or higher, will be invited to join Delta Mu Delta.
Those who accept that invitation will be formally inducted into Delta Mu Delta at a ceremony on April 17 at the New York Institute of Technology. Several LIM College faculty members and administrators will also be inducted as honorary Delta Mu Delta members at the ceremony, which will be presided over by Dr. Charles Finn of the College of St. Rose.
Our Office of Institutional Advancement is also in the process of creating an LIM College Alumni Honor Society. This organization will be open to all LIM College graduates who belong to either Delta Mu Delta or Sigma Beta Delta. More information on this new group will be distributed in the coming months.
Establishing a chapter of Delta Mu Delta helps us continue to serve our students’ academic and professional interests and is yet another example of LIM College’s ongoing recognition as a leader in business education.
It’s always a pleasure, a treat and an honor to travel abroad with a group of LIM College students and faculty as part of our annual Cross-Cultural Analysis trip. I relish the opportunity to get to know the students who go on this trip on a more intimate, and casual, basis. The chance to develop and deepen my relationships with students (and faculty) doesn’t always present itself as often as I’d like it to while we are all so busy on campus during the academic year.
The last time I was able to take the Cross-Cultural Analysis trip was back in January 2008, so this journey to Italy was long overdue. Our itinerary took us to Milan, Lake Como, Florence, Siena and Rome. The field trips that were part of each city visit were a real highlight. La Rinascente, the department store in Milan, was mind-boggling. There is no store in the States quite like it. Siena was a favorite of pretty much everyone in our group, and our day in Lake Como was also extremely enjoyable. Lake Como is such quaint town and the students all wished they had more time there to wander around and explore.
Although Florence was my personal favorite, our time in Rome was incredible – from visiting the Forum and the Coliseum in the pouring rain, to our stop in Vatican City….what can you possibly say when you are standing where Caesar sat and Nero walked?
Traveling to another country and experiencing another culture together was definitely a bonding experience. It was wonderful to witness the students’ reactions at each stop, especially if this was their first trip abroad or their first time in Italy. From the many historic sites we explored, to the retail and department stores and showrooms we visited, to the delicious food and fascinating Italian people we encountered along the way -- the students’ eyes and hearts were wide open to all of it -- and I was just grateful for the opportunity to be able to share in this incredible adventure.