Industry Leaders Start Here.
In the short time since graduating, Kaitlyn Doherty has won an international handbag contest and had her work featured in InStyle magazine. Not bad for her first few months in the real-world.
During her time at PhilaU as a fashion design major, Doherty won various awards and held a few coveted internships. Her senior year, she was the first runner up and People's Choice Award at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market "Project OR" competition and won the Young Spirit Award for Excellence in Childrenswear at the 2011 Fashion Show.
"My four years at Philadelphia University have convinced me that this is one of the best fashion design programs, and I am proud to say I am an alumna," Doherty said. "I am so thankful to all of my professors for their advice and expertise."
While at PhilaU, she interned with both Macy's and Gypsystyle Bags and this past summer she interned with the Laboratory for Engineered Human Protection (LEHP) in a patternmaking and garment construction positions. Doherty is quickly making a name for herself and we're waiting to see what's next for her.
To read the PhilaU Today article about Doherty's recent win, click here.
Before starting her exciting career with Urban Outfitters in 2002, Gianna Cosentino '02 earned her degree at Philadelphia University as a fashion design major. She chose PhilaU because it offered her a chance to develop her own style without trying to force her talent into a category.
As a PhilaU student, Cosentino studied abroad in London, and in her final semester secured a technical position with Urban Outfitters. She advanced quickly and became a knit designer for Free People, a division of Urban Outfitters.
Cosentino really responds to freedom which Urban Outfitters allows their designers. She and other design professionals are given the freedom to find inspiration for their designs on their own. As a designer, Cosentino says she is constantly seeking new inspiration and remarks, "If I ever felt like I wasn't learning, I wouldn't be happy."
Cosentino is now the Director of Free People's New Romantics line. As a distinguished alumna, she has come full circle and is an inspiration to current PhilaU students. On October 13, 2012, Cosentino returned to campus to discuss design and product development as the first speaker in PhilaU's Fashion Alumni Lecture Series.
To read the PhilaU today article about Cosentino's visit click here.
Mairead Thompson, an alumna who majored in fashion industry management (FIM), is in the business of fashion and loving it. At Coach, she is the liaison between various teams, bridging the gap between those who create and those who market - between the designers and the business professionals.
As the design development manager, Thompson is involved in all aspects of the business. An average day for Thompson might include meeting with the designers working on the latest trends; reviewing samples of next season's products; inspecting fabrics and hardware; and checking color-board mock-ups before they go to the company executives.
Thompson uses both business skills and her design background daily, a mindset she developed as a FIM student at PhilaU and further honed through internships and work experience. "With this major, I could get some background in designing a garment and in textiles, but also learn about marketing," Thompson says.
While in her senior year at PhilaU, she commuted weekly to New York where she interned at Express, Inc., in the research and design department. Upon graduation, Thompson took a job at Bensalem, Pa.-based Charming Shoppes, Inc. where she worked to make sure garments fit size specifications. Not long after, Thompson headed back to New York to accept her position at Coach.
To read the Innovator Magazine story featuring Thompson and other PhilaU graduates click here.
A fashion design major, Brittany considers studying abroad at the Philadelphia University Center for Fashion Studies in Rome to be a turning point for her in realizing her full design potential. Along with the skills that she developed in classes and studios on campus, Brittany explains "that studying in Rome took my illustrations, design and thinking to a level I'd never imagined possible." She had always dreamed of becoming a great designer and studying at both Philadelphia University and in Rome enabled her to achieve that goal.
When discussing her experiences studying as a PhilaU student, Brittany explains why she is glad she chose to study here. "PhilaU has such an outstanding fashion and textile reputation that I felt like it was the perfect place to be. With an emphasis on technical skills, as well as classes in business, computer aided design, textiles and technical design, students gain expertise in many aspects of the fashion industry, not just design... a true competitive advantage."
After graduation this May, Brittany will pursue a career as a couture fashion designer, specializing in eveningwear with prominence in the United States, Italy, France and Brazil.
Bianca DePietro and Rachel Wendling are the geniuses behind the new whimsy-inspired Bianca-Rachele fashion line. With recent shows of their 2012 spring line premiering in New York including collaborative work with PhilaU Textile Design alumni Katherine Labate '11, these designers embody the entrepreneurial and collaborative spirit that define the PhilaU Fashion Design program.
While at PhilaU, both Rachel and Bianca worked hard to establish themselves as designers, pushing design boundaries and creating exceptional work. Both designers won various awards while at PhilaU including the Frank Agostino Best Evening-Wear Award, which went to Rachel for her floor-length gowns featured at the 2010 Annual Fashion Show, and the first place award at the 2010 American Heart Association Red Dress Competition, which went to Bianca for her red dress design displayed in the Macy's display window as part of the American Heart Association's heart disease awareness campaign.
In addition to their awards both graduates were featured along with three fellow PhilaU graduates, Meg Dewey '10, Jillian Garvey '10 and Amanda Vereb '10 in a recently published book, Emerging Fashion Designers 2, which showcases the work of young, talented designers from around the country.
Allen Sirkin '64, president and COO of Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation (PVH) and member of the Philadelphia University Board of Trustees, graduated from the University with a degree in textile management and marketing, which is similar to the fashion-related business degrees we offer today.
As president and COO of Phillips-Van Heusen (PVH), he is the head of one of the world's largest lifestyle brand apparel companies. PVH owns the Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Van Heusen, Izod, Arrow and Bass brands. Additionally, PVH holds numerous licenses in select product categories, including Geoffrey Beene, Kenneth Cole, DKNY, Donald J. Trump Signature Collection, Nautica, Sean John, JOE Joseph Abboud, Ted Baker, Ike Behar, Timberland and J. Garcia. Furthermore, with Sirkin at the reins, PVH is a recognized leader in the area of worldwide Human Rights and known for its philanthropic initiatives.
He has received numerous awards both for his benevolent efforts and industry innovation. Beyond being a member of the University's Board of Trustees, Sirkin remains very connected to his alma mater, making him one of PhilaU's most notable alumni.
To read more about Allen Sirkin's most recent visit to campus where he introduced fashion icon, Tommy Hilfger, click here.
In 2008, Breanna Wagner graduated as a textile design student specializing in knit. With what they considered an unusual specialization, Breanna's parents were curious about what her future might hold. However, after a summer internship with Nike during her senior year, Breanna realized that applying her textile skills to performance-based footwear was an exciting fit for her.
When Wagner returned to PhilaU after her internship with Nike, she shared how refreshing the passion the Nike professional was, now five years later she is one of them. Upon graduation from PhilaU, Wagner was offered a position with Nike. She accepted and is now the Global Materials Design Manager there.
One of her recent projects had her recently highlighted in Runner's World magazine for her innovative knitwork for Nike's Lunawear sneakers.
For the Lunawear sneaker, Wagner was charged with making a soft and friendly mesh that would help to make the sneaker distinct. The knit that Wagner developed is now the first running-wear textile to be an exclusive Nike textile; it looks thick, but is actually 96% more breathable than many of the other Nike mesh. Thanks to Wagner's ingenious mesh, the Lunawear sneaker rose to Nike's number-one seller in the first year.
Now a famed couture fashion designer and couturier, William Calvert '91 began his fashion training at Philadelphia University as a fashion design student.
In the years after he graduated from PhilaU, Calvert expanded his knowledge and explored his creativity by studying in Europe and working on the couture collections of Balenciaga, Pierre Balmain and Rochas. Gaining notoriety, he developed collections for Diane Von Furstenberg and consulted for Perry Ellis Women's Coats. Calvert began the development of his own couture empire in 1998.
His work has been acclaimed in a variety of publications from Time Magazine to Vogue. Women's Wear Daily hailed him as "the new entrepreneur" because of his dramatic and elegant designs. In 1999, Calvert was selected for the first Moet and Chandon Designer Debut; and, during the same year, received the Rising Star Award from Fashion Group International.
Recently, Calvert partnered with Melanie Fraser Hart to launch the Callula Lillibelle line of clothing, which now is showing its spring/summer 2012 line (http://callulalillibelle.com).
To read the PhilaU today article highlighting Calvert's recent work, click here.
(Photo Credit: http://callulalillibelle.com/)
Hoping to one day make her mark in fashion journalism, Robyn Alt '12 is well on her way at Philadelphia University, where she has practiced her craft in interviews with fellow students, alumni, professors and famous designers, including Tommy Hilfiger.
Robyn is a senior Fashion Industry Management major, and she serves as the editor of PhilaU's student-run fashion publication, StyleLine. As the editor, she had the opportunity for a one-on-one interview with Hilfiger when he visited the University in 2011. Thanks to her experiences at PhilaU, Robyn landed two big internships in the field, working at Teen Vogue and Glamour magazines.
Currently Robyn is continuing to develop her passion for fashion journalism by working as a freelance fashion writer for www.fashionsalade.com. She has already covered numerous stories including Mercedes Fashion Week in Stockholm and the new Bershka campaign.
Robyn said that she chose PhilaU for its beautiful campus and comprehensive fashion program that "successfully combines the business side of the industry with hands on experience in sewing, textiles, apparel production and finishing/dyeing."
"I loved that the Fashion Industry Management program would make me a well-rounded member of the fashion industry and because of that, I choose to attend PhilaU" she said. With impressive work experience already under her belt, Robyn will begin making an impact in the fashion industry with confidence when she graduates.
Like many students at PhilaU, Stephen Weisbrod '12 enrolled in the Fashion Industry Management (FIM) program because of its unique well-rounded approach to teaching students about the fashion industry. Rather than a narrow approach, FIM allows students to explore the full range of career trajectories offered in fashion.
"The FIM program has provided me with a well-rounded knowledge of the fashion industry," Stephen said. "The way the curriculum is set up, it allows students to build a cumulative understanding of how the different facets of the industry work together. It is because of this that I feel I will hit the ground running after college."
Stephen has already used his PhilaU connections to give himself a head start on his future career while still in school. He has interned at Philadelphia based lifestyle blog, Phrequency, and in the wholesale department with the designer label Nicole Miller, earning vital early work experience in fashion.
Before Angelo graduates as a fashion industry management major in 2012, he will have already helped produce several fashion shows throughout the East Coast. Angelo is a Fashion Industry Association (FIA) board member and co-producer of the PhilaU Fashion Show. He has helped produce shows on campus, at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Miami and New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Select New York Designer Showcase, to name a few.
Angelo plans to work as a fashion stylist after graduation, with the goal of owning his own fashion consulting company in the future. He said he came to PhilaU because of the well-rounded fashion program. "The Fashion Industry Management program has taught me the business, design and textile aspects of the fashion industry, from the bottom up," he said.
His list of experience is long and impressive. In addition to his production roles, he has interned at Anthropologie; the fashion agency, House of Talent PA, in Philadelphia; and Marie Claire Magazine, in New York. He also styles 15 to 20 looks each year for Macy's fashion shows in Philadelphia and New Jersey.
Angelo facilitates a trend workshop called "A Fashion Rendezvous" each season at local libraries in South Jersey and for small groups: "I speak about the latest trends of the season and suggest what to wear and what not to wear for each body type for men and women."
However, what Angelo puts as his top PhilaU fashion experience is working on PhilaU's Annual Fashion Show at the Academy of Music in the spring: "It is such an amazing experience to execute an idea and have it come to life for thousands of people to see."
When Sarah graduated from PhilaU in 2004 with a fashion merchandising degree, she packed her belongings and headed for Los Angeles. Just a few years later, she established herself as a rising star in the world of celebrity styling and fashion PR, working with celebrities like Sandra Bullock. Sarah dressed Sandra for the 2010 MTV Movie Awards in a dress by an up-and-coming designer. The little black dress was seen by millions and fashion critics heralded the look as Sandra's "comeback dress."
Sarah credits PhilaU for helping to launch her fashion career. As a student, she spent a semester studying abroad in Rome and landed key internships that helped her get to where she is at now.
In 2005, Sarah started her own company, Simply Inc., and she recently launched SimplyStylist.com, a new and influential fashion website. A Simply Stylist event may be coming to a city near year soon as Sarah expands her business nationwide.
Sarah is an expert in the world of celebrity styling and fashion PR, having worked hand in hand with the world's top stylists, editors and fashion bloggers for more than eight years. She has helped dress countless A-list celebrities and has been featured as a style expert in various media outlets such as Fox, E!, Entrepreneur Magazine, KTLA and more.
Sarah's advice for anyone interested in the fashion industry is to "INTERN INTERN INTERN!! There is nothing like getting hands-on experience."