Fashion merchandising travels to Chicago


Juniors Mia Walton and Lisa Savage pose with Sophomores Meghan Beckmann and Madison Terry in front of the Chicago Bean.

In order to experience fashion firsthand, FACS teacher Renee Broemmelsick’s Fashion Merchandising class traveled to Chicago from April 2-4 to further their learning in fashion.

Meghan Beckmann
David Bowie stares from under a shadow in an old lookbook.

“The trip’s purpose was to expose students interested in a career in fashion merchandising to the many career options in the field of fashion,” Broemmelsick said. “They took a guided tour of Columbia College Chicago and were able to interact with the instructors and design students.”

While visiting the college, the students saw the college’s historical clothing section that included clothing from different places such as Africa and China.

“They showed us their collection of clothes that they have. The clothes were kept at a specific temperature so they don’t rot or grow mold. I saw that they had small shoes from China when they used to do foot binding,” sophomore Meghan Beckmann said. “They also showed us some old lookbooks that they have from Chanel and Dolce and Gabbana. Some lookbooks would just have the designer’s name with no photos, but there was one that had David Bowie on it with photos of his line.”

Meghan Beckmann
Dresses at the Chicago Fashion Incubator feature geometric design.

The students also visited the Chicago Fashion Incubator, where employees actively support young fashion brands by giving them workspace and training.

“The whole concept of the fashion incubator was a great idea and really helps people get a start on their career in fashion,” freshman Catherine Widowski said. “We had a tour guide that showed us around their workshops and what they do on a day-to-day basis. They also introduced us to some of the people that work there so we could get multiple perspectives on the incubator and understand what it is like to work there and how it can help you establish something on your own.”

Sophomore Meghan Beckmann realized the amount of work that goes into fashion after visiting the Chicago Fashion Incubator.

“There is a deeper relationship between designers and their brands and what goes into it. It’s a lot of hard work and I definitely have a lot more respect for them,” Beckmann said. “It takes months to design a piece of clothing. They have to find the right fabric and make sure it fits with what they are going for.”

By seeing the fashion museums and exhibits, sophomore Madison Terry feels like she understands more on how fashion affects people’s lives.
“Fashion influences people’s lives because you see it through people walking down the street or the students at the college,” Terry said. “Fashion means different things to different people. It is just how you interpret it.”