Nine students and two faculty members made the venture to Dallas on April 10 for an intense four-day trip.
The trip entailed fashion appointments, meeting Stephens alumnae, attending Fashion Group International (FGI) Dallas Career Day and, obviously, hours of shopping.
The fashion tour was centered around appointments and networking with Jan Barboglio, Neiman Marcus Corporate, Stanley Korshak, Allie Coosh and Feizy Diamonds.
Jan Barboglio is a vivacious designer who designs rustic Mexican iron home décor that is truly unique. She is passionate about the Mexican culture as she was born and raised for sometime in Mexico. Barbolglio was gracious enough to invite the fashion group to her gorgeous designer home for cocktails. The group had an incredible time hanging by the pool and munching on homemade quesadillas homemade by Barboglio’s house keeper.
Walking into Neiman Marcus Corporate is almost every fashion major’s dream. The building has nine floors. Five floors actually sell merchandise while the other four are reserved for corporate offices. The Book, a special publication that Neiman Marcus creates, is published in this building. The students were able to peek into the offices and see what it could be like to work there one day.
Stanley Korshak is a department store unique to Dallas. It is the only one in the world and it sells high-end clothing, makeup and accessories. It is almost like a small village with shops and restaurants that are in a circle. The nine women who attended the trip were able to meet with a Stephens alum who earned a top spot at Stanley Korshak.
Allie Coosh in an eccentric fashion designer who is well known in Dallas. She was born in Canada and had big dreams to become a fashion icon. She went to school and trained hard. She started her own pajama line, which exploded into a business that sells expensive outfits and jewelry. Her goal while designing is to make every woman feel beautiful and create an outfit that flatters every body type. She gave the students insight how to follow their passions, telling them to never listen to anyone who says it is impossible to do something.
The final appointment was at Feizy Diamonds, which is where Courtney Cothren, a fashion professor, gets all of her jewelry. Students were able to examine diamonds and different gems.
Although the appointments were a vital part of the trip, the main reason to go t0 Dallas was to attend the 45th FGI Dallas Career Day that was held at the Dallas Market Center’s World Trade Center. More than 40 colleges from across the country traveled to this event to take classes that interested them such as fashion buying, journalism, fashion show production, trends and more.
During the trip to Dallas, students attended the career day fashion show. More than 550 entries from 44 different colleges were submitted and judges had to narrow down the entries to half. Stephens College was one of the smallest schools represented at the show, but that did not stop the school from snagging top honors.
Holly Hmielewski, a junior fashion design major, was honored with two first place awards for her cocktail and active wear designs. With two first place awards, that put Hmielewski in the running for the top design award. Three student finalists were called up to the stage at the end of the show to learn if they had been chosen to receive the prestigious award, Hmielewski was one of them.
Stephens students in the audience were cringing in their seats after the third place winner was announced and the junior Stephens designer was still in the running for first. Eventually, Holly Hmielewski was announced the first place overall design winner and the Stephens students in the audience erupted in applause and even some tears were shed.
Hmielewski was awarded the Musselman Fashion Design Award, which awards the recipient $10,000. $1,000 is also given to fund the student to design their own collection. In addition, the winner will have the opportunity while designing their collection to utilize, Brian Bolke, owner of 4510, for mentoring during the process. Hmielewski’s collection will be shown at the November FGI Night of Starts at which time she will be publicly presented the Shelly Musselman Design Award.
The Dallas Fashion trip was a success, with Stephens College making a good showing, not to mention powerful connections in the fashion industry. Adventures like traveling to Dallas prepare Stephens women for the real world.