Roughly 40 students majoring in fashion design and product development are on their way to Chicago today to visit upscale fabric stores and meet with industry professionals.
The “Fabricology Trip” is being piloted this year as a way to give students access to a wider range of quality fabrics.
“One of the challenges we have here is that we don't have extensive fabric offerings,” said Associate Professor Kirsteen Buchanan. “And nice fabric is the foundation of everything we do.”
In the past, Buchanan said students have taken similar trips to St. Louis and Kansas City.
The group departed from campus early this morning. They plan to visit Vogue Fabrics this afternoon, and tomorrow, they will meet with a designer sales manager from Nordstrom before visiting Fishman’s Fabrics.
While Buchanan expects some students to purchase fabric there, the trip is more than a shopping spree. Students have also been tasked with researching street styles they might not see locally.
“People might be wearing the styles they want to make,” she said. “They’ll see wealthier, edgier looks and will get exposure to other styles they may not be used to seeing.”
The group will also observe customer behavior in the store, will pay attention to brands and labels and will study how merchandise is displayed. Students have also been asked to look at the architecture of the city for inspiration.
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