Monday, January 11, 2016

My Life as a Fashion Major

I started college as a pre-nursing major and realized very quickly how much I hated it. When I told my parents I wanted to switch my major toApparel Merchandising and Product Development (AMPD) after my first semester of college they weren't happy. I was super discouraged because they weren't on board with me pursuing what I was passionate about. I soon realized that the reason my parents weren't too fond of my decision to switch to such an "unconventional" major was because they didn't really understand what it was. Two years later, I still find myself in the position of having to "justify" my choice of major to people who hear the word apparel and immediately judge me. I figured it's time to explain why I chose to pursue a degree in Apparel Merchandising and Product Development and answer several other questions I get asked most frequently!

Why did you choose to major in AMPD?
I took a sewing class my senior year of high school, and very quickly became obsessed with learning about garment construction, different fabrics, and how what I learned in my sewing class applied to the industry. My sewing teacher, Mrs. Blanton, told me all the time that I needed to go into fashion, but I was set on nursing. That is, until I got to college and had to take college science classes (shoutout to people who dig that stuff, because I really thought it sucked). I was so unhappy and wasn't passionate about anything I was learning. I realized that I was craving the feeling I had in my high school sewing class, and when I researched the AMPD program at the U of A and read through the curriculum, I immediately knew that I needed to switch. My experience as an AMPD major has been absolutely incredible and I'm loving every minute of it.

What kind of classes do you take?
One of the things I love most about my AMPD program is that basically every section of the industry is represented in the curriculum. We learn about buying, design, marketing, merchandising, trend forecasting, textile science, etc. The fashion industry has so many different parts that work together, so the fact that they make sure we know about all of it is awesome. Many university fashion programs focus mostly on design, which is great, but not everyone is cut out to be a designer. You wouldn't think that the University of Arkansas would have a good fashion program, but I can honestly say that I am proud of the education I am getting as an AMPD major at the university. I feel as though I am getting a well-rounded education and will be very prepared to enter into any part of the fashion industry when I graduate. 

What do you want to do?
A lot of people think that I'm going to college to be a manager at a clothing store... No. That is actually like the last thing I want to do. Right now I'm really interested in styling and visual merchandising, but I'd probably accept any corporate fashion job offered to me following graduation. When I think dream about my future, I like to imagine myself working as a stylist on shoots for Anthropologie... In November I applied for a styling internship at Anthropologie just to see if I could get it. On December 19 I was notified that I was selected to travel to Philadelphia and interview for the position this past friday for their recruiting day! It would be a dream come true if I end up actually getting the internship, and I know now from talking with Megan and Kristen (my interviewers) that I definitely want to work for Anthropologie one day.

I would like to end this post with some "tips" for people thinking of majoring in fashion:
  1. Just because you like shopping doesn't mean you'll like studying fashion.
  2. It's not a blow-off major. Be prepared to work hard, and bruise your finger tips from being poked repeatedly with pins in your construction classes.
  3. Professors make great references (and friends), make sure they know how hard you work!
  4. Dress well for class. Your professors will notice if you show up to class looking like you just rolled out of bed every day. It's okay every once in a while, but try to look presentable the majority of the time. 
  5. Find your style. College is the time for you to create your brand. Find out who you are, tailor your style to that, and stick with it! There is no better feeling than knowing that what you're wearing is the perfect reflection of who you are.
xo. Brooke

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