By Hannah Weinberger and Parker Spector-Salwen
Styles. Wardrobes. Accessories. Designs. It’s not just conforming to a trend; it’s a way of self-expression. The new club Fashion Forecasting was founded by juniors Julia Kelly and Isabel Ugolini in order to teach students that fashion is more than just apparel: A well-chosen wardrobe can actually be a powerful medium for self-expression. Kelly explained that for her, fashion is “not so much about ‘staying trendy’ as it is about learning to be confident with clothing that makes you feel great.”
While the club’s focus is to educate students about the technical side of the fashion industry, the ultimate goal is to help students understand that fashion is what they make of it. Ugolini said, “Although it’s interesting to understand the cycle of trends and why they rise and decline, it’s more important to understand that fashion reflects who you are as a person.”
During the spring semesters in the past two years, Kelly and Ugolini commuted to midtown Manhattan every Saturday morning to attend courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology. The pair completed two four-hour courses—“Fashion Forecasting” (for which the club would eventually be named) and “The Ins and Outs of Fashion Merchandising.”
The class was assigned weekly projects. For example, they conducted trend analyses of the stores in the Meatpacking District, wrote up key items of collections, explained their favorite looks from the MET Gala, and analyzed how items become trends.
Along with working on these assignments, the class would often venture off-campus and prowl Manhattan’s most stylish retail clothing stores. Ugolini’s personal favorite was Dover Street Market, located in the center of the city’s Garment District. Dover, which has stores all over the world, is a high end conceptually designed store that has four different levels, each showcasing distinct styles. Dover Street Market, according to Ugolini, was “like a multitude of fashion shows in one store.” The various clothing styles within the store taught the two fashionistas how and why trends arise. They were also able to see firsthand how society is affected by fashion and how people adjust to new trends.
Kelly and Ugolini plan to bring this new knowledge to their club’s meetings by giving presentations on various aspects of the fashion industry. Kelly and Ugolini want to use the club to show students that there are many different career paths in the fashion world: marketing associates, designers, trend pattern analysts, public relations communications, and much more. Additionally, the club plans to sponsor a trip to fashion exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and invite guest speakers such as fashion reporters and lawyers who specialize in the industry.
Their first meeting was held on October 26th where they discussed their future plans and ideas for the club. With 57 members in the Facebook group, Kelly and Ugolini are excited to share their knowledge and fulfill their mission statement.