By Paris Adams – 1851 Staff
Students and faculty from the School of Fashion traveled to New York City on February 28 to attend Coterie, an annual trade show held at the Jacob Javits Center. The three-day trade show, held every February and September, showcases the latest in women’s and children’s wear, accessories, beauty, and footwear. Fashion professor Catherine Weiss has been bringing students to Coterie for six years after contacting to the show’s producer, UBM Fashion.
“My background is in sales and marketing, so I called and schmoozed my way into letting students in for free…so, I kind of talked them into it,” said Professor Weiss.
There were 85 students in attendance this year accompanied by six faculty members, including Professor Weiss and Professor Richard Bath. The cost to attend Coterie through Lasell is $10, which covers the fee for transportation.
Attending Coterie immerses students in the industry and allows students to apply the skills learned to a professional environment. It also provides them with the chance to view current and upcoming trends and network with industry professionals.
“It goes back to the same old connected learning scenario where it’s great I can teach you about how a buyer and a wholesaler interact with each other,” said Weiss. “But to actually see it and feel it…how can you replace that? The application is making sure the student understands the theory, and they can interpret it into something practical.”
Freshman Hunter Spencer, a fashion merchandising major, said his first time at Coterie was overwhelming, yet he was able to observe “what the store buyers do, and how the industry does it.”
“I am currently in [Professor Kinsky’s] buying class, and this was the real-world experience of what we have been learning in class,” said Spencer.
In addition to the booths of new product, Coterie incorporated new advancements within the industry, such as technology and consumer trends. In recent years, fashion has seen an increase in the use of technology with everything from product development to visual merchandising. Coterie has been at the helm of introducing these to the School of Fashion’s students.
Expanding on the success of attending Coterie, Professor Weiss organized a trip for six students to attend UBM Fashion’s MAGIC trade show, held in Las Vegas in August. Selected students will have the opportunity to attend multiple days of MAGIC.