Last month, Family and Consumer Sciences Education students from Nebo School District traveled to New York City to meet with designers in the Fashion Industry and tour several fashion facilities. Traveling as a school group to NYC not only took an inordinate amount of planning, and preparation, but also took special permission from the Nebo School District school board. Teachers presented their travel plan to the school board and detailed how the experience could not be replicated in Utah. So, with the approval of the school board, teachers and students spent two years planning, preparing, and saving for the trip.
After boarding a plane in Salt Lake City the group consisting of 6 teachers and 48 students, from Maple Mountain High School, Salem Hills High School, Payson High School, Spanish Fork High School, and Springville High School, flew to New York City. Upon their arrival to the “Big Apple” the experience of a lifetime began. From touring New Amsterdam Theatre to viewing the awe inspiring interior of Radio City Music Hall to learning about career opportunities in the Fashion Industry students were amazed at the many different cultural experiences in NYC.
Below is a recap of their trip as described by Whitney Carter, Family and Consumer Sciences teacher at Spanish Fork High School.
New Amsterdam Theatre: This tour was one of the students’ favorites. They were able to see a Broadway stage without performers or decor while learning about the history of a Broadway theatre. They learned how the Theatre owner struggled and later succeeded through his business journey. Afterwards, we were able to go backstage and see costumes that have been used on Broadway shows, such as The Lion King, Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, and Mary Poppins. The students were able to examine, touch, and even try on the costumes and props.
Radio City Music Hall: An historic building in New York City, Radio City Music Hall hosts many modern day and historic events. The interior design in Radio City Music Hall was phenomenal to see. This tour helped the students understand the detail that goes into design and how each aspect of a design serves a purpose.
Essence Magazine: This tour was an excellent opportunity for students to see what careers are available, not only in fashion and interior design but also in publishing, graphic design, and business management. The presenter for this tour was a journalist/book critic for the magazine. He provided the students with information about careers, scholarships, and internships available across the country.
Design Lab at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT): FIT has a collection of clothing ranging from the beginning of the 20th century (1900s) to the early 21st century (2000s). During this seminar, we learned about the history of fashion while seeing actual clothing examples from each decade. The presenter explained how fashion related to what was happening in our country during each decade, such as The Great Depression and World War II. The students were very surprised to see the correlation between history and the fashion history.
Olah Inc.: This was a seminar with a textile chemist at Olah Inc., which is a company who makes and sells denim fabric to major clothing construction companies, such as Old Navy, Gap, J.Crew, and Banana Republic. We learned about fashion merchandising, business management, and textile design.
Parsons School of Design: The students loved touring the campus of Parsons School of Design and many were very interested in learning more about the school. They really enjoyed seeing the students working on their designs, as well as seeing the types of classrooms in the fashion design school. While on campus, students learned about scholarships and other programs available at the school.
Kenneth King: Kenneth King is a couture fashion designer who started out with nothing. He presented information about his journey as a fashion designer, including the ups and the downs of the business. He explained how hard work is not fun, and times get really tough, but if you keep on pushing you can become successful. He is a great example of this because of his success in the fashion industry. Kenneth also showed the students the garments he has designed. He is a very talented designer and clothing constructor. The students were amazed at the detail and creativity of his designs.
Kleinfeld Bridal: Although a tour wasn’t scheduled at Kleinfeld Bridal we decided to go to the shop to take a few pictures. While we were in the lobby, we lucked out and the owner came out and took us on a tour. We saw a conveyor system that holds all of the dresses, dressing rooms, bridal presentation room, business offices, alterations facility, accessory department, and a hand-beading room. This tour was an unexpected surprise and a great experience. This was definitely the highlight of the trip.
Each student had an amazing experience in New York City as they learned more about the fashion industry, and the vast number of career opportunities available. What a rewarding and unforgettable trip!
Mary Pressley, the mother of one of the students who went to NYC, said this about her daughter’s experience. “Kudos to Maple Mountain High School and Nebo School District for sponsoring last week’s fabulous NYC trip. My 16-year daughter came home totally inspired and happy, with grandiose ideas of what she may want to do in her future! I am amazed at everything the group was able to do and see—backstage on Broadway, trying on costumes, meeting with designers, touring fashion magazines, and design schools. I grew up in New York and never did anything like this.”