Fashion Forward: High School Students Get Taste of the Industry during Berkeley College Summer Fashion Career Workshops

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Berkeley College

Metallics. Long necklines. Sleek cuts. These were just some of the fashion trends predicted by aspiring fashion professionals as they participated in the Berkeley College Summer Fashion Career Workshops in New York and New Jersey this month.


The workshops, held on July 26 and 27, 2017, gave high school students a taste of the industry through trips to fashion headquarters and conversations with experts in the field.


Students went behind-the-scenes at Randa Accessories on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, as well as at Barney’s, Rebecca Taylor, and Marc Fisher Footwear, where they learned about textiles, design and merchandising.


They also toured Berkeley College, where professors spoke about their own experiences in the industry, and gave an overview of course offerings and degree programs.


Berkeley College “At this age, these students may have an innate desire to be in fashion, but they may be a bit confused about their direction,” said Robert Woods, PhD, Professor, Fashion, Berkeley College Larry L. Luing School of Business®, who spent a decade working on Gucci menswear in Italy. “This is an introduction to the industry.”


He told students that there is a lot of mobility in the fashion industry, and encouraged them to embrace teamwork and have the right attitude to excel in the field.


Nancianne Esposito, Professor, Fashion, Berkeley College Larry L. Luing School of Business®, introduced the students to fashion forecasting and trend research.


“I hope that they’ll take away an understanding of both the business and creative side together,” she said.


Berkeley College offers an Associate’s and a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising and Management. The program integrates the creative and business aspects of the fashion industry, with potential career paths in product development, retail buying and merchandising, and brand communications.


Annie Thomas of Scotch Plains, NJ, said she hopes to one day own her own business.


“I’ve liked fashion since I was little,” she said. “I used to design on my dolls and practice drawing. After I get my degree, I want to open a boutique and eventually expand internationally.”


“I’m here because I wanted to get a better understanding of the field,” said Emory Ciocci, a student at Stamford High School in Stamford, CT. “I learned that you have to make connections, and that you shouldn’t be afraid to move from job to job – you can slowly make your way up.”


In addition to the Summer Fashion Career Workshops, Berkeley College also offered workshops in Business Leadership, Criminal Justice, Graphic Design, Healthcare and Interior Design. More than 220 high school students and young adults participated in the program, now in its ninth year.


“The Summer Workshops are so popular because young people want to invest wisely in themselves,” said Gretchen Orsini, Associate Vice President, High School and Community Outreach. “Ideally, a student chooses the degree program that inspires his or her passion. The workshops gives them some idea of what to expect, as they get a glimpse into the real-world working environments.”


A leader in providing career-focused education since 1931, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls more than 8,000 students – including more than 550 international students – in its Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs. Students can study in more than 20 career fields. Berkeley College is comprised of the Larry L. Luing School of Business®, the School of Professional Studies, the School of Health Studies and the School of Liberal Arts. The School of Graduate Studies offers an MBA in Management online and in Woodland Park, NJ.


Berkeley College has three New York campuses – Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains. In New Jersey there are five campuses – Dover, Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park. Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. For four consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans. The website address is

Berkeley College

Photo Caption: Nancianne Esposito (top) and Robert Woods, PhD (center), Professors, Fashion, Berkeley College Larry L. Luing School of Business®, help students create trend boards during the Berkeley College Summer Fashion Career Workshops this month. (Above) Students display their trend boards with fashion predictions for the upcoming seasons.


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To view high-resolution versions of these photos, visit



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