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new york fashion study College of Design

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

An Eye Opening Piece of our Past, 9/11 Memorial

The design of the memorial is beyond what words and photos can describe. It is simply best to go see it for oneself. In an effort to explain the design: the perimeter of the memorials are the exact dimensions that the buildings were. There are two of them, one where the south tower was, and one where the north tower was. The perimeters of each are granite with the names of those who died in that particular tower engraved. The inside is water cascading down into a large pool like area alongside the walls, dropping off into a deeper pool like area in the middle where the water simply disappears into the earth. It is profound, elegant and melancholic all at the same time. 


Aside from our professional appointments, something I really wanted to make time for on this trip was to go see the 9/11 Memorial. Although I didn't personally lose someone in this historic tragedy, my heart breaks every time I think about the lives that were lost and the lives of those who lost their loved ones as a result of the enormity of 9/11. I can recall the day that our country was forever changed when I sat in my desk during my 7th-grade science class, watching the towers ablaze on the cheap tv set in our classroom, while my teacher wept in his chair. 9/11 will forever remain in our hearts and continue to shake us to our core every time we reflect back on that tragic day. Having the opportunity to go stand where the towers once were, and see the beautiful, breathtaking design of the memorial was an image I will never be able to get out of my mind. The solace that was created by the sound of the water cascading down the granite combined with the silence aside from the chaos of a hectic city, created a profound and saddened feeling within me that is difficult to describe. It was interesting to reflect on the metaphorical meaning and thoughtfulness behind the design and was overall, time very well spent. I hope to go back again in the near future to tour the 9/11 museum. 


Siegel Stockman - The Art of Merchandise Display through Mannequins


Chelsea Cameron led our meeting at Siegel Stockman and had a lot of valuable information to share with us in terms of her past and what led her down the road to where she is now. Chelsea shared that it helped her to gain as many internships as she possibly could, and to also be as knowledgeable as possible in an effort to set herself apart from her competition. It was eye opening to hear her talk about an experience she had at an internship in which she had to use design software, and it was her previous knowledge and expertise with this software that helped her survive, while she saw other interns being fired because their boss simply didn't have the time to train them on the software, so had Chelsea not had that knowledge, she would have been fired too. Prior to landing at Siegel Stockman, Chelsea worked for Coach and also had experience doing visual merchandising at various retailers. It was these experiences that led her to Siegel Stockman, which she has now been at for three years and has come to love what she does on a daily basis. Chelsea shared with us that there is no typical day for her and that being passionate about the industry is what keeps her going since the days are often very long and hectic.

Siegel Stockman was founded in 1867 by Frederic Stockman and has since become a leader in their industry. Siegel Stockman offers a plethora of mannequins from dress forms, bust forms, jacket forms, 3/4 forms and also hand and feet forms. Their product offerings range from a variety of materials including fiberglass, muslin, papier mache, rubber and synthetic materials to name a few. Combinations of the mannequins are customizable to whatever the customer may want, creating a competitive advantage amongst their competition. They supply to retailers including Macy's, Barney's and Tory Burch amongst many others. Thier mannequins are manufactured mainly out of the Phillippines, France and now Amsterdam, since this is where their newest line is being manufactured out of. They currently added pets to their collection of options, and customers also have the option to add wigs in a variety of styles and colors if they wish. Customers also have the option to use interchangeable heads in a variety of different colors to create more of an abstract, stylish design if that is something they are going for. Chelsea shared with us that the most common mannequins at this time are ones that are transparent and of a melted, fiberglass material. Customers ultimately have the option to choose mannequins from an assortment of colors, materials and sizes, all of which are customizable.


Overall, the visit to Siegel Stockman was a very interesting and educational one, providing a lot of insight into an aspect of the retail industry that is often forgotten or not talked about. However, it is at the heart of visual merchandising, as shoppers wouldn't be able to gain ideas of what a garment or accessory might look like on, or how to pair it with other things. Thanks to companies like Siegel Stockman, one can be inspired by something as simple as a synthetic, crafted piece of art, used as a canvas in retail stores to entice the consumer and showcase the fashions of the changing seasons.

A hole in the hotel: burger joint

Strolling down fifth avenue, as college students, we were all worried about going into a restaurant and getting a $50 bill…for lunch. My peers and I gawked as we walked past Bergdorf Goodman’s and Tiffany’s (while reenacting the window scene. Who doesn’t want to be Audrey, even if for a split second?). We also gawked when pulling up reviews for restaurants nearby and seeing the typical rating as three dollar signs: aka, too much for us.

Thriving on finding local restaurants rather than relying on chipotle, I filtered the dollar signs to two. Luckily, a few places nearby popped up: a chipotle (shocker), a deli, and a burger joint. The burger joint, wittily named burger joint, was rated best burgers in NYC. Just like standing in front of Tiffany’s-who could resist?

We were directed to Le Parker Meridien Hotel and stood perplexed. This is where a cheap burger joint was? Regardless, we tiptoed inside; the concierge noticed our confusion and asked where he could direct us. Hesitantly, I said “a burger joint?” and he smiles, telling us to turn down the small hallway. Obliging, we looked up to see a small neon sign of a burger with an arrow underneath. Mama, we made it.

burger joint: A hole in the wall covered in stickers, yet concealed by a high-end hotel. The line was long and the seating basically non-existent, but we snagged a small booth from some funny gentlemen. I sat down as another peer ordered my food for me; a woman came and sat down, but I quickly told her that we had a group of five. She told me “I’ll only be five minutes. I just want to down my burger” and the Minnesota nice in me showed, letting her stay as we started to cram into one side of the booth.

Talking to her, she had moved to New York 15 years earlier, working for Dow Jones, but now was a stay at home mom. Her schedule had opened up today, so she was heading to get a pedicure when she craved burger joint. She was a regular. Being a regular, she told me to get my burger medium-rare for the best taste. She also complained that they gave her free food all the time that she did not have an appetite; offering, she passed over fries and a shake to me as she told me about her experience in New York. And her advice made my burger beyond tasty.

Even with the small gesture of food and friendly conversation, this woman made me feel more at home in a city that can swallow you whole. Maybe Minnesota Nice transcends borders in different ways. New York Nice exists, too, even in a cramped burger joint.

It's all in the details: TrimLab

Cassidy Wall

Walking into the TrimLab office, a glass doors welcomes us as the copper windows overlooked the Garment District. Bamboo-colored movable cabinets outlined the room and mounted TV’s ran slides of various pictures. Two men, Dave and Dave, greeted us with smiles as they set up more foldable chairs for our large group of twenty-seven.

            We sat down with no set expectations, as everything was closed and gave no sign of what the company did. Soon we dived into a conversation about what people don’t discuss: the nitty-gritty details. Zippers, bra cups, eye and hooks galore. These items only stand out to consumers when they need to be fixed. When was the last time you celebrated a dress for having a concealed zipper rather than the halter style? Or noticed how well the hook and eye helped your shirt stay together?

            One of the Dave’s had been in the business for quite sometime; his ancestor started it out of a moving cart. Passed down generation to generation, he was now carrying out the work of what his grandfather did, but just in a little different fashion. Both discussed how much the Garment district had changed. It went from a bustling area, seeing designers daily, to having everything become outsourced. The company itself has stayed small, with The two Daves, a social media Intern turned full-time employee, a marketing manager, and a few other workers actually sewing in the details.

            They opened the cabinets to show us different companies that they worked with over the years and companies they took on. Their main initiative was to take on small companies and help them with the details of their designs or focus of their business. They had taken on two women designers that were starting a women’s swimwear line. The two women were struggling to get their designs off the ground, but with the help of Trim Lab, they now sell in Sak’s and similar stores. Both of them also showed us to their back room, where employees were working on zippers and we saw their immense display of inventory.

            The two Daves told us about their successes but also did not leave out their failures. One product that did not work for them was bra cups- because getting the right fit is everything. They consistently had backlash about how it was not fitting right, so they would make another and get the same result. It was too customizable and a narrow sector to profit from.

            Leaving us with a bit of advice, they said to party like it’s 1999—or something like that. But specifically, they detailed how networking is the key to success within the fashion industry. You never know who you might be sitting next to at a dinner or standing next to at a party; those people could land you your next job. Sometimes, the little things count and for them, it’s all about the details.