Sacred Heart Becomes Fashionable


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Sacred Heart University’s professor David Bloom hosted a “Meet and Greet Tea” at the Edgerton Art Gallery on Monday, March 18. Bloom invited any students considering a major in Fashion Marketing and Merchandising, a new major starting in the Fall semester of 2019.

The Fashion Program was originally a nine credit concentration for marketing in 2009, but has since become a 15 credit minor as of 2013. The 27 credit major was created after a significant rise in student enrollment in the program.

“I’ve been in the textile business for 42 years,” said Bloom. “I ran some pretty big companies. One is called Alexander Fabrics and another called Liberty Fabrics. We all closed over a period of time because all our business went to China. So, I went into teaching and began this program.”

The program offers internships at around 80 firms and graduates are in employed at almost 90 companies.

“It’s growing,” said freshman Tim Ahlstrom. “Schools like the Fashion Institute of Technology are established. Here, it’s like you have a chance to participate in building the program.”

A group of freshmen were standing at one of the tables, including Ahlstrom.

“There was the Just SHU It Fair and they had the Fashion club,” said freshman Kara McLean. “They were really nice and from there I just knew it was the right major.”

“The fashion club made me more interested in the major. The internships that I saw were pretty cool,” said freshman Paige Murphy.

McLean jumps in.

“Also, Milan,” said McLean.

The program will offer 14 students the opportunity to study abroad in Milan.

“We’ll be taking trips to factories and museums. It’s one of the fashion capitals of the world,” said Ellen Gang, a professor from the Fashion Institute of Technology. “A lot of the luxury brands that people know of, like Versace and Gucci, all of these major brands are from Milan.”

In 2016, the faculty-led summer abroad program for fashion was launched which alternates between Paris and Milan. In 2020, the program will include both a study abroad program to Paris and Milan.

  “There’s so much to know in the fashion industry and the fashion industry employs so many people. It’s one of the biggest industries out there,” said Gang. “It’s all about the strategies of how to get the brand into the stores, how to advertise it, how to reach the customer, how to price it; there’s all these things that you have to consider.”

  “I’m excited to see it grow, to see it expand,” said Ahlstrom.

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