The Kanbar Performance Space buzzed with holiday cheer as 100-plus University fashion merchandising and management students sold clothing, jewelry and accessories they designed and created. The items, including vintage button-up shirts, hair scrunchies, adjustable rings, scarves, chromatic crew necks and emerald necklaces, ranged from $5 to $40.
“Our annual pop-up shop is a celebration of our students collaborating in four courses in the fashion merchandising and management program: global fashion insight, retail strategy and structure, visual merchandising and product development,” explained Nioka Wyatt, director of the fashion merchandising and management program at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University). “Each course focuses on either visual displays or developing product concepts to sell to targeted students with one goal in mind: raising money to support ChemoClothes.”
This year’s event raised $2,600 for the New Jersey non-profit that provides financial support to families affected by cancer. To date, nearly $49,000 has been donated to the organization from the University’s pop-up shops.
Along with the charitable component, students gained lessons in corporate social responsibility and collaboration as they worked to create, market and sell these fashion-forward items, Wyatt said.
Sophomore Hannah Costello’s company, RE___, thrifted oversized men’s dress shirts to make vintage button-ups with personal touches. She cropped some shirts and used the scraps from the excess material for a stitched-on patch of the recycling sign and “recycle” written in Japanese.
“This project gave me more insight into what actually goes on when companies create a product,” Costello said. “Every aspect of each process requires a well-thought-out plan, and I have a whole new respect for entrepreneurship.”
Through the pop-up shop, freshman Julia Eberenz learned the importance of playing up to the team’s strengths and targeting their market audience. She sold pillow shams under the brand Sleeping Pretty.
“Collaboration, research and assessing our skills was what led to a successful product,” Eberenz said.
The Nov. 28 event revolved around the theme “World of Wonders” with students in Jefferson’s visual merchandising class creating table displays inspired by international locations, noted Camille Avent, visiting lecturer of fashion merchandising and management.
Senior Ashby Steen’s table design for the students selling scrunchies had the vibe of a Turkish grand bazaar. She used a scarf, a drum and bowls from Turkey to give the setup an authentic feel. Other tables drew inspiration from countries like Ghana, Japan, Egypt, Scotland and Peru.
“The annual holiday pop-up is a cornerstone of our Nexus Learning philosophy of offering real-world experiences to our students,” said Juliana Guglielmi, visiting assistant professor of fashion merchandising and management. “This year’s theme, ‘World of Wonders,’ provided an additional layer of immersion by pushing students out of their comfort zones to explore trends from across the globe.”
Listen to the KYW story on the pop-up shop below.