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CU's FMM Week Takes to the Runway in Big Style

November 28, 2012

Dr. Vanessa Brantley, Guest Speaker Barbara Mann, Monique Harris, Dr. Michelle R. Howard-Vital, Dr. Lut Nero, and Assistant Vice President Larry Green surrounded by FMM students.

Dr. Vanessa Brantley, Guest Speaker Barbara Mann, Monique Harris, Dr. Michelle R. Howard-Vital, Dr. Lut Nero, and Assistant Vice President Larry Green surrounded by FMM students.

The Fashion Merchandising and Management Department kicked off its big Fashion week Tuesday, November 27 with guest speaker Barbara Mahon, Vice President and Store Manager of Macy’s, addressing students and Cheyney employees.  Mahon works at Macys of King of Prussia, the nation’s biggest store, in terms of selling space.


Mahon explained that Macy’s has been in business for over 150 years and has been mentoring college students since 1919.  “Internships are important,” she said. She encouraged students to “put yourself out there to new opportunities” and to  “always be open to change.  Be true to yourself and your brand.” 


In addition to Mahon, former FMM student Monique Harris gave students some advice.  The Assistant Manager at Walmart in Springfield, PA told students that they have an incredible resource in Dr. Vanessa Brantley, Coordinator of Cheyney’s FMM program.  “She helped me get my first job in retail and the one that I have now,” Harris said.  “I call her all the time and ask for advice and she’s always there to listen and guide me.”


Tuesday’s snowy weather later in the day set the right mood for The Arctic Project: Breaking the Ice  - the Third Biennial FMM Fashion Show.  Stylists Shakia Canty, Kamia Jackson, Lindsey Johnson-Daniel, Copeland Liddell and Samuel Prather worked under the direction of Fashion Show Director Te’Ana Knowles to create layered fashions that could be adapted for quick seasonal changes.


Models Lindsay Ashby, Sabrina Bouknight, Cierra Brown, Brooke Garrett, April Smallwood and Marshay Wells brought their delightful couture for all to see throughout four scenes: Secret Agent Black,  Black is Back!, Go Red, Go Wild!, and the grand finale featuring the stylists and models together.  Awards were given to Kamia Jackson for Stylist of the Year, April Smallwood for Cheyney Model of the Year, and Dr. Hazel Spears for Real Woman Model of the Year.


University administrators, faculty and staff also modeled in the show, including Dr. Brantley,  Shelly-Weeks-Channel, Karen Dike, Debi Kennedy, Hazel Spears, and LaTreice Branson.  Program sponsors included Macy’s, Burlington Coat Factory and Zinman Furs.


On Wednesday at 4 pm Harris, one of the first students to go through Cheyney’s FMM program, gave the keynote address as Fashion Week continued.  She used real life experiences in talking about life after college and finding a job in the FMM industry.  Her engaging personality and energy kept students and CU employees riveted.


FMM’s Fashion week ends with a big bang on Thursday with a field trip to New York City where students will visit the Asia Society Museum, the Gemological Institute of America and analyze and assess the Christmas windows in Bloomingdales.  Kudos to Dr. Brantley for another successful fashion week.