WARNING: This post is extremely long but I did not realize until writing it how much I have been wanting to share with y’all!
As most of you probably know, I am a Fashion Textile Management student at NC State University’s College of Textiles. I have been wanting to share more of my day to day life and realized that while I may feel my days are very repetitive, some of y’all may be curious to learn what I do.
I currently only have three classes at the College of Textiles and the rest are general education classes, but I am involved in other opportunities here as well. Today I had a exam on the Fashion Industry- my favorite class so far. We basically talk about how the industry developed, how brands decide what products to come out with, the steps it takes to manufacture a product- things like that!
The most interesting things we have talked about so far in my opinion are about how brands track their customers track upcoming trends. We have learned that stores can get nearly 10,000 data points off of every customer that visits from cameras, voice recordings, their payment method, VIP cards, etc! It may sound a little scary, but they are mainly looking for patterns in what consumers purchase and what types of advertisement and display attract customers. For example, we learned that in research it has been found that customers, especially men, are less likely to pick up items that they cannot easily put back, such as folded clothing items. When customers feel afraid to touch the merchandise because they cannot properly put it back, they are less likely to make a purchase. Because of this many brands are trying to simplify their folding tactics! Components like these factor into all types of display methods such as how products at the grocery store are shelved, how the store layout (new, older, sale items) is designer, and how mannequins are styled and placed! Pretty neat right!
We’ve also talked a lot about how stores are moving to more of a self-checkout system and more technology based experiences such as the mirrors that can show an item such as a jacket on you but in different colors so you do not have to try on everything! One store in specific that I recently learned about is the Amazon store where you just pick up an item and walk out when you are ready to go. I know, “Wait, wouldn’t that be stealing?” Amazon actually tracks you by multiple cameras in the ceiling of the store and knows when you have picked up an item and if you put it back. If you leave the store with it, it charges you through an app on your phone and is paid directly through your Amazon account!
Now that you have a little insight into my FTM Fashion Industry class- let’s get on with my week. Today I had my fiber science lab that meets once a week. Lab’s tend to be intimidating, but this one is actually really fun. We basically just examine different fibers to learn about their characteristics so we have the ability to identify unknown fibers on our own. Sounds boring, but the images we get under the microscope are actually pretty interesting! Here’s a few just so you can get an idea!
Now it is currently 4:30 and I am sitting at the College of Textiles waiting for my Pack Fashion meeting to start at 6. You’re probably thinking that that is an awful long time to wait, but the College of Textiles is actually located on a completely different campus then most classes and I’d have to take a bus back to my dorm if I wanted. So here I am! Pack Fashion is the College of Textile’s Fashion magazine. We produce one magazine each semester that is completely written, edited, photographed, and modeled by students. This is my first semester on the club but I am so excited I found it because I feel like it is the perfect club for me because of my hobbies!
I am a part of the Creative Team. I chose this team because they edit the magazine, design the layout, and even write! So far I haven’t participated in the editing and designing of the layout because I still need to learn the software, but I did write an article on how social media affects you psychologically and I am excited to learn more at tonight’s meeting.
Update: At the meeting I learned a lot about photoshop and the layouts that we use for the magazine! I also worked on my article and helped one up with ideas for titles and subtitles and read some other peoples articles. I am so impressed with the ideas that people came up with for this magazine! They are so different from what I see on the day to day browsing of blogs across the internet. I personally feel so inspired by the topics people have chosen and am happy that I am a part of this team now.
Today the only class I had at the College of Textiles was my Fiber Science lecture. It is only 50 minutes long, and I am honestly not into it at all. It is the class connected to my lab, but we just talk about basically the chemistry of the fibers. It is great (and required) to have a little knowledge of every area of the fashion industry, but this type of class is more of the Polymer Color Chemistry and Textile Technology majors area that I want absolutely nothing to do with. Today we did get back our most recent test, which I was really nervous about because I failed the first one, but I am excited to say that I got an A on this one! I think going to my teacher’s office hours/review session definitely helped me prepare for this test so I HIGHLY recommend you take advantage of these opportunities especially if you are struggling!
The only thing I am excited about for this class other than the lab is the fact that our final exam is a project. Today I had to meet with our group to work on our second outline so I spent a few hours on that.
We had another Pack Fashion meeting tonight to work on the magazine more. After the meeting we stopped by the Brand Ambassador Fair they were having downstairs. I did not get to stay for long because I was going to tour the apartment I am living in next year, but I did get the chance to visit the Virtue hair care table and get some free samples from them!
Even though it is not Fashion Textile Management related, I wanted to tell y’all a little about my gym class! Gym is required at NC State and honestly it is more demanding than I would prefer for a gym class to be, no matter what class you are taking. I am taking Cross Training because it is worth 2 credits instead of one. We meet for fifty minutes three times a week and do things like water aerobics, yoga, cardio, pilates, cycling, and more! I enjoy the activities we do, but I am slightly worried about the class overall because our final tests are based on our heart rate, which mine is currently at an F (should be 80 or below after three minutes of exercise, mine is 150ish), a four minute plank, and hands up push ups. Nevertheless, I did really enjoy today’s workout!
I also got an açai bowl after from the smoothie place on campus!
Today my only FTM class is the FTM 217 Fashion Industry class that I mentioned on Monday. Today we had a guest speaker from VF Jeanswear, specifically Lee and Wrangler, come in and speak to us about future trends in the fashion industry regarding sustainability, technology, and people! One example is that VF Jeanswear donated jeans to places that experienced natural disasters! In case you did not know, VF is also the owner of Vans and The North Face, so I feel like it was a pretty big deal we got to hear from him!
Thursday is where my FTM life ends for the week with only having my Fiber Science Lecture! We also have Friday off this week for Easter so I am heading home today!
If you have made it this far into the post, I have some more bonus information for you! I actually got some questions this week about what kind of careers you can get with an FTM degree so I wanted to talk about that for a minute in case any of y’all are interested! So with Fashion Textile Management at NC State University you can concentrate in Product Development or Brand Management. The Product Development route have more to do with the creation of clothing and could easily lead you into the design route, rather that be designing on your own or being on a team for a brand and coming up with only certain components of a finished product. The Brand Management side is more about marketing and sales. While these are the areas they are more focused in, a degree from the College of Textiles can really take you in any direction of the fashion industry. Whether that be to become a buyer for a retail store or boutique, a brand sales representative, a trend or color forecaster, a part of the creative team that focuses more on the photos and advertisement creation, a designer or a part of the design team, a chain store opener and manager, a worker in a factory or mill, or other endless routes I know nothing about through the Textile Engineering, Textile Technology, and Polymer Color Chemistry programs!
If you enjoy posts like this let me know and I will continue with weekly updates as different opportunities and activities will come about. I also may try to do a Week in my Life as a Fashion Student blog where I would mainly focus on what I do in school and with my extracurricular activities and talk mostly about that if you are interested in that!