Although the Main Line and Madison Avenue may be more than 100 miles apart, a dynamic club at the University has worked diligently to make the fashion world seem a lot closer.
The Business of Fashion Society (BOF) at Villanova was created two years ago by now alumnae Michelle Fierro, Susie Hamman and current senior Keeley Scott. At the time of the creation of BOF at the Universsity, these students saw that there was an interest in fashion at school, yet no fashion majors, courses or ways to incorporate fashion into their studies. Fashion was something they were interested in and passionate about, but they had no outlet through the University to seek more information about positions in the industry or connections with brands.
“There was no source of education [about fashion], or networking,” current President Scott said. “At the career fair, you were not seeing fashion companies, you were not seeing [fashion] employers coming to campus and there was no overall discussion amongst students and faculty [about fashion].”
Because of this, the BOF Society was created. Its goal is to serve as a bridge between current students interested in pursuing careers in fashion and professionals already in the field. What started as a simple desire amongst three students has turned into a successful campus organization that meets with various brand representatives, creates panel events and hosts Zoom calls with fashion companies.
Right now, BOF at Villanova has connected with many different brands through Zoom or Skype calls. These calls give students an opportunity to listen to professionals and ask questions about potential careers in fashion. Scott mentioned how the connections BOF currently has are through past managers or mentors she and other executive board members have had. They also look to the club’s advisor, Brenda Stover, for connections with alumni.
Due to COVID-19 regulations, BOF has not been able to hold club meetings as usual. Senior Nicole Calandrino, Social Media Director, said that the Executive Board had to come up with creative ideas to alter the club for consistent engagement. Their ideas included the creation of a newsletter and monthly themes for the club. The theme for the month of October is menswear. Calandrino will post and repost content related to the monthly theme on the BOF’s Instagram account.
“Since things are a little less structured this year because meetings are on Zoom and not in person, [monthly themes] give people an idea of what we will be talking about,” Calandrino said.
While the regulations have impacted club meetings with the student body, Calandrino and Scott both agree that the club has not missed out on much in terms of employer or brand calls. In the past, the club has had Skype calls with employers from far distances. If anything, having calls completely on Zoom this year have allowed for more students to be able to join in and participate from their dorms or off campus residences.
The BOF Society is still a relatively new club. Both Calandrino and Scott hope to see the club grow into something great at the University.
“I’ll know this club has succeeded and reached its presence on campus when I see a fashion or beauty company doing a Bartley takeover,” Scott said when describing her hopes for the future of BOF at Villanova.
Normally, Bartley takeovers feature finance or accounting companies that come to campus in hopes to recruit University students.
“I want more fashion and beauty companies to think of Villanova students when they look to hire,” Scott said.
You can follow @BOFVillanova on Instagram for more information on meetings, monthly themes and club collaborations.