An Alice in Wonderland Debut

Going “Down the Rabbit Hole”

Every year, Merchandising Inc. (the fashion organization that is over NuView Magazine) hosts a fashion show on what promotes the zeitgeist of fashion from a collegiate perspective. Every year is different from the next because of the producers’ vision and style captured on campus. This year symbolizes a twisted time for our nation reflected in the desire for a fantasy world. Enter “Down the Rabbit Hole,” an all-student-run fashion show inspired by the combined 2001 and 2010 movie versions of Alice in Wonderland.

The show will take place on Monday, April 24th at 7pm in the UNT union ballroom room 314. Tickets are sold at the door for $5 cash or card. We wouldn’t want you to miss it, but in case you’re several miles away (due to the fact that this is a global site) check back in a week to get the full coverage of both behind the scenes and close-ups during the show. Explore the imagery below to keep you captivated until the day of show!

 

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Words by Maia Wilson

Videography by Lauren McMichaels

Photography by Michaela Bull

Styling by Raeleigh Hall

Modeling by Melissa Caskey

Hair by Carolina Gonzalez

Makeup by Taylar Gomez

Graphic Design by Philip Galuban

Mask by Rose Kuo

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Eagles and the Ethereal Europe

Fashion Majors tell all about the European Study Tour

Fernando Zamarripa is a senior merchandising major and is pursuing a minor in both Spanish and marketing at UNT. His first study tour in Hong Kong opened the door to the European study tour. For Fernando, the overall trip was very rewarding and everything you could imagine.

Lindsey Lotze is a senior at UNT, double majoring in merchandising and digital retailing. Thanks to the European study tour last Summer, she has an internship lined up for this Summer with one of the designers she met in Paris, Alain Lalou.

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Versailles in Paris

Q: Can you give us some brief highlights of your experience on the European Study Tour?

Fernando:

I can still remember the first day, we had already landed and not even twenty minutes after checking into our hotel room we were already leaving to take the NTR2 to the Eiffel Tower. We were in such a rush that we were walking quickly through the streets, and I looked up and realized the Eiffel Tower was right in front of me. It was very intense; you need to have that city lifestyle, energy, and personality to have fun and enjoy the tour. “You’ll sleep when you go back home,” one of our professors told us on the trip.

We stayed in Paris for seven days and then we stayed in London for five days. Finally, we ended the trip in Edinburgh for the final two days. Paris was just a dream come true but personally, I connected better with London. In London, there wasn’t a language barrier and I loved the street fashion there.

Lindsey:

Alain Lalou reminded me of my mentor, Richard Last, but the French version of him. It was difficult at first because he is French and there is a language barrier, but he was pretty good at English and he translated for Le Jerone, who is one of the largest silk producers. He does so much more than flowers! Any couture that you see on the runway that has flowers, birds, or anything of that nature… Le Jerone most likely does that. We got to go and tour his factory and he only spoke French. Lalou, who I’m interning with, translated for him during the tour.

At first I thought Lalou was just a translator! I didn’t know he was a designer himself. He is just very warm, down to earth, and funny. We went to get coffee and Dr. Strubel introduced us to Lalou and he brought us his design portfolio to look at. He gave us a lot of life advice and I appreciated that he saw the world differently than others. Afterwards I asked him if he had an internship opportunity available and he told me to send him my resume and information. So, I did and I’m planning to study with him over the Summer in Paris!

Q: What was the difference in street styles you saw between Paris, London, and Edinburgh?

Fernando: Paris was very cultured from head to toe. The buildings, cars, and language was so cultured. You definitely need to be adaptable in Paris. London was just a melting pot of everything. You basically saw it all in London. In Canning Town, we got to see the different types of styles that we read about in class. There were different manufacturers that we went to. One was a couture flower maker in Paris. This was very exclusive visit that most people don’t have the opportunity to do.

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Eiffel Tower in Paris

 

Lindsey: Paris is J. Crew, London is TopShop, and Scotland is LL Bean. London was the most fun! We had this really cool assignment where we got to pick an article or a fad of clothing that we saw trending and see how it will play out in the US market. One thing that I noticed was silver shoes. All over London all I saw was silver shoes and oxfords. I really didn’t think Americans would implement that into an everyday lifestyle.  And then BAM there in Zara, selling them for cheap and it becomes a fast fashion trend. Then Forever 21 and H&M catch on and now I see people all the time, who are more fashion forward, actually sporting them.  It was really cool to see this happen.

In London, you see more colors and furs- it’s very ostentatious. I even picked up a fur when I was there! They aren’t afraid to be different. I think UNT embodies that, for the most part because we are an art school.

Personally, I didn’t see too many recognizable fashion trends in Scotland. They’re very common folk and ordinary people. It is the most easy going and beautiful place. We hiked up to Arthur Saint Peak and it was so beautiful. It was refreshing from The States where everything is so urbanized.

After traveling to these places for me, I see things differently now and I would encourage everyone that goes to take some alone time to actually listen to yourself and take in what you’re feeling. Don’t be just superficial about and just be there to take pictures. Do your research beforehand and be excited to go and see different art exhibits that you may never see again. It’s very important to take in everything that you’re seeing and realize the history and the impact. Everything that you learned in your history books, you’re actually experiencing. Another side note to learn before you travel is respecting the culture and the people around you.

 

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In the Streets of London

Q: What’s something that you wouldn’t have been able to experience if you didn’t go on the European study tour?  

Fernando: Definitely the visits to the manufacturers and the small little boutiques. I’m sure that the museums are open to everyone. But you get to experience everything that you read in textbooks. There was a moment where I knew that this was the right trip for me. Any time something major happens in my life it always rains. It was a rainy day in London when I realized that, “I’m here!”

Lindsey: An inside look of what the luxury industry consists of! What was so eye opening was the designers that we talked to. Jaq Azzurri, who was the designer for Princess Diana, was fabulous.

A lot of the designers we talked to said that they would go around to different couture design houses on the streets and try to sell their designs until they could make a name for themselves. Until they could get recognition and this is pre-social media! They were telling us that things just don’t work like that anymore. You can’t just go around and sell your ability to these large corporations. It’s completely different now because of the structuring. You have to have online portfolios and it’s difficult to be a self-starter. Personally, knowing how talented designers are and how difficult it can be makes me appreciate those who do make it. It takes more than just talent, it takes perseverance and a business mindset now.

That’s why when I’m under his mentorship this summer learning more about the business side of international relations when it comes to the merchandising and marketing in that luxury industry is something that I am very excited to expound upon because it’s evident that this realm of retail is changing.

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Urquhart Castle

Q: Comparing your Hong Kong experience to this experience, what was the difference and similarities between both trips?

Fernando: Because I was more prepared for this trip versus the Hong Kong trip, I think I enjoyed this trip a lot more. We definitely had a lot more freedom on the European study tour. I think Dr. Strubel did a great job with the itinerary and giving us free time to explore the cities on our own. There wasn’t a time where I said I didn’t enjoy myself. The professor for the Hong Kong trip also did a great job planning and organizing, but the European trip was just a better fit for me.

Q: What would you recommend to someone trying to figure out which tour to go on?

Fernando: If you want that culture shock and you want to experience a different culture, the European trip would be better. They are both really interesting trips. With the Hong Kong trip, it was everything I expected and with the European trip it was everything I didn’t expect it to be.

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Urqhart Castle

Q: Do you have any advice for people going on the trip in the future?

Fernando: Go for it!!! Never set yourself up for a no. For some people, it’s a trip of a lifetime and something they wouldn’t be able to do outside of school. This is something that you do even if you have to take out a loan, that’s what I did. Watch different YouTube videos on how to pack. I know I watched at least five!

If you have that type of energy where you want to learn and you want to take it all in, then I would say just go for it. But if you’re one of those that just want to keep themselves then I would say to just stay home and save your money.

Lindsey: Make sure you clarify about pricing when you got out to dinner and carry cash with you when you’re going out to dinner with a large crowd.  Also, they don’t drink a lot of water. So be prepared to not have as much access to water.

Q: What were the memorable moments or big take-aways from the trip?

Fernando: The friendships that I made from this trip, are going to be people that I see for the rest of my life. Memories with them are something to remember. For example, one night we had dinner on a boat that travelled the river that surrounds the Eiffel Tower and that was a moment to remember. A funny memory I have is when we were on the train from Paris to London and the train made a sudden stop and we had to switch. We were literally riding between moving cars with twenty other people. It was a fun mess and just an experience that I remember.

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Catedrale Notre-Dame

Lindsey: It’s going to be really good for my career because I eventually want to start my own business and I am interested in the luxury side of fashion. French couture is the heart and soul of luxury fashion design.

But the first day we were in Paris, we were the last group up the elevator and they had to go to the Eiffel Tower. My roommate and I were left and we had to catch the metro. Well I had never even ridden the subway in New York before, so I had no idea how to do it. So, we are by ourselves trying to navigate to the Eiffel Tower in Paris for the first and we ended up asking a police officer for directions. By a miracle, we got there. There are a lot of learning experiences like that when you go because Dr. Strubel doesn’t baby you. It helps you grow up really fast. If you aren’t at that maturity level and you aren’t willing to be independent and take initiative, it’s very hard when you get lost. You have to be resourceful because you can’t just pick up the phone and call someone. A lot of times you just needed to end up where you were supposed to be.

The European Study Tour is a unique experience that Lindsey and Fernando will cherish forever. Their love for fashion grew as they traveled around Europe in search for new fashion trends and resume worthy internships. Whether you’ll find your favorite place to be Paris, Scotland, or London, this tour could be your chance to broaden your horizon and build your network!

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Napolean’s Apartment in Paris

To see more from these two, follow Fernando @@iamfernandozamarripa and Lindsey @Lindseylotze on Instagram!

Words by Rikki Willingham

Images courtesy of Lindsey and Fernando during their trip

Edit by Reilly Farris, Carolina Gonzalez, and Maia Wilson

MEAN GREEN IN THE BIG APPLE

The NY Study Tour Experience

 

The New York study tour is one of the most popular trips. Four girls, Marissa Williams (Junior Merchandising and Digital Retail Major), Mindy Le (Hospitality, Merchandising, & Digital Retailing), Sarah Muller (Junior Merchandising and Digital Retail), and Taelor Burke (Senior DIgital Retailing Major), give us an inside look on what it’s like to experience the tour. As I walked in to meet them for the group interview, I could immediately tell that they were all super excited to see each other once again. Their experiences are all unique and the tour definitely impacted their college experience.

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Why did you choose New York for your study abroad experience?

Sarah: I am actually from New Jersey, so when I graduate I would really like to go back home and live in New Jersey and work in Manhattan, so I thought that going to New York would be the best experience for me to see what kind of jobs are available close to home.  

Marissa: I thought it was a stepping stone. You go on the NY study tour and that leads to other tours you could also do. Also, at the same time you get to make contacts with people and network with them on LinkedIn. That brings out more job opportunities and internships later on.

Taelor: I for one, just love New York and I really wanted to get out of Texas. I wanted to see what was outside of Texas. With New York being one of the top fashion places, there is a lot of merchandising there, but digital retail too. I just thought it would be a great opportunity to network and see how they work everyday instead of just reading online. It’s different being there and seeing everything.

Mindy: I think it was just a great opportunity to see what the companies were like and be able to visit their offices. I wanted to see their working environments and listen to them talk about the environments. It’s a really unique opportunity to experience. Visiting the fashion companies is just something you don’t get to do everyday. Since I am also a hospitality major I just love travel.

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What companies did you guys get to visit?

The group visited so many companies: Kohl’s, Ross, Tory Burch, Macy’s, Saks, Tri-Coastal Designs, Global Brands, Parsons, Bonobos, and Arvato.

Sarah: I really remember Bonobos and Macy’s because they were the best.

Marissa: And Kohl’s!

All: Kohl’s was so amazing!

Marissa: You don’t realize how big these companies are until you actually go there. You don’t know some of these companies, but then you go in and realize who they manufacture to. You find out what products they produce for other people. I saw some of the gifts that they gave us in the store.

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What was your typical day like in the city?

Sarah: What you do is you go to these companies and you start off at 9 a.m. and by like 3 p.m. you are finished. After that it’s just up to you to explore and find what you want to do.

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Prior to the trip, what were you most excited about?

Taelor: Tory Burch! I was really excited about actually going to New York and staying there. I’ve only been a couple times, but they have both been one or two days. It was nice to actually stay there. It felt like an actual teaser of what it would be like if I did live there.

Marissa: We got to do so much there. You could literally walk out and say what doI want to do today? We had so many options which was the best part.

Sarah: I was just really excited to see NYC from a retail perspective. I’ve been to NY many times, but I see the same things over and over again. I was just excited to see it from a perspective that I was interested in.

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How did you prepare for your trip to the Big Apple?

Taelor: I made sure that my LinkedIn account looked great. I would get the professionals’ emails and reach out to them that way. I just really wanted to be prepared before going.  

Marissa: I didn’t and I really wish I did.

Taelor: Making sure that you prepare your outfits is important because you not only had to pack business attire, but you had to pack enough clothing for all the different activities and the environment.

Sarah: Pack Comfortable shoes!

Mindy Le: I had the smallest suitcase, but I was the most comfortable.

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What was your goal for the trip?

Taelor: Learn lots! Play lots!

Sarah: I kind of just wanted to see what was out there professional wise because there so much in New York. You could be a buyer or a planner, but then there is a billion and one other jobs that you didn’t know existed until you got there.

Taelor: My goal was just to network and see what the companies do on a daily basis. It’s totally different from reading a job description, it seems boring. When you’re there and they talk about it you realize that it actually seems fun.

Marissa: I’d say the same thing about Networking but also seeing what they do and not just hearing about it in our classes. We hear about the different job opportunities in class, but then when we are there watching them, seeing their offices, seeing where they work— it’s different.

Mindy: I was looking forward to understanding the different companies cultures and their procedures they go through to do whatever job they are doing. Like at Tory Burch they gave us a whole packet of their entire product development process. That was really cool to look at.

Sarah: We got to play with their beautiful product that hasn’t even come out yet.

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Any advice for people going on upcoming New York trip?

Sarah: Join Merchandising Inc and participate in the activities such as TMS, so that you can apply for study tour awards

Taelor: Be open to making new friends and be open minded about things. Especially food!

Mindy: Bring an umbrella.

Marissa: Don’t take it too seriously. You take it serious to a point, but if you’re all work work work you’re not going to go out and see things. You’re not gonna go and have fun and it’s a part of the trip.  

Sarah: That’s equally as important as your business trips, getting to experience the culture.

Marissa: For me even the business appointments were fun. They were awesome!

The group really appreciated the chance to visit NYC and are looking forward to potentially living there one day, or even just going back to visit. They learned a lot about the different possibilities for careers in fashion and how to network with different professionals and companies. Plus, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity they don’t and will not regret!

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To see their past NY adventures, follow Marissa Williams (marissa_williams25 ), Sarah Muller(sarahmullerxo), Mindy Le (@themindyle), and Taelar Burke(@taelorburke) on Instagram and see photos below.

Words by Rikki Willingham

Edits by Taylar Gomez, Carolina Gonzalez, and Maia Wilson

All photos taken from the NY study tour trip