By KARIN HADADAN
With a campus located in the fashion capital of the world, amid the craziness that is New York Fashion Week and the Met Gala, it comes as no surprise that many of Fordham College at Lincoln Center’s (FCLC) students have an affinity for fashion. FCLC’s prime location is just blocks away from the world’s leading department stores, a quick subway ride to some of the greatest fashion exhibits, and only steps away from the headquarters of prestigious fashion magazines. It seemed that our campus was in dire need of a club dedicated to this industry and luckily, Fashion for Philanthropy (FFP), Rose Hill’s well-known fashion club, is now officially a part of the Lincoln Center community.
Back in 2009, students at the Rose Hill campus came together to create Fashion for Philanthropy, a club that merges Jesuit ideals with the apparel and textile business to generate funds to donate to different philanthropic organizations. With several events throughout the year, ranging from previewing collections of top-notch designers, such as Jimmy Choo, to their annual spring fashion show, FFP members use their creativity, their connections and their jesuit values. They collaborate with sponsors to raise money to donate to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New York, while also learning more about the world of fashion.
While Fashion for Philanthropy at Rose Hill has been around for almost a decade, Lincoln Center’s fashion presence has significantly grown. FCLC’s popular Fashion Studies minor was added over two years ago. Additionally, the creation of the Fordham Law School served as the first ever Fashion Law Program. With such strong fashion-focused programs at the Manhattan campus, it’s surprising that it wasn’t until the fall of 2016 that FFP made its way to FCLC. Paola Aguayo, FCLC ’17, decided to take matters into her own hands and help bring this association to our campus.
Aguayo, who is extremely familiar with the industry due in part to her internships at luxury designers such as Moschino and Jimmy Choo, used to commute two hours every Monday evening to the meetings that were held at Rose Hill. At those meetings, FFP members would strategize and plan their biggest event, the spring Fashion Show, where different stores would donate their products and Fordham students would model them to raise money. Paola specified, “I loved the club and everything it stood for, but I wasn’t able to do that weekly with my class schedule.” That’s when she got in contact with Holly Young, the Career Services director and the current FFP advisor for Lincoln Center, to create a Manhattan chapter of the club. The motivation behind her actions rested in the fact that she simply didn’t want to take a trip to Rose Hill every week for a club she knew belonged at her home campus. She explained, “I would see girls on the Ram Van who were just like me, passionate about fashion and interested in getting involved with community service, who would say, ‘Ugh! I hate doing this, why don’t we have this at Lincoln Center?’” After a long process filled with paperwork and true dedication, Paola’s goal came to fruition in the fall of 2016.
The biggest appeal of this club to FCLC students lies in the mere fact that it’s an emergence of both fashion and humanitarianism. According to Aguayo, “Besides FLASH Magazine, which is a fashion magazine, we’re the only fashion club. So if you’re interested in excelling in all aspects of this industry and not just the editorial field, it’s the club to join.” She added, “Plus, you get to give back to our community while being affiliated with something that you enjoy.” When asked about its biggest rewards, she affirms that “Having Holly Young as our club advisor is one of the biggest advantages — she knows everyone, is very diligent with helping FFP students and is extremely informative and useful when it comes to career advice.” Not only does this club have its perks for aiding the community, but also for preparing FCLC students for their futures.
Nicole Shapiro, FCLC ’19, joined FFP not only for its philanthropical reasons, but also for networking opportunities with potential hirers. Like Aguayo, Shapiro also praises Young as an excellent advisor and resource. She explained, “Holly has been giving the club really good tips for resume and career building, as well as providing us with fashion contacts.” At FFP, you can give back to your community, learn about the fast paced industry and network to meet the highest and most prestigious employers in New York.
Shapiro was extremely drawn to the long-term benefits that FFP offers. As treasurer of the club, she held a meeting with a discussion on fast-fashion companies such as Zara and H&M using slave labor methods to produce clothing that also heavily pollute the environment. Shapiro uses this club as a gateway to understand how our generation can make the world a better place by being informed and creating better systems that are already in tact. Shapiro’s vision for FFP is to “be versatile in a sense where you can really apply it to many facets of your life, whether it be for your career or philosophy.”
While the Rose Hill campus is more established, with a list of dedicated sponsors located in the Bronx and a history of profitable charity events, FFP at Lincoln Center is “energetic, new and authentic,” according to Ella Hanover, FCLC ’19. Hanover, a fashion and lifestyle YouTube Vlogger, feels that “being based in Manhattan makes the fashion club more relevant.” When FCLC students walk out of the 60th street entrance, they’re instantly immersed in one of the fashion capitals of the world. They’re inspired by the idiosyncratic street style, the never-ending events and the fascinating glamour. It’s clear that Fashion for Philanthropy was bound to have a Manhattan chapter.
Although it is challenging to balance rigorous coursework with demanding internships or jobs, adding a club such as FFP offers truly rewarding experiences. Hanover feels that “FFP can benefit you in any way that you like. If you’re interested in PR, come work with the PR team. If you like marketing, join our club as a marketing team leader.” The versatility of this club is a reward in itself, since you can excel in all fields of fashion and pursue various realms of the industry. For Hanover, FFP benefits her because she “loves being around creative, thoughtful people who are interested in both fashion, art and community service.”
Fashion for Philanthropy is one of the newest clubs at Fordham Lincoln Center, and if you’re intrigued by the fashion industry, humanitarianism and learning how to succeed in such a fast-paced city, this club will teach you everything you need to know. From it’s incredible list of alumni to its versatile history of events, FFP will open many doors for students passionate about fashion. As Aguayo mentioned, “FFP is now located in the greatest city in the world. With more Fordham students, we have so much potential to make it something incredible.”