UT senior Ashley Sullivan had a taste of the Big Apple during New York Fashion Week.
Sullivan, a senior studying retail and consumer sciences in UT’s College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences, immersed herself in the weeklong event thanks to an opportunity she received through IMG College Licensing and her internship at UT’s Office of Trademark Licensing.
“It was an unforgettable experience,” Sullivan said. “Fashion Week is such an exclusive event. I never in a million years dreamed that I would be there.”
While in New York, Sullivan had the opportunity to attend two runway shows: Concept Korea and Amelia Wang.
“Being able to sit there in the room with people’s favorite celebrities and watching those models come down the runway was amazing,” Sullivan said. “Everyone was so nice. People wanted you to ask questions. It wasn’t like The Devil Wears Pradaat all.
“I remember being a kid and looking at all the cool models in the high couture fashion magazines. I was living out my childhood dream.”
Fashion juggernauts such as the late Karl Lagerfeld, creative director of Chanel and Fendi, influenced Sullivan.
“His work with Chanel is one of the reasons I fell in love with fashion,” Sullivan said. “He will continue to inspire generations to come with his creativity and passion.”
When Sullivan wasn’t attending shows or watching backstage preparations, she spent time touring stores and speaking with retail executives and designers about their work.
“We went to panels called the Talks, where designers and stylists sat down and talked about their purpose and why they chose this,” Sullivan said.
Altogether, her experience in New York helped Sullivan return to UT with a new perspective and a new vision for a future working in fashion.
“This experience has completely molded my path for the future, and I can’t wait to go back to NYFW again in the very near future,” Sullivan said.
A native of Shelbyville, Tennessee, Sullivan is a member of the National Retail Federation Student Association, a Rocky Top Institute Fellowship student, and a student member on the Vol Shop advisory board. After graduating this spring, she will work at Francesca’s corporate office as an assistant buyer.
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