Designers, sewers and fashion aficionados emerge and evolve at GCC

By on March 20, 2017

Opportunities for beginners and arising entrepreneurs alike

Stripes or floral? Blue or neon? Ruffles or ties? Khaki or rock and rave? If one Googles “fashion trends for 2017,” these are among the options and topics in the top tier of the 115 million internet hits. With such diversity and so many options and outlets, how does one enter the fashion industry, which last year had a market value $343 billion in the United States alone. Come to Genesee Community College, that’s how.

Fashion is one of GCC’s signature programs, and it now offers four fashion industry degrees: Fashion Merchandising Management AAS; Fashion Business AAS with a concentration in E-Commerce; Fashion Business AAS with a concentration in Event Planning; and Fashion Design AAS.

All four programs are part of the Business and Commerce division. Students from all programs gain extensive hands-on experience including the opportunity to work closely with professors who are well-regarded experts in their respective fields. They also help create the professionally produced annual fashion show, coming up on its 36th year next month.

The newest program is Fashion Design, taught by Professor Donna Ehrhart, who has taught computer, business, marketing and now Fashion Design courses at GCC for 28 years. Students learn the fundamentals of apparel construction, design and draping, as well as fashion industry technology and illustration. And because most classes at GCC generally have 20 students or less, the one-on-one interaction between the professor and student is second to none.

Any young person, ages 9 to 19, interested in sewing and wants to explore the fashion industry, from design to merchandising, should sign up for the Learn to Sew courses offered this summer. Two separate, one-week, Monday through Thursday sessions are scheduled: July 10 through 14, from 8 to 11:30 a.m. at GCC’s Lima Campus Center (7285 Gale Road/Route 15A), or July 17 through 20, from 8 to 11:30 a.m. at the Batavia Campus. The fee is $249 and includes all materials and equipment for making a pair of pajamas.

Perhaps the best way to appreciate GCC’s Fashion Business programs is by attending the 36th annual Fashion Show entitled “Elysium,” a Greek term that implies an imagery place or state of perfection, happiness and sometimes interpreted as heaven. Two complete shows are scheduled on Saturday, April 29 at 3 and 7 p.m. Advance $5 tickets are strongly encouraged by calling 345-6830. Tickets at the door cost $7.

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