Here at Northeastern there are hundreds of great student organizations to get involved in! We want to highlight some organizations that you may not know, so we’re interviewing members of student organizations to learn a little bit about them and what their club is about. Tune in every other week for a new post from The Club Chronicle!
The Club Chronicle Interview #3: Fashion & Retail Society
Interview conducted on January 29th, 2019
Can you tell me a bit about yourself and what your position is in the Fashion & Retail Society?
I’m Josh Levanos, I’m co-president along with Aneri Shah. I’m a 4th year business major with a marketing concentration, and my minor is global fashion studies.
That’s interesting, I didn’t know we had a global fashion studies minor.
It’s pretty new. I came here Spring 2017, and Spring 2016 was the first year it was a minor. I dropped a psych minor transferring here so I could pick up global fashion studies because that’s where my passion is.
Can you summarize what your club does here on campus?
The Fashion & Retail Society is hard to sum up in a couple sentences. We’ll bring in people from TJX and have them talk about Co-ops, and we’ll bring in people from fashion stores and talk about sustainability. We’re centered around growing the Northeastern community that’s interested in fashion. They don’t need a to have their own clothing line, but maybe they have a cool shirt and want to learn about the culture of what went into making it. It’s the industry side of things, that’s our focus. That all kind of culminates in the larger scale events we do. In the fall we have a student designer showcase. That’s something I was an influential part of starting 2 Falls ago. That was something I was super passionate about, and I felt like we needed an event in the Fall. We hosted it in Afterhours first and this past Fall we had it in the Curry Ballroom. We had student designers come, myself included, and talk about their brands, how they started, and how they network. In the spring we have our fashion show, which is our really big event. We form committees that are all made up of students. We all get together and put on a show for 200-350 people. This year it’s in the Curry Ballroom. It’s a big production, we’ll work with stores all around Boston that will donate clothes and help us out. Local and student designers can participate if they have pieces they want to include. It’s a blast for sure. So in summary, the club is focused on the fashion industry and involving the Northeastern community and making them aware of wheat goes on in the bigger fashion community.
What other kinds of events do you put on?
The ones I just highlighted are our bigger events. We’ll rent a space for them and make it more of like an event. We bring in TJX, which is one of the most popular co-ops, and the hiring manager will talk about what they look for. Past co-ops and current co-ops will come in and talk about their experiences there. We dedicate a whole meeting just for TJX. We get a good attendance, we have a good relationship with them. It’s something people are interested in. We try to host interesting panels and have discussions in for students who didn’t know there was a fashion scene on campus to discover that through us.
Models at the Fashion & Retail Society’s Right on Hue Fashion Show in spring 2017.
How do you normally advertise these events?
Josh: Definitely Facebook and Instagram. EBoard shares the Facebook events and invites people. For the fashion show and designer showcase we get a budget so we’ll put up flyers. Especially for the fashion show, it’s a ticketed event so we’ll start marketing a least 2 weeks in events to make sure people get their tickets and get it on their calendar. For the past 4 springs we’ve sold out our show and we want to keep doing that. It’s something super important to us. Like most clubs we also utilize our email marketing on top of social media marketing.
What are your Facebook and Instagram handles?
On Facebook it’s Fashion & Retail society and on Instagram its @neu fashion.
What is your favorite event you’ve done?
I’m a little biased. I love the student designer showcase because I’m a student designer, I’ve had a brand for a few years, it’s called Drip Drop Apparel. It’s always fun to get on stage and talk about it. I love answering questions around it and informing people and plugging myself. Honestly, being a part of the actual fashion show too, it’s such a rewarding experience to see it come together. There’s so much hard work that goes into it. This year Aneri and I will be producing and emceeing it so that will be a really good experience and I’m looking forward is. It’s coming up on March 13th from 6-8pm.
What is your favorite part about your club?
When I transferred here I made some friends, but I knew I wanted to get involved with the fashion community. I felt like this was a great way to get to meet new people that could appreciate the things that I liked outside of my academic work and to be able to network. I’ve met a lot of other student designers through the club. It’s been a good place for me to meet new people, that’s why I went there in the beginning, and I ended up getting very involved. My second and third semesters in the club I was on Eboard and now I’m co-president. It’s cool to see the upward mobility, we love to see people who are dedicated to the club.
How long has your club been around for?
I do know that the fashion club wasn’t always called the Fashion & Retail Society, it was called Hautfashion or something like that. The club itself has been around for awhile, it used to be part of the Avenue but then they split ways in 2015-ish. So I’d say the Fashion & Retail Society has been around since 2015.
How can students get involved?
All of our meetings are open, we don’t take attendance because of the variety of meetings we put on. We know some people will be more interested in some meetings than others. I imagine some upperclassmen who have done their co-ops already won’t attend meetings about getting co-ops at TJX. We have a really active group of attendees that will email us or Facebook message us and say that they can’t come to this meeting, and they just want to make sure that they can come to the next one. It’s remarkable to see the people who want to stay involved. Our active members are incredible. People can also get involved in the fashion show through our committees. We want people to make the fashion show something they’re proud of. They can put it on their resume, I put it on my resume. You can get involved in the fashion show in a lot of ways, there’s the committees or modeling or photographing. If you have a portfolio you can send it in to us, our email is firstname.lastname@example.org .
When do you meet?
We meet every Tuesday from 6-7pm in West Village G Room 108.
About how many students are involved in your club?
It’s hard to say, the first few meetings are the biggest. Every meeting gets between 45-50 people I would guess. For the past two meetings, the first was close to 65 attendees and the second was close to 50.
Event announcement for shopping event at Madewell
What’s one thing you wished people knew about the Fashion & Retail Society?
I wish people knew that you don’t have to be someone whose life revolves around fashion to be interested in the club because of the diversity of events and meetings we put on. That diversity is definitely something we’re looking to increase in the future. Everyone needs to buy clothes and shop. We have events outside of our Tuesday meetings, we have had sponsored events at stores like Madewell where they gave students discounts and we had drinks and snacks. The attendees didn’t have to be a returning member. I tell people that all the time you don’t have to be the most fashionable person to come. If you want a cool co-op come to our meetings to learn about TJX, if you’re interested in sustainability last semester we had a meeting about sustainability in fashion. Fashion is like the least sustainable industry, but there are a lot of people in the New England community interested in making fashion sustainable. You can also just meet cool people here.