FAMD Travels to Chicago for FGI Career Day

Central Michigan University's Fashion Association of Merchandising and Design students went to Chicago this past weekend for the yearly Fashion Group International Career Day.

FAMD students in Chicago. (Justine Young | Grand Central Magazine)

Fashion Association of Merchandising and Design students had the chance to meet a successful Central alumna, Lauren Lein Santos, at the yearly Fashion Group International Career Day in Chicago Friday, Nov. 12.

The conference was put on by Fashion Group International, or FGI, and was held at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, 350 W Mart Center Drive, where students spent the day attending workshops and learning from industry professionals.

Lein is a Chicago fashion designer who spoke at the designer panel workshop. Apparel merchandising senior Katie Duffy and apparel merchandising and design junior Daniela Agnello really enjoyed meeting with her.

“She was just really nice and really willing to talk to us. I was impressed,” Duffy said. “It inspired me.”

Agnello also enjoyed talking to Lein after the presentation.

“She seems like a very down-to-earth person,” Agnello said.

Agnello and Duffy were both interested in talking to the alumnus because she succeeded after graduating from Central and has designed her own line.

Susannah Damon, the designer fashions partner of Luxe Life, a consignment luxury goods seller, gave the audience a speech where she talked about her role in the company.

After Damon spoke, participants each chose three workshops to attend. Some of the other workshops included visual merchandising, retail management, fashion lifestyle reporting, costume design, fashion buying, menswear, bridal design and much more.

After the workshops Daryl Sneed and Richard Morse, creator and business partners for the fashion line Kirk James, talked and answered questions for the audience about the contemporary fashion line.

The presentation was followed by a Kirk James fashion show and a student fashion show where the student designs were picked by the FGI board and had the opportunity to win a scholarship.

Central apparel students left early Thursday for the conference and stayed until Saturday afternoon. Duffy said that it was nice to be in a different atmosphere other than Mount Pleasant.

The conference gave her and other students the opportunity to meet new people and gain industry knowledge.

Agnello enjoyed her free time hanging with her “fashion posse” and said that the conference brought people closer with their peers and gave people the opportunity to learn and network.

“It inspires you to think about careers you can have in the fashion field,” Agnello said.