Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Design Contest! Fun!

Read this fun information, and ENTER the contest!

Party City, America’s largest party specialty and Halloween retailer, just launched the “Dress to Thrill” costume design contest inviting consumers to submit designs for the chance to have their winning costume mass-produced and sold on Party City's Web site and in its more than 600 retail stores during the 2010 Halloween season.

This is a really exciting opportunity for up-and-coming designers. The designs can be scary, flirty, fairytale or whatever inspires the designer – the possibilities are endless as long as the costume designs are original.

The contest is open now and all entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. ET, Friday, Oct. 23, 2009. To enter, consumers take original photos depicting their costume designs and submit them online at All photos must be entered during the promotion period and must contain only one original design each. However, there is not a limit to the number of original Halloween costume photo entries one entrant can make.

All designs are open for public viewing and consumers are encouraged to vote for the winning costume at based on the following equally weighted criteria:
1) Costume’s Halloween appeal
2) Suitability for manufacturing and broad consumer appeal
3) Costume’s overall appearance.

Consumers may visit the voting site one time per day and cast up to five votes per visit on a single photo entry or on five separate entries. Please visit to view all contest rules and regulations and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Many thanks,
Dustin LeBoeuf
Dustin LeBoeuf

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Howdy Folks! A few fun tidbits of info...

This year, the State Fair of Texas marketing deparment has gone to GREAT lengths to brand this annual event. You can now purchase a "human size" version of the western shirt that Big Texas proudly wears. The pricetag? $30.00. Read more at:

Big Tex Fashion

On a more serious (i.e. sophisticated) note:
You can meet celebrity stylist and costume designer Mariel Haenn. Click on the invitation below for more information.

Meet the Designers and volunteer as a DRESSER!

Many you will either need to work events for course credit or will be able to earn extra credit for working events. We will provide a list of volunteers to your instructors, so that you will receive the appropriate credit!

Remember, if you want to work as a stylist or in visuals (or even as a professional dresser), this experience is non-negotiable. Alumni are welcome to apply to work events, as well.

If you are interested, you must...
1. Have dressed at a fashion show in the past.
2. Provide a resume to Career Services.
3. Provide your full name, student ID, and an email address that you check daily.
4. Indicate which event(s) you are committing to work.

Send your information to Julie at

Neiman Marcus at NorthPark is seeking female dressers for several events (only female models will be featured). Certain events may also allow for male volunteers.

EVENT: Eileen Fisher
DATE: Saturday, September 26
CHECK-IN: Executive Office, Level Three w/ PR
Dressers: 3

EVENT: Anne Klein Personal Appearance
DATE: Wednesday, October 7
CHECK-IN: Executive Office, Level Three w/ PR
Dressers: 4

EVENT: Kay Unger Personal Appearance
DATE: Thursday, October 15
CHECK-IN: Executive Office, Level Three w/ PR
Dressers: 2
NOTE: Because this event has a charity component, extra assistants may be needed...Male volunteers may be welcome.

EVENT: Nicole Miller Personal Appearance
DATE: Thursday, October 22
CHECK-IN: Executive Office, Level Three w/ PR
Dressers: 2
NOTE: Because this event has a charity component, extra assistants may be needed... Male volunteers may be welcome.

Monday, September 21, 2009

RSVP by Tomorrow!

Make Thursday your FASHION DAY!
Before heading over to the Quarterly Fashion Show (at Richardson Civic Center - 411 Arapaho) - plan to attend this amazing event:

Neiman Marcus at Northpark and Capera Ryan Invite YOU to meet Kimberly Ovitz! Thursday, September 24 in Contemporary Sportswear (Level 2). 5:00pm to 7:00pm (which allows you to jet over to the Fashion Show for some runway magic)!

Click the invitation below for full details:

Monday, September 14, 2009

Portfolio Show and Fashion Show

Our Portfolio Show and Fashion Show are coming up! (click on image above to view invitation)

This quarter's collections are proving to be incredibly unique. For example, Katie Newell will be presenting a 100% organic, eco-friendly and sustainable collection, the first-ever of its kind at ANY of The Art Institute Campuses. Also, Sherie Johnson has designed edgy (and adorable) footwear to coordinate with her runway fashions. Katie and Sherie are joined by their equally talented and imaginative classmates, and you won't want to miss their beautifully constructed and inspired designs.

Likewise, the Portfolio Show will feature graduating seniors who are serious about standing-out. Come see a funky super-hero inspired line by Sean Charles, and take a walk through the streets of London with Kory Johnson. Frankly, each portfolio that is being presented is unique and thoughtful, and the designers are ready to walk you through it!

Thursday, September 24
6:00pm to 7:00pm (Portfolio Show)
7:00pm to ? (Fashion Show)
Richardson Civic Center
411 Arapaho

Below are some photos from our Winter 2009 Portfolio Show:

Yasmina Johnston with her incredibly artistic display...

A shot of Sarah McLaughlin's exquisite bridal-inspired display:

Michelle Brown, currently working as an Assistant Designer with Cooper by Courtney.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tonight! You are invited...

Fashion's Night Out at Neiman Marcus (at Northpark Center) is going to be an amazing event, and you are invited to attend! For details, click on each of the invitation below. The event is multi-faceted, so really read the information...

Have fun!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Need a job?

This morning, I made a few calls to the Human Resources departments and Managment teams at a few local retailers.... just wanted to see if there are any jobs out there.

I found that EVERY retailer I called has immediate openings. I plan to make more calls this afternoon, and you should too!

In our Park Lane Development:
Lane Bryant. Part time sales. $7.50 to $10.00 per hour.
Off 5th. All positions.
Nordstrom Rack. Part time sales.

NorthPark Center:
Banana Republic. Sales Associates, Sales Support, and Stock Positions. $8.00 to $9.00 for entry-level. Bonuses and Incentives and negotiable pay.
Gymboree. Sales Lead.

The moral of this story? There are JOBS out there! Here are a few tips:
1. Make a "cheat sheet" that includes the addresses and phone numbers of previous employers, as well as the correct spelling of managers' names. Also, note your prior pay rates. You'll be asked this information on EVERY application, and a cheat sheet will make the process easier.
2. Apply in-person whenever possible.
3. Dress PROFESSIONALLY to apply.
4. Ask to see a manager when you apply.
5. Follow up on your application within 48 hours of applying. Ask for an interview! Be enthusiastic and friendly.

Come see Career Services if you have questions or need help, and check our job board frequently!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fashion's Night Out

Julie Janik in Career Services is still seeking 2-3 volunteers to work at the NM Fashion's Night Out event at Northpark. Even if you don't want to volunteer - GO TO THE EVENT! This is an event "designed to promote retail, restore consumer confidence and celebrate fashion!"

If you want to volunteer to work the event, and you have prior dressing experience, email Details are below:

Fashion's Night Out Festivities
September 10, 2009
Neiman Marcus NorthPark will host a full range of in-store events in conjunction with the international VOGUE initiative "Fashion's Night Out" which is designed to promote retail, restore consumer confidence and celebrate fashion! Some of the festivities presented by Neiman Marcus are as follows:

See the life-size version of FASHION RULES™, the world's very first fashion board game, located in front of the fountain in Neiman Marcus Court, 6-10pm.

Meet Matt Tyrnauer, Director of "Valentino: The Last Emperor" as he signs the DVD release of the film in Designer Sportwear on Level Three.

Fall fashion is red hot! View the must-haves of the season as Neiman Marcus and Tammy Theis, Stylist and President/Creative Director of Wallflower Management, present the latest trends, beginning at 6:30 pm in Ladies Shoes on Level Two.

With any regular price denim purchase in Contemporary Sportswear, get your own personal sketch from "The Original Butt Sketch" artist, in Contemporary Sportswear on Level One.

Please contact Neiman Marcus NorthPark at 214.363.8311 for more information on these exciting events.

And on other note... If you are looking for something fun to do, check out the Northpark Calendar of in-store events. Most of these events are free. MAKE IT YOUR MISSION to leave every event with a business card from a new "industry friend." Build your network, and have fun at the same time!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Advice from Sr. Director of Sales at Donna Karan...

As you all know, Donna Karan was at Neiman Marcus on Tuesday, August 25. Senior Director of Sales, Felita Harris, thoroughly explained Donna's System of Dressing, which honors the power of the woman. The pieces are beautiful and timeless, and we loved the skirt with a twist-in-the-back (look for it...).

Felita Harris (left), Donna Karan Sr. Director of Sales discusses Donna's System of Dressing

(photo credit: Jason Janik)

Felita, who has been with Donna Karan for six years and was recruited by a former president of DK, is a wealth-of-knowledge, and she was happy to demystify the how-to's of breaking into the fashion industry:

Did you work while you were in college? Yes - in Retail Management.

How important is prior retail/wholesale experience to Donna Karan?

Is prior experience important when applying to ALL entry-level positions with designers?
Yes, nothing like experience!

What is the best way to network and meet new people?
Consider everyone you meet a "contact".. You never know who will or could refer you to future jobs. Stick with the task at hand.. If you put pride in your current job, people will notice and you will get promoted.

I know you travel a lot with your job.what are the (3) Can’t-leave-home-without-it things you ALWAYS pack for every business trip?
Makeup, under garments, jersey from Donna karan.

What fashion-related blog/website/publication do you read every day?

Final piece of advice for students seeking their degrees in Fashion Design and Fashion & Retail Management:
*Most careers in fashion are not glamorous.. Be willing to assist in whatever capacity you're needed. Think outside the box and be ready when the "ball" is tossed to your court...
*Never dismiss anyone based on their current job position. You never know where people will end up...
*Strive to work harder than the person you report to. Behind every great manager is an amazing support team...
*Always start with the company's "style" preference.. You can always incorporate pieces of your personal style. Just remember that companies are looking for people who wear THEIR clothes well...
*Be FRIENDLY AND EASY TO WORK WITH. Most people spend more time at work than they do at home. If it doesn't feel like work then you're in the right place..

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Day in the Life...

After working on the retail sales floor and in the visuals department at Urban Outfitters for almost the entire duration of her education, Ai Dallas graduate, Sarah Greenhaw accepted a management-level position in Visuals in October 2008. She was part of the team to open the new Urban store in San Antonio, which is located in an upscale outdoor shopping center (similar to Northpark Center).

Sarah manages a visual team which includes a display artist and a merchandising team lead. Her team works Monday through Friday, 7 am to 3 pm, and Sarah works anywhere 6 am-5 pm on a typical day, depending on the tasks at hand. Sarah says, "It's a lot of hard work, and I have to do a lot of not-so-girly stuff, like drilling, painting and moving fixtures, along with all the fun, like changing forms and setting tables. But that's pretty typical for a merchandiser. I love it and am hoping to keep moving around the country to different stores whenever any opportunities come up."

Sarah provided a hour-by-hour recap of a typical day. Think it's GLAMOROUS to be in visuals? Here's A Day-in-the-Life of Visual Merchandiser, Sarah Greenhaw...
6:00 am: Wake up to alarm.
6:40 am: Head to nearest Starbucks for a Chai tea.
7:00 am: Arrive at the store, with my display artist, the receiver, and an opening manager. Climb up those three flights of stairs to the office, put in a couple mix cds so it’s not dead silent in the store before we open.
7:06 am: Go over closing notes and any emails from the previous day. Look over numbers from the previous week to see what sort of moves need to be made today in order to help sales.
7:30 am: Quick touch base with the display artist. Create a to-do list for him: update signage for downstairs walls indicating that men’s and housewares is located upstairs, put new logos in all windows, put a couple mirrors up on the women’s floor, peg out the back of a fixture in women’s for new shipment of fall tights, clean out his display room
7:45 am: Look on the URBN homepage for merchandising callouts or any new markdowns… nothing new today!
7:45 am: Quick walk of the windows, decide to update 5 forms with new merchandise and pull some sale apparel from the window.
9:06 am: Shipment arrives, receiver scans it all in and I begin helping him pull samples. 59 boxes today!
9:20 am: Take a quick granola bar break in the office with opening manager
9:30 am: Print out some shipment placement sheets, grab an RF gun and head downstairs with all the women’s samples for the day.
9:45 am: Before I can finish the placement sheet, it’s already time for morning meeting with the associates who have arrived for the day. Go over previous days numbers, plans for the day. I update everyone on the new promos that will be going up and find out the music requests for the day. Wrap up the meeting and I run upstairs and put in some upbeat music to set the tone for the day, must open the doors at 10 am!
10:07 am: Finish filling out the placement sheet, begin big moves! Lots of new fall styles coming in, separate everything out into the appropriate shops. Decide what will be hung, folded, laid flat, and write it all down on the placement sheet for the managers and associates.
11:00 am: Home office mail pack arrives, open it up and sort out new signage. Put each department managers things into their box and put the new music we received in for the day!
11:10 am: Touch base with manager on things I need to be completed. Spots that need to be filled with new shipment, new moves I’ve made. Show department team lead why I moved some old product around, in order to help numbers.
12:00 pm: Check on display artists’ status for the day. Make a paint color decision for him
12:07 pm: Lunch break, run across the street to the food court to grab some salad and a slice of cheese pizza with the opening manager. A vegetarian diet is hard to live by in a greasy, fast food ridden mall with not many options!
12:18 pm: Eat lunch in the office, near the computer. Go over new e-mails, respond as needed. Sort of a working lunch, since I never get a chance to sit in the office to look at computer stuff on a typical day.
12:50 pm: District merchandiser emails, learn about regional conference call at 2:00 pm our time.
1:10 pm: Head back out onto the floor and update 3 forms with new product. Anthropology calls from across the shopping center… they need to borrow some paper towels to get them through the week! I let them know I’ll run them over before I leave for the day (there’s a dress I’ve been eyeing, so it’s convenient.)
1:57 pm: Call into regional conference calls. Learn about plans for the week, key attributes for the company, new product knowledge.
2:35 pm: Check in with receiver on how much shipment is going out… only about 11 boxes left to be processed. Really good progress, should see a 24 hour turnover.
2:40 pm: First time upstairs in men’s department for the day, quick placement of their new samples. Write it all down on a placement sheet and leave direction for the men’s team lead, who will be coming in at 4 pm. Grab the drill from my desk and put up a couple of faceouts for new shirts.
3:02 pm: Go by display room, and let display artist know it’s time for him to leave for the day. Decide to put off mirrors until tomorrow.
3:08 pm: Head back downstairs with drill (just in case…) to check on everything, finish re-setting front entry table with new branded collaboration received in today’s shipment.
3:40 pm: Get the extension ladder out and update lifestyling on walls with new product. Pull down any recent markdowns. Get down and realize new dress on faceout needs to be moved up about two inches. Grab drill form cash wrap and move faceout. Check one more time, perfect!
3:52 pm: Grab all the pulled merchandise from forms and lifestyling, drop it off in the fitting room and apologize for ditching my mess! Put the shoes back in their appropriate boxes, which takes about 10 minutes longer than necessary since nothing is put back correctly from the weekend.
4:10 pm: Supposed to be off, but need to run to the bank with the opening manger to drop the deposit and go by the UPS store to get postcard stamps. Drop paper towels off at Anthro as well… and scope out the dress.
4: 54 pm: Run back into the store, grab my merchandising binder and purse. Didn’t get a chance to do the numbers for the week in store today, so need to do them at home in order to lead department walk-throughs tomorrow.
5:15 pm: Finally home… only about 30-40 minutes of paperwork to do from home tonight. Make dinner plans with my roommate, the men’s department manager at the store and head out.