Aggies Take NY Fashion Week

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Aggies Isabella Verduzco, Lexi Trucco and Julliet Hill take a bite of the Big Apple at New York Fashion Week.
Aggies Isabella Verduzco, Lexi Trucco and Julliet Hill take a bite of the Big Apple at New York Fashion Week. / Andrew Bourland

With so many exciting experiences at UC Davis, it is rare for us to find a path Aggies have not taken. But for the first time ever, three Aggies attended New York Fashion Week (NYFW) through a partnership with the leading collegiate trademark licensing company, CLC, and fashion show leader IMG. On this U of NYFW trip, our Aggies attended runway shows, enjoyed a private breakfast with jewelry designer Kyle Garcia, and attended panel discussions with industry professionals. And now, they are going to tell you about the experience themselves.
 

Isabella Verduzco standing in Times Square
Isabella Verduzco standing in Times Square/Andrew Bourland

Isabella Verduzco (She/her/hers)

“I’m a fourth-year double-majoring in design and communication with the goal of pursuing a career in marketing and branding after graduating this spring! I’m from Stockton, California.”

 

Lexi Trucco Standing in Times Square
Lexi Trucco Standing in Times Square/Andrew Bourland

Lexi Trucco (She/her/hers)

“I’m a third-year communication major with a minor in technology management, planning to pursue a career in marketing when I graduate. I am currently a marketing intern with UC Davis. I’m from San Ramon, California, and I also play on the women’s soccer team at UC Davis.”

Julliet Hill Standing in Times Square
Julliet Hill Standing in Times Square/Andrew Bourland

Julliet Hill (She/her/hers)

“I am a third-year communication major from Fairfield, California. I’m part of the UC Davis cheer team and STREAM, the UC Davis student-led social media team. I am interested in the business side of the fashion and entertainment industry.”

 

Passion For Fashion

“Since I was little, I have always been obsessed with fashion. From dressing up with my sister, to picking out outfits every day for high school, and now to learning about the industry more in-depth, fashion has always been something I have been passionate about. I had always told myself, with a passion for fashion and sports, that I wanted to work in the business side of one of these domains. Now with my role as a marketing intern and the experience at New York Fashion Week, I have definitely become very interested in marketing and branding within the fashion industry.” ―Lexi Trucco

“I have always had a love for fashion and the way it acts as a form of artistic expression that is accessible to anyone. The thing that I love about it is that fashion does not need to be expensive to work, it just needs to make sense to the person wearing the garments. Since I can remember, I always wanted to work in a creative field like fashion and design that involved curation and innovation. However, it wasn’t until I started taking design courses related to branding and visual messaging that I became aware that a career in the fashion or branding industry was feasible for me to pursue.” ―Isabella Verduzco

 

New York, New Opportunities

“I got involved with the NYFW program through my social media internship with Strategic Communications at UC Davis. Early on in my internship, my managers asked if there was anything they should know about us, and I let them know about my desire to work in fashion post-graduation. From then on they made sure I was connected with alumni and others that had worked in the industry. When this opportunity arose, they offered me the chance to go to continue my networking and get that first-hand experience.

Julliet Hill going to explore New York.
Julliet Hill going to explore New York./Isabella Verduzco.

“When I was first asked about this, I was honestly speechless. Never in my life did I think I would be able to accomplish such a large-scale goal of mine, let alone this early in my career. Going into the trip, I had my nerves about different things: who I was going to meet or if I was going to be asked anything I wouldn’t know. But more than anything, I was excited. I didn’t know exactly what I would be doing while I was there, but I was sure it was going to be life-changing and provide me with once in a lifetime opportunities.” ―Julliet Hill

 

Biting Into The Big Apple

“The highlight of this trip for me was the fashion show we attended on our third day. We saw designer Son Jung Wan and it was one of the most transformative experiences of my life. I’ve never been to a fashion show and for this to be my first I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. As the show started the lights dropped and music began to blast through the speakers. As the models came out I was completely immersed. The designs coupled with the music and the architecture of the room were all indescribable. The show was only about eight minutes, but it was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. That was the moment that solidified my desire to be a part of this world.” ―Julliet Hill

Isabella Verduzco staring at the New York skyline.
Isabella Verduzco staring at the New York skyline./Julliet Hill.

“One important thing that happened on the trip was being able to actually sit and watch a fashion show. I had chills the entire time, and this experience really proved to me how passionate I am about fashion, and how eager I now am to pursue a career that would allow me to work closely with high-fashion brands. I felt so immersed in art and the community during the show. I couldn’t believe that I, a UC Davis student, was sitting and watching this couple of minutes of beautiful clothes, modeling and production that Son Jung Wan had produced! It was a feeling I will never forget, and something I am dying to experience again in the future. 

Another important thing that happened was getting to go to sponsorship activations within the fashion show. As someone interested in marketing, it was a very rewarding learning experience to see their marketing in action. Lovesac was a sponsor of NYFW, and we talked with a representative about their ideas to successfully promote Lovesac while keeping with the theme of fashion week. With many sponsors such as UPS and Perrier in addition to Lovesac, it was so special to get a deeper dive by looking at them through a lens of understanding marketing strategies.

A model struts down the runway wearing Son Jung Wan.
A model struts down the runway wearing Son Jung Wan./Julliet Hill

Lastly, we got the opportunity to go to Kyle Garcia’s apartment and talk with her, as well as an editor at Sports Illustrated and others, about the realities of what it takes to be successful within the fashion and the sports industries. This talk really opened my eyes to the steps I need to take as an undergraduate student to position myself for future success. I learned the importance of networking, internships and learning opportunities, and how to make yourself stand out in a pool of other potential candidates for a job. Not only was it amazing to be in a beautiful, modern apartment in SoHo (that is my DREAM), but to be empowered by a group of successful women was an extremely special experience.” ―Lexi Trucco

 

Building Skills in Real-Time

“As a design major, a big portion of my courses are project-based with real-world applications that require you to be fully involved in the curation and creation process. Similar to my project-based learning at UC Davis, I approached the trip as an experiential learning opportunity to gain the most from my visit to New York. With this I found myself networking with people, asking questions and becoming immersed in a professional environment that reflected what I will be encountering in the future. With the number of professionals we met in our field, I was using my networking skills so frequently during the trip that by the end of the weekend I became less conscious of when I was putting them into use!” ―Isabella Verduzco

U of NYFW Participants Pose Outside the UPS X NYFW Event
U of NYFW Participants Pose Outside the UPS X NYFW Event/Andrew Bourland

“A valuable part of this experience was the ability to network with so many people, from the other students that were chosen to be a part of U of NYFW, to our hosts with CLC and the employees of IMG fashion. I felt that being a communication major had helped me develop strong communication skills over the last couple of years, which prepared me to be comfortable with introducing myself and facilitating conversations with everyone that I came in contact with on the trip. Throughout this trip, I worked on being comfortable with introductions, small talk and trying to build a more personal connection with strangers. After being in a quarantine lifestyle for so long, and virtually meeting and interviewing with professionals, it was both a scary and extremely rewarding experience getting to shake someone’s hand, look them in the eye and ask them questions about their career and how they got to where they are at now.” ―Lexi Trucco

 

Catwalking into the Future

 

“As a first-generation child of immigrants, it can be easy at times to fall victim to imposter syndrome and question if I am qualified to be where I am or if I’m dreaming too big. However, this trip shut down all of those doubts.

sabella, Julliet and Lexi return from their experience with renewed inspiration and fervor.
Isabella, Julliet and Lexi return from their experience with renewed inspiration and fervor./Andrew Bourland

It reminded me that nothing is unattainable with the right amount of work and persistence. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would attend NYFW and sit in the second row of a fashion show; it was a scene straight out of a movie. Even as I boarded my plane to NYC, I couldn’t fathom my reality. Nonetheless, there I was seated at an NYFW show and meeting people working in the fashion industry I have always sought to enter. No words can explain how monumental this trip was in reaffirming my career aspirations to work in marketing and branding within the fashion industry.” ―Isabella Verduzco

“This trip meant everything to me, and it truly felt like I was living a dream. Going to New York, getting to be in a beautiful apartment in Soho, sitting down in a fashion show, getting a tour of Spring Studios, a walk through the Dior exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum and more. It doesn’t get much better than this, and I am so unbelievably grateful to have been chosen to experience it. I came back with a drive to continue to develop professionally and put what I learned on the trip into action.” ―Lexi Trucco

“This trip was the physical manifestation of one of my ultimate goals. For anyone interested in fashion, NYFW is most likely high up on your list of to-do’s, and most people probably assume it is an unrealistic goal just like I did. To be chosen to represent my school was an indescribable feeling, just like the entire trip. I was constantly in awe of where I was and what I was doing. It also gave me the reassurance that I have been doing something right. As much as those around you tell you you’re doing a good job, being rewarded with opportunities like this just really makes your accomplishments feel like they're being acknowledged.” ―Julliet Hill

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