Fashion department wows all with “Fall in Love with Erie”


Sarah Beck, Staff Writer

The visual fashion merchandising event at E. Lane Boutique was a major success. With much preparation and anticipation, the Mercyhurst fashion students presented their “Fall in Love with Erie” lookbook to the community. Within the first fifteen minutes of the event, the boutique was packed with eager friends, family and fashion enthusiasts.

The fashion students who participate in this event are a part of the Mercyhurst Fashion Department’s elective, Visual Merchandising.

Available in the fall semester, students in this class learn about many different visual merchandising skills. Projects aim to teach this and include creating a mood board and learning how to properly set up a display to be functional as well as attractive. This year the visual merchandising class teamed up with a local Erie boutique to create an event that showcased the skills these students have learned. In addition, it also helped to provide students with the opportunity to gain some valuable hands-on learning. This event is extremely beneficial for not only the fashion students but also the Erie community as it creates a wonderful feature for local businesses.

The process of this project is quite fast-paced and begins with designing a t-shirt to be voted on and chosen as the design for the event. This year, the t-shirt was de-signed by two junior Fashion Merchandising majors, Megan Brady and Gabriella Matre. Whenever an event is planned, there are a lot of different details to manage.

To handle this well, it is import-ant to assign leadership roles and jobs such as the project manager, assistant manager, social media team, ride coordinator, as well as a set up and break down team amongst many other roles. This year’s project manager was Shannan Gotham, a senior double major in Fashion Merchandising and Political Science with a concentration in International Relations. She also has a minor in Cyber Security. Gotham was very busy overseeing all parts of the event and making sure everything went smoothly.

Once a boutique that is willing to partner with and host the showcase has been chosen, students begin their hands-on learning by going into the shop and playing with pieces that they want to incorporate into the looks for their displays.

This year, the theme for the event was “Fall in Love with Erie: A Local Erie Lookbook”. The Visual Merchandising class split into different groups to create five different displays inspired by these local Erie companies: Erie Ale Company, Mozza, Franks Farm Market, The Cork and Andora’s Bubble Tea.

Rachel Lossie, a sophomore Fashion Merchandising major served as the main social media team member for the event. “We wanted to make sure we focused on local Erie places so that they could be able to incorporate a little bit of our home into the event,” said Lossie. Assistant Project Manager for the event was Janiece Withers, a senior Fashion Merchandising major with a minor in Creative Writing. “I was most excited to see how all of our displays correlated together without intentionally doing it,” said Withers. “I think all of our designs have to do with fall; they have to do with being very fashionable but in a way that is comfortable, and I think that each mannequin can display that.”

Once the teams had finished applying all of their acquired class-room skills to their displays, they were ready to open their exhibits and share all of their hard work with the public. In addition, the event also had some donated raffle baskets from the local companies featured. “[The local companies] definitely wanted to support Mercyhurst and the fashion department,” junior Fashion Merchandising major Natalie Deutschbauer said.

Individuals who attended the event were able to buy tickets for the raffle baskets and also got a discount coupon for any clothing they purchased while at the event. Before leaving the showcase, attendees got the chance to vote on their favorite display; the group that won was inspired by the Erie Ale Company.

Lossie was a member of the team with the winning display. “We did more casual looks to really have some casual brewing company outfits so you’re not too dressed up but that you are still looking cute for your occasion,” Lossie said. Another member of the winning team was Kelsie McKalip, a sophomore Fashion Merchandising major. “Having the opportunity to put together outfits was really fun. To experiment with different colors and everything, we had to tie in the red of the donated shirt (by the Erie Ale Company) which was interesting,” said McKalip.

“Fall In Love With Erie: A Local Erie Lookbook” really was a fantastic opportunity for not only the fashion merchandising students but also E. Lane and the community to work together to celebrate collaboration and local talent. The Mercyhurst Fashion Merchandising Department would like to say a thank you to everyone that made it out to E. Lane Boutique to support the visual merchandising class and all of their hard work.

If you missed the event this year, be sure to check out the next one in the Fall of 2022.