Orange Coast College Fashion Department students attended the LA Textile Trade Show on Oct. 1. This in-person field trip to the Los Angeles Fashion District was the first for the department since COVID-19 restrictions were put into place.
Finally breaking away from sweatpants and Zoom calls, the event was busy with students and other attendees, exhibitors and seminar speakers.
“The fashion industry is coming back, and everyone needs clothes,” OCC Fashion Merchandising professor Michelle Craner said. “People want to get dressed up again.”
There was a successful turnout with almost 40 OCC students in attendance. All participants were required to wear masks, complying with L.A. County’s mask mandate.
This industry-only trade show was an opportunity for students to meet people from different companies and to better understand the corporate fashion world.
“It’s about experiencing the industry, so we can figure out what we want to do in it,” Craner said.
Hemp Traders, a hemp material supplier, was one of the many businesses that were present at the event. Another organization, Fashion Index, hosted a conference about sustainability during the trade show. The OCC Fashion Program focuses on the importance of sustainability and lessening its environmental impact.
“Our program really cares about sustainability and teaching out students how to make and sell things differently in order to impact the world in a better way,” Craner said.
“I took a photo of this dress, and it really inspired me,” Design and fashion major Ashlyn Rosol said. “It reminded me of Brigitte Bardot. I would style it with tights for fall.”
Not only did students have the chance to learn about different brands, but they could get inspired by the clothing that companies had on display.
“It was a pretty tough two years,” Craner said. “But, now it’s hopeful. The fashion industry is coming back.”