Mercer County Community College (MCCC) is an integral part of Trenton’s burgeoning fashion scene. The college’s James Kearney campus is preparing future fashionistas for careers in the exciting world of fashion, apparel and merchandising. The Fashion/Apparel Design program offers an A.A.S. degree in Visual Arts, providing a strong foundation in art, design, and technical studies, while also focusing on both the creative and business aspects of the industry. The program prepares students for advanced study by paralleling coursework from the first two years of four-year fashion schools.

The Fashion Merchandising option is an A.A.S. program in Business Management that prepares students for careers in fashion/apparel sales, marketing, buying, and merchandising. The curriculum parallels the first two years of education at a majority of undergraduate universities and art colleges with an emphasis on career training for gainful employment.

“Our fashion program is industry-rigorous and contends with top community school programs,” said Katina E. Lindsay, MCCC’s Fashion Merchandising and Design Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor. “We emphasize ‘fashion with a purpose’ which leads to internships and jobs as well as opportunities at four-year schools.”

Recent graduates of the program have transferred to Fashion Institute of Technology and LIM College in New York City, Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, and Monclair State University in New Jersey. An example of a developing success story is Qaysean Williams, creative director and founder of Manikin MOB LLC and a graduate of MCCC’s Fashion program, who is doing big things in luxury streetwear as noted in this TrentonDaily article by TCNJ’s James Mercadante.

Earlier this year, on May 3rd, it was fashion night in Trenton as nine MCCC fashion students and their models blazed the runway and impressed a full room at James Kearney’s Trenton Hall. Also, four Fashion Merchandising students designed displays based on major retailers. The “Fashion and Arts Showcase” drew a standing-room-only crowd. Hosts for the festivities were Fashion Program Coordinator Katina Lindsay and Communications Professor Alvyn Haywood. President Jianping Wang welcomed the audience and Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes addressed the crowd.

Clothing designs ranged from casual wear to formal wear, from brightly colored gowns to sophisticated black and silver cocktail dresses. The show’s one male designer, Jaiden Hines, presented a collection of embellished tee shirts. A breast cancer awareness theme was highlighted in several presentations in tribute to Monica Weaver, the provost of the James Kerney Campus who passed away in April. A silent auction featured gift baskets with proceeds donated to the Monica Weaver JKC Scholarship Fund.

The designers included Meredyth Romalis, whose two young daughters were among her models (“Pop “Sheros Art”); Javon Johnson (Pop “Beni” Art); Cierra Scura (“Midnight Summer Peacock”); Jaiden Hines (embellished tee shirts); Erika Reich (“Redemption”); Jeresha Morris (“Goddess of the Street Forest); Diksha Srivastava (“On the Surface”); and Ashley Vause (“Silver Lining”); as well as alumna Carol Florence and faculty member Beth Dubrow (“Blue Flowers”).

The event’s Fashion Merchandising displays were created by students Esther Awayomi (Foot Locker), Ashley Horace (Charlotte Russe), Shanta McNeill (American Eagle) and Charmie Vu (Victoria Secret/Pink). A number of Merchandising students created colorful window displays that greeted visitors upon arrival. Planning credits go to students Jeraldine Rosado and Jordan Fortson.

Next up is a community sewing for service event happening on MLK Day at James Kearney Campus. More information to come…