When Cecilia Muñiz, Sofia Hudzik, and Reeya Mathur took on leadership positions at the Boston University Fashion and Retail Alliance this fall, they knew something had to change: inclusivity.
Hudzik, a junior in the School of Communications and the club’s vice president of marketing, said that in the past, the club’s logo has been pink and overtly feminine, which has deterred non-female members from joining the club.
During this period, the three changed the colors of the club’s original logo from pink to blue and purple, making the logo more inclusive.
“The blue and purple need to represent gender neutrality, but at the same time the shade of the logo needs to express freedom of creativity, and we are always changing, always evolving,” Mathur said. COM and vice president of operations.
And so F&R began the rebranding process.
“The club was founded in 2004 and when it was founded it was very girly and feminine and was all about women and women.” Mathur said. “And fashion is gender-neutral.”
Hudzik spearheaded the rebranding process.
“Given such a huge presence of fashion online, I think a lot of people are a lot more willing to express themselves and really play with fashion and see how they can do that in the way that best suits them,” Hudzik said.
Rebranding involves not only external aesthetic changes but also internal restructuring. The club’s board of directors is now organized into teams, including an event planning team, a content creation team, a social media team, a website team and more.
said Molly Newell, F&R’s co-director of content creation and a sophomore at COM.The club is already seeing the effects of the rebranding this year. He said the club’s number of registered members as well as social media participation has increased.
“Our members are already more diverse and we are already getting more professional opportunities,” Newell said. “It’s very interesting how changing your values and how you brand yourself can instantly change the people involved.”
Mathur noted that the club’s E-Board now has two male members: Treasurer Alex Ye and content creation graphic designer Jonny Lee. Mathur said previously there was no male representation on the club’s E-Board.
“I think fashion has a very targeted outreach to women in general because women’s fashion is so big,” said Lee, a junior at the Questrom School of Business. “The reach of fashion in general is still a bit slow in my opinion because it is geared towards women. But I don’t think that’s a bad thing. “I think we are ready for the future because we are changing now.”
F&R describes itself as follows:“It is BU’s only organization committed to connecting students with the competitive fashion and retail industry.” club description.
The club offers its members a weekly newsletter with a variety of internship opportunities in the fashion and retail industries.
“I think a lot of people have a hard time conceptualizing how many different routes you can go down because you can do anything you want in fashion, no matter what your skills or interests are,” Hudzik said.
In addition to the newsletter, F&R hosts a professional panel each fall highlighting professionals from major retailers. The club also hosts guest speakers throughout the year, as well as sessions on LinkedIn development, resume building, and professional headshots.
F&R’s signature event is the annual fashion show held at the end of each Spring semester. Last year’s show, held at the Metcalf Trustee Center, had a gardenia theme and included food and beverages, gift bags and a brand display.
“There was a lot of focus on student design. “Every piece that makes it down the runway was designed by a student, and every model is a BU student,” said Muñiz, a junior at COM and president of F&R. “It provides opportunities for everyone.”
The club also partners with retailers in Boston. They recently hosted an event with Vintage Underground on Commonwealth Avenue. This fall, students can also look forward to shopping events with Beacon Hill vintage store Vico Style and Diesel on Newbury Street.
“We want to provide a comfortable environment for people to express their creativity in any way possible,” Muñiz said. “Make this a welcoming place for everyone, no matter your background or interests.”