- Jackie Mallon |
The lease has just been signed to renew and expand the New York City presence of Kent State University’s Fashion School. In its West 39th Street location in Manhattan’s garment district the campus has added 1500 square feet to make a total of 6000 square feet, and will be ready to accommodate staff and students by Fall 2018. Additional classroom space is planned as well as a major renovation of the existing facility located inside a high-rise block which also houses design studios, showrooms and management firms.The NYC Studio, while petite compared to the sprawling greens and tree-lined avenues of the university’s midwestern main campus, categorized as An Ohio Center of Excellence, has grown to be a vital satellite to the school’s fashion program and is the only fashion school to operate within NYC’s historic garment district.
“Expanding the NYC Studio program has always been a part of The Fashion School’s strategic planning. I’ve been conducting Needs Assessment for several years now,” explains Young Kim Thanos, Director of Kent State University’s NYC Studio. “The NYC Studio program paralleled the growth that The Fashion School has achieved over the years; therefore, it was a natural progression. Moreover, The Fashion School began requiring all eligible students to partake in a minimum of one study away program as of AY2017. The NYC Studio program, a keystone program for all of The Fashion School’s International/study away programs, saw a rapidly growing demand for expansion.”
KSU expands Fashion School in NYC
Currently the NYC Studio allows Fashion Design and Merchandising majors in their Junior year the opportunity to study in the nation’s fashion capital, with all the additional access to resources that entails, and during that time students also undertake internships in the design studios, showrooms, and brand head offices on their doorstep. But the school will be expanding its educational offerings as well as its retail estate presence.
“The NYC Studio program will be welcoming our very first group of Senior Fashion Design and Merchandising students in Fall 2018,” says Kim Thanos. “As such, we will be offering selective Senior coursework alongside existing offerings of Junior-level coursework. Moreover, with the recent MFIS [Master of Fashion Industry Studies] launch, we are gearing up to host and accommodate interested graduate students.”
Kent State University also has study away programs in Florence, London, Paris, Hong Kong and exchange programs with universities in Germany and South Korea. There are no figures available yet regarding the cost of the NYC Studio expansion project as it is still in the planning stages.
Fashion editor Jackie Mallon is also an educator and author of Silk for the Feed Dogs, a novel set in the international fashion industry.
Photos: Kent State University.