Fashion students explore the Big Apple

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A beautiful view of New York City from the top of the Empire State Building, April 11.

Anyone who loves the clothing industry fantasizes about going to New York City, one of the world’s fashion capitals.

Designer shops, including labels such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Henri Bendel, can be found while strolling along famous Fifth Avenue. A walk through the garment district reveals an entire world filled with fabric stores, young designers and an abundance of sample sales.

For the 53 people attending the EHS Fashion Trip to the Big Apple it was a dream come true, April 11-14.

Fashions teacher Mrs. Debbie Powell’s desire to examine the huge fashion industry of New York City with her students drove the tip. She wanted to introduce fashion students to experiences that are not readily available in St. Louis, such as visits to SoHo, the garment district, and designer showrooms.

The students and chaperones traveled alongside a group from Lafayette High School and explored the city together to minimize costs.

“I was completely shocked when we made it all the way up to 53!” Mrs. Debbie Powell, fashions teacher, said.

Each day, a charter bus manned by an experienced NYC driver tansported them from their Newark airport hotel into the heart of the city.

Though a main focus of the fashion tour was learning about New York City’s fashion industry, no trip to the Big Apple is complete without time dedicated to shopping.

“I really enjoyed shopping on Fifth Avenue,” Alaina Weise (10) said about her first day in the big city.

A wide variety of shops were available for the girls to both revisit and discover along one of America’s most well-known streets.

Stores that can be found in St. Louis, such as Forever 21 and H&M were popular stops, along with companies native to NYC, like Topshop or Uniqlo.

Although time spent buying loads of new clothes might have been a popular activity, the all-girl tour group also found the traditional sights entertaining.

“My favorite part of the trip was going to the top of the Empire State Building and seeing the view of all the buildings,” Sammi Powell (10) said.

A sweeping view of the New York City skyline is not something easily forgotten, especially while the sun is setting and lights are beginning to illuminate the thousands of buildings.

A number of parent chaperones eager to see the city with their daughters tagged along as well and helped lead small groups.

“I thought it was very interesting,” Mrs. Hunnius, a chaperone and group leader said. “All of the girls in the group had different interests so you had to try and please everybody.”

Over the short amount of time, the tour group was able to hit key New York tourist attractions, as well as fashion-centric locations.

To learn about New York’s gigantic fashion market, the students and chaperones spent a day in the garment industry visiting Mood, a famous fabric store, a pattern manufacturing facility and a jewelry production house.

A trip to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum gave the girls a firsthand look at how sweatshop workers in the late 19th century would’ve gone about their daily lives.

Among other favorites were riding a ferry around the Statue of Liberty,  strolling throughout bustling Times Square and viewing the hit Broadway Show Mamma Mia!

Although the girls might not have agreed on every shop to visit or every sight to see, the exclusive fashion tour seemed to be a hit among everyone.

“I would definitely go on the trip again,” Weise said. “I thought New York was really cool, and I don’t think you can ever see enough of it on just one trip.”

In the coming years, Mrs. Powell hopes to return to New York with another group.

“Now that we’ve been through it once we know what we would like to do again and what we would like to change,” Mrs. Powell said. “The success was definitely as great as I’d hoped, and more than.”