Hannah Griglione details her exclusive experience at NY Fashion Week 2019
(Charleston, IL) -- When Hannah Griglione was making her college choice, she only knew she wanted her higher education experience to be amazing.
“EIU has been amazing and then some,” she shared. “As soon as I visited EIU for the first time, I knew this is where I wanted to be. The opportunities Eastern has given me are more than I could have ever imagined possible.”
Hannah’s most recent EIU opportunity came in early February—as a special guest at one of the most distinguished and exclusive events in the world: New York Fashion Week.
“New York Fashion Week is an invitation-only event where even the highest-profile celebrities aren’t granted automatic access,” she said. “To receive an invitation was absolutely incredible, and just one more reason EIU has been such a special place for me.”
Hannah’s invitation to New York Fashion Week 2019 was made possible by the university’s affiliation with IMG College Licensing, based in Atlanta. IMG College Licensing and IMG’s fashion events division collaborated to provide the one-of-a-kind educational experience, giving Hannah and 16 other handpicked students from across the nation an all-expenses-paid, behind-the-scenes look at the fashion industry. The experience included entry into select runway shows, panel discussions, networking opportunities with industry leaders, and on-the-job shadowing with retailers and collegiate licensees.
Eastern Illinois University participated in the event alongside other renowned institutions like the University of Arizona, the University of South Carolina, and Texas A&M University, among others.
“We are committed to delivering opportunities for future leaders in the industry to engage and learn from others who know what it takes to be successful,” said Leslie Russo, Executive Vice President, IMG Fashion Events. “This unique experience aligns perfectly with our mission, and we were happy to partner with our colleagues at IMG College Licensing to welcome these bright young students to NYFW: The Shows.”
As part of her personal experience, Hannah flew to New York City in early February. A native of Ottawa, Illinois, Hannah was, at first, a bit intimidated by the size and energy of “The City That Never Sleeps.” However, she acclimated quickly, and before she knew it she had tackled the first item on her busy agenda: Finding the private driver responsible for escorting her to the Arlo SoHo, an upmarket hotel near Lower Manhattan.
Once there, Hannah enjoyed what she says was “definitely some of the best food I ever had,” during a welcome dinner, where she met and learned about other students sharing her experience. The following day, the students broke into subgroups to attend different activities based on their unique interests.
As part of Hannah’s custom Fashion Week experience, she met with members and designers of New Era’s marketing and public relations team, who helped her design a one-of-a-kind Eastern Illinois University hat. She also spent time with key staff at PINK, a leading women’s retailer, for a behind-the-scenes look at a major fashion brand, and also visited Bloomingdale’s headquarters, where she spoke with several professionals about her interest in the company’s executive training program. In addition, Hannah participated in “Passion Meets Purpose,” a panel discussion presented by Tresemme that spotlighted inspirational women, including designer Carly Cushnie, stylist and consultant Meredith Koop and Constance C.R. White, editor and author of How to Slay.
“The whole experience was just so incredible,” Hannah said. “It was so inspiring to be given that level of personal direction and clarity…to know ‘this really is what I want to do with my life’.”
“What can I say? Panthers are just born for the catwalk,” she laughed, making a spirited reference to EIU’s longtime mascot.
Hannah also was treated to two runway shows—Concept Korea and Amelia Wang—complete with a backstage tour detailing a show’s specific production and execution techniques.
“As someone interested in fashion and events merchandising, to have that level of hands-on experience is just completely invaluable,” Hannah said. “I know I keep using the word ‘amazing,’ but there’s really no other word to describe it.”
To secure her invitation to New York Fashion Week 2019 events, Hannah had to submit her résumé, create a sample marketing plan, and write an essay on why she should be allowed to participate. But according to her, the effort was worth it. She said her experiences at New York Fashion Week 2019 will stay with her forever—and also serve as effective evidence of what EIU can do for its students.
“From day one, EIU has proven itself to be the most accessible, authentic, and incredible place to learn and to build meaningful, lifelong relationships,” Hannah said. “When I walked into Klehm Hall for the first time as a visiting student, I was given a personal touch that just seemed to be missing at some other schools. I talked with faculty members who shared my passions, and who really had my best interests at heart. They made me feel at home right away, and I made my decision to attend EIU on the spot.”
Now a senior at EIU, Hannah’s college experience and concentration in fashion merchandising has helped her feel like she can take the world on.
“I love all my professors,” Hannah continued. “They’ve all given me so much confidence, and have helped me to become the type of student and future professional that I’ve aspired to be. I’m thinking about working toward my M.B.A. here at Eastern, too…just to get everything I can out of my entire EIU experience. No matter what I end up doing, EIU’s given me the tools I need to design my best life.”
For more information about EIU, or to learn more about its growing assortment of programs and services, visit the university’s website at www.eiu.edu, or call EIU’s public information office at (217) 581-7400.