Isabelle Civil, ‘09
BFA Fashion Merchandising
Senior Allocator, PVH Corporation
“I have been a Senior Allocator with Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation for 2.5 years and have over 10 years of diverse retail and wholesale inventory management and assortment planning experience within the Fashion industry.
With the reliable guidance and support from the Fashion Merchandising courses and Centenary staff, my career has flourished within the industry. There are three amazing staff members that I thank wholeheartedly for inspiring me while completing my undergraduate program: Professor Kristen McKitish, who offered fashion buying insight through her own real-world experiences, Professor Kenol Lamour, whose keen design eye and creative attention to detail made the program fun and exciting, and Patricia Mahaffey, who motivated me into applying, and also landing, the Black Retail Action Group scholarship, which lead to an internship program that jump started my entire career post-graduation. I am a proud Centenarian because of them!”
Chantall Lantigua, ‘16
BFA Fashion Merchandising
Sourcing Manager, Target Corporate
“I am currently a Sourcing Manager in Decorative Home for Hearth and Hand at Target, living in Minneapolis, MN.
Centenary provided me with the knowledge and skills within the Fashion Merchandising program which I use almost every day in my current role.
Small but mighty, the program allowed for me to hone my skills and take them from the class to the real word, learning garment sewing, textile science, buying, social media marketing and more!
The professors care and they really take interest in every student’s journey providing transferable skills that you can take with you through all walks in life.”
Teresa Miley Tramont, ‘12
BFA Fashion Merchandising
Buyer, Arts & Crafts, Ross Stores
“I am currently a Buyer for Arts & Crafts for Ross Stores, (which I love!)
I started my career right after graduating from Centenary as an Assistant Buyer at Bed, Bath, & Beyond where I stayed for 5 years before making the switch to Ross Stores. I knew I wanted to become a Buyer after taking Professor McKitish’s Fashion Buying course my senior year. I loved the fast-pace and management aspect of the role and knew this was the right path for me. This course, along with many others, all prepped me for the exciting career I have today, in which I get to travel the world, meet tons of new people, and play with fun products!”
Sara Lombardo, ‘17
BFA Fashion Merchandising
Assistant Category Manager, Bed, Bath, & Beyond
“Centenary University offered opportunities both on and off campus that prepared me to take on “the real world” post-graduation. The Career Services Center and faculty guided me towards a part-time position off campus my sophomore year that focused on visual merchandising – a key skill that I utilize in my every-day life as a Corporate Merchant for Bed, Bath, & Beyond.
The applicability of the information taught through lectures, projects, and exams is profound; I am still referencing terminology and notes from when I was a student! I remember beginning my career post-graduation feeling fully prepared and perhaps even more advanced than your average entry-level associate; being able to understand certain retail terminology and jargon all thanks to the classes & experiences I had at Centenary University as a Fashion Merchandising student.”
Kayla Woehr, ‘14
BFA Fashion Design
3D Technical Designer, Self-Employed
Shortly after graduating from CU in 2014, I received an email from Professor McKitish that a company called Majestic Athletic in Easton, PA was looking for a Technical Design intern. I quickly googled the company and saw they made the uniforms and fan wear for Major League Baseball and had their own in house factory. Although this was very different than the “fashion world” I had grown used too, I liked the idea of not commuting into NYC for an internship and also liked the idea of working with athletic or performance apparel versus the high fashion garments I had worked on throughout college while interning. I previously was focusing more on Apparel Design, and was not quite sure what a Technical Designer was. I landed the internship with Majestic as they were impressed with the flat pattern skills and knowledge of sewing that I learned while at CU. Little did I know that this would be the starting point for me for a career in the Outdoor and Athletic Performance categories.
After interning with Majestic for about one year, they had a job opening for an Application Artist for their custom apparel program. This role was a blend between graphic design and tech design. I was hired into the role and served in this position for two years until I was promoted into a Technical Design role.
In 2017, I moved on to a role at Under Armour as a Technical designer for their Outdoor apparel category located in Baltimore, Maryland. This was an amazing opportunity and the experience of working on athletic apparel at Majestic helped me land the role. As someone who is extremely active in the outdoors, the product was intriguing for me and having that passion for the product helped me excel in my role. I mainly worked on down, synthetic insulated, as well as seam taped and GORE styles. Under Armour is also where I was introduced into the world of 3D prototyping, which resulted in a new passion and career for myself later on.
In 2019, I acquired a role with Black Diamond Equipment in Salt Lake City, Utah as Fit Specialist/Technical Designer. Black Diamond creates pinnacle outdoor apparel and well known in the Rock climbing and ski categories. Moving to SLC was a great opportunity for me both professionally and personally. Having amazing access to the mountains has been life changing for me. While at Black Diamond, I continued to excel and build my skills in 3D prototyping and even travelled to the UK in February of 2020 (right before the reality of COVID hit!). I realized that 3D was a passion for me, more so than my day to day responsibilities as a Technical Designer, and wanted my next step to have a focus on 3D prototyping.
Once COVID hit, our industry experienced a huge impact. Suddenly, I was being approached by brands for help to create 3D prototypes since their samples were delayed. After a few months of this, the workload became fulltime and I made the choice to leave my role at Black Diamond to continue to do contract work as a 3D Technical Designer. For me working in 3D is extremely rewarding as it has huge environmental benefits by reducing physical prototypes and I’m glad to be able to contribute to this. I’ve been fortunate enough to work on 3D projects for brands such as Levi’s and Under Armour as well as a handful of smaller Outdoor apparel brands. It has been a great experience for me and I feel like I have found my niche and cannot wait for what the future holds.
You never know where an internship will lead you, and as I reflect back on where I am today, it would not have happened without Professor McKitish reaching out regarding the Majestic Athletic internship. This was truly a launching pad for me in the athletic and outdoor apparel space and helped to open doors that I could not have imagined would be there!
Jessica Martin, ‘17
BFA Fashion Design
Assistant Buyer, B&B Department Stores, South
“After graduation, I spent 2 years at PPI Apparel Group in NYC as an Assistant Technical Designer. During my time at PPI, I made my design on paper come to life through taking measurements, fit session evaluations, and working collaboratively with designers and product managers to communicate effectively and accurately to our production facilities overseas.
I recently made the “switch” to the world of buying where I am currently an Assistant Buyer for B&B Department Stores South LLC. CU has helped me by allowing me the opportunity to have a variety of merchandising classes along with design classes which provided me a well-rounded perspective of the fashion industry and inspired me to try out this new avenue of buying!
During my time at CU, my professors challenged me to push myself in my creativity, especially when it came to creating my senior collection.”
Gianna Ross, ‘17
BFA Fashion Merchandising & Fashion Design
Visual Merchandising Lead, Target
“I am a Visual Merchandising Lead for Target as well as the CEO of my own men’s and women’s streetwear brand, Street Serenade Apparel, LLC. Centenary gave me the knowledge, experience, and skill set to not only get my foot in the door of the fashion industry but also gave me the platform which eventually turned into the birth of my own clothing brand. Having the opportunity to dual-major was the best decision I made. It allowed me to learn both the technical design and business aspects of the industry. Centenary has so many opportunities and the connections I have made have helped me excel since I’ve graduated. I highly recommend taking advantage of it and going after your dreams!”
Ashely Gerber, ‘11
BFA, Fashion Design
Family and Consumer Science Teacher, Shawnee High School, NJ
“Several years after graduating from Centenary I entered the alternate route program to obtain my teaching certificate. I am now a Family and Consumer Science Teacher and teaching Fashion and Clothing Classes!
What originally drew me to Centenary was the small class sizes and the idea that I would be a name and not a number.
I was able to develop lasting relationships with my professors and I knew that they truly cared about what I was doing. Ten years later and I am still in contact with some of those professors. I truly loved every moment at CU; gaining knowledge and building friendships. I was also a First Year Leader which was a great experience and it allowed for me to connect with the underclassmen in the fashion program. After graduation, I soon realized that immersing myself into the industry was not the best fit for me, which is why I chose to get my teaching degree. Now, I am using my degree every day and I get to pass on the knowledge that I learned at Centenary onto MY students!”