LIM College is inviting high schoolers to its NYC campus for a taste of the fashion world.
The Midtown Manhattan college, which focuses on the business of fashion and lifestyle, is once again offering its popular Summer Fashion Academy pre-college program for high school students.
“The LIM Summer Fashion Academy is ideal for high school students from anywhere in the world who want to explore careers in fashion, meet faculty, alumni and LIM students, and get a feel for LIM College before making a decision about enrolling here,” Nancy Miller, LIM College’s dean of undergraduate studies and chair of the fashion merchandising and marketing department, said.
Beginning July 10 and running through Aug. 3, the Summer Fashion Academy will offer both in-person and virtual options. LIM’s industry-expert faculty will teach courses and workshops. Participants will get a taste of what it’s like to study and work in the fashion industry by completing real-world projects and assignments.
This year’s offerings include The Business of Fashion, a 16-day course exclusively for rising high school juniors and seniors in which participants can earn three LIM College credit hours. This introduction to the broad scope of the fashion business and its career paths provides information about merchandising, marketing, media, visual studies, styling, event management, sustainability and entrepreneurship, with each topic taught by an expert in that discipline. Divided into units, students will “learn by doing” during the three-week course and explore the many facets of the business, including career opportunities.
“We saw about a year or two ago that a lot of other colleges and universities, when they offer a summer program, they offer a three-credit course that, if a student would ultimately enroll, it’s equivalent [to a prerequisite course],” Miller said. “We really want to help prospective students who are really strongly considering a career in the business of fashion to be able to get college credit.”
The course debuted last year and attracted eight students alongside 75 workshop participants. Based on the 2022 workshop attendees, roughly 10 percent went on to enroll at LIM.
Additionally, four-day non-credit workshops include fashion field trips, where students spend the week exploring New York City, going behind the scenes to experience the fashion business firsthand. This includes visits to the Garment District, 5th Avenue retail flagships and more. Fashion Merchandising: From Concept to Look Book is for students interested in creating their own fashion collection, and covers trend forecasting, color palette development, and concept planning. Participants will create a portfolio-ready fashion lookbook. Digital Design will teach students how to use Adobe Creative Cloud for Fashion, tapping into their imagination, creativity and talent to conceive industry-ready product sketches, patterns and prints. Participants will create a mini digital portfolio of their work.
“What’s great about the program is all the different classes we have. They resemble a lot of what we teach in the classroom,” Miller said. “So the experience, at the end of the workshop or the end of the credit course, [students] get a real good feel for what LIM offers.”
In Fashion Styling, students will work with a celebrity stylist to learn the roles and responsibilities of stylists and will take part in planning and staging a fashion photoshoot. Fashion Media + helps students discover how brands can use social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram to connect with shoppers. Students will create a fashion magazine editorial, social media campaign, or podcast/mini-documentary.
Fashion + Lifestyle Business Startup is for students with ideas for a new fashion and lifestyle brand or business. Participants will work alongside a fashion entrepreneur to explore the elements needed to realize their ideas. Students will create a mini business and marketing plan to launch a brand. Fashion Marketing and Public Relations is for those interested in how fashion brands tell a story and create buzz. Students will take on the role of fashion publicists, brainstorm a fashion campaign, write a press release and conceptualize a new product launch event.
In addition to their work in class, participants will have access to weekly live virtual sessions with LIM alums who have successful fashion careers, like Anthony Nota and Baylen Edwards-Miller, two 2019 LIM graduates who founded the Ihkwip bag brand that’s now carried on QVC. Current LIM College students will serve as mentors for Summer Academy participants.
Non-credit workshops range from $195 to $275 each. Tuition for the 16-day Business of Fashion course is $1,295. Past Fashion Academy students have come from more than 20 U.S. states and countries such as Brazil, Japan, China and India. Registration closes on June 20.
Other New York-based colleges offer similar, if less accessible, programs. Parsons School of Design, for example, hosts a three-week, three-credit intensive program tailored to high-schoolers preparing to apply for college and features skill-building project-based learning, art and design field trips, guest speakers from the industry and portfolio reviews. Unlike LIM, Parsons does offer a limited number of Summer Intensive Studies tuition-only scholarships for its $4,675 program.
Sotheby’s Summer Institute offers a two-week course on art, luxury and fashion for just shy of $6,000, where students learn about collaborations between celebrity artists and famous labels as well as how street style has long influenced high fashion and how sustainability is no longer just a buzzword. The Fashion Institute of Technology offers more than 130 long- and short-term courses in photography, styling, fashion, art and merchandising throughout the summer.