new program takes students to fashion capital of italy

While many SUNY Oneonta fashion students are hard at work on original garment lines for the annual spring fashion show, Claire Johnson is getting a glimpse of the international world of fashion.

Johnson, a fashion and textiles major who dreams of owning her own boutique, is on a whirlwind tour of Italy’s fashion industry this semester through a new SUNY Oneonta study abroad partnership with the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) in Milan.

She’s the first SUNY Oneonta student to study in Milan through the new partnership, which will include semester-long and academic-year exchange opportunities, as well as four-week summer programs.

During the “Made in Italy” introductory module, students visit fashion showrooms, exhibitions, designers and retail sites in Milan, Venice, Rome and Florence. After that, they can choose from a variety of courses covering fashion design, photography, merchandising and product development. Courses are taught on the IED campus in English but integrate American and Italian students for a broader cultural immersion.

SUNY Oneonta’s fashion majors frequently study abroad. Last semester, students traveled to London, Korea, New Zealand, Florence, Rome and France.

Student Fashion Society members unveil their creations on the runway at the 2013 spring fashion show.
Photo by Michael Forster Rothbart

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