Art Institute of Pittsburgh instructor Megan Carleton gave students in her fashion retail merchandising course a chance for extra credit -- but it wasn't the typical writing assignment or complete-at-home project.
Students were invited to produce a fashion show (photo above by Bill Wade/Post-Gazette) and a window display (pictured below) to help Macy's, Downtown, promote its new menswear line Bar III, which targets millennials with trendy, West Coast-style apparel.
"We have a history with them," says Billie Williams, a retail development manager in the men's department at Macy's. "Fifteen years ago [the Art Institute of Pittsburgh] did some fabulous windows for us for Light Up Night."
Last fall at Macy's, Art Institute students created for Pittsburgh Fashion Week window displays featuring student designs and participated in an event with NBC "Fashion Star" season one winner Kara Laricks.
Students and faculty celebrated the latest collaboration tonight with a window unveiling and a fashion show featuring Bar III, INC and American Rag clothes for men. Students were in charge of casting models, selecting apparel, accessorizing and coordinating a run-through of the show.
"We kind of just sat back and let them take free rein," Ms. Williams says.
For students, it was a chance to get a taste of the real world of fashion merchandising.
"It was enjoyable -- a little hectic -- but enjoyable," says junior fashion retail management student Gary Fenchak, who commentated the show. "It's always fun putting on a production like this. We get great experience in learning how to do this, being as this is a big part of the fashion retail management degree."
Macy's finds partnering with up-and-coming fashion professionals important to its growth, as well.
"We also are looking for our future managers, so it's a little bit of exposure for them," Ms. Williams says. "We're going to remember those students who did a spectacular job for us."
Below are more photos from the event (Sara Bauknecht/Post-Gazette) ...