Tuesday, July 14, 2009
The second Nick Verreos walked into the Gould dinning hall during our Wednesday night dinner, his immediate enthusiasm perked everyone up after being exhausted from a long day of classes. His intense energy prepared me for the next day to be upbeat and fun. Little did I know how much I would learn about the fashion industry.
Being an avid Project Runway fan, I had recognized his name from when he appeared on the reality show back in 2005. Even though I was well aware that he was a fashionable individual, it was clear to everyone in the room that he was well dressed. He was casual yet classy, wearing a white button up shirt, designer jeans with a black belt, a striped multi-colored tie, and a pair of stylish, silver sneakers. He appeared very clean cut and professional yet hip at the same time.
Nick had come to visit our Florence program to spend the day with us at the Polimoda International Institute of Fashion Design and Marketing, and also to give us a presentation later that night. It was here that we learned about the school itself, and the marketing behind the enormous industry. I had no idea how important Florence was to fashion! We were presented with pictures of various "buzz products" including a Gucci branded eraser to which we found humorous, feeling as though it was a little bit extreme. Nick was very attentive and participative during the presentations at the institute, asking questions and adding a lot of input. It was interesting hearing what he had to say considering that he had attended and even taught at another fashion school, FIDM. Fashion is something that interests me, yet something that I am not too educated on. Our time at the Polimoda taught me a lot, but Nick’s presentation was even more influential to my understanding of the industry.
Nick’s presentation was very professional. He included a power point and acted as a natural born public speaker. He had made a few alterations to his outfit that day to appear slightly more professional. He spoke with such enthusiasm using numerous hand gestures and voice inflections. Even though he had a set agenda of what to discuss, he used an extemporaneous style with additional comments and mannerisms to his speech. He was very humorous while speaking which the audience really seemed to connect with. The room had been filled with laughter a significant amount of times throughout the course of his presentation. I had remembered him being very personal and funny while on the show, so I was happy to know that his personality was the same while dealing with a group of college students.
As entertaining as his story was, it was also very informative. We got a lot of his background story ranging from his childhood to how he got started in the fashion industry. He had struggled in his career, which I had never even questioned in my mind while watching him on Project Runway. Now that his career is currently in a good place, his experience let him offer advice to us, not only about fashion but in business in general. He discussed the different markets of clothing and where certain brands really come from (which made me question some of my past purchases). Being a communication major, I found it interesting that his partner, David, handles all of Nick’s public relations. I could not even fathom the amount of work the two of them have put into their careers! It was extremely evident that their success comes with a lot of hard work and responsibility. Being a sucker for celebrity gossip, I enjoyed his stories of different celebrities he knows and has dressed. For living such a fast-paced, successful, luxurious life, he was extremely down to earth.
The most important thing that Nick Verreos taught the student in of our Journalism class was the all important message of following your dreams and never giving up on them. He had applied for Project Runway on a whim, which ended up being the main factor to his success. Nicks visit was extremely entertaining as well as beneficial. Not only did he teach me more about clothing and the industry but also the importance of following my dreams.