Olympics Bring World of Fashion to Gibbs College in Norwalk

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The school’s fashion design and merchandising program takes on an Olympic flavor.

The Olympics offers students in the Fashion Design and Merchandising Program a fantastic learning experience; incorporating the excitement of the Games heightens their educational experience as they learn to contribute to the real world of fashion

The 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino provided students enrolled at Gibbs College in Norwalk with a unique opportunity to learn about the real world of fashion. Prompted by the spectacle, excitement and athleticism of this winter’s events, students enrolled in the Fashion Design and Merchandising Program at the school had the opportunity to learn about the influence of the Olympic Games on the fashion industry by designing and staging their own collections for Olympics Fashion Week.

For Gibbs College students, the Olympic season provides a whole world of fashion opportunities in addition to being a benchmark for athleticism. Fashion decisions are crucial in differentiating a nation’s team, helping athletes stand out, and showcasing the latest in high-performance gear--things students will be taking into account as they showcase their own Olympics-influenced styles. The school’s annual exhibitions and twice-a-year student fashion shows have become an important feature of community life in the greater Westport-Norwalk and Fairfield County area. For many students, they are a chance to showcase their talents in preparation for internships or post-graduate career opportunities.

“The Olympics offers students in the Fashion Design and Merchandising Program a fantastic learning experience; incorporating the excitement of the Games heightens their educational experience as they learn to contribute to the real world of fashion,” said Irina Simeonova, the program’s creator and director. “This real world context gives students a sense of passion and creativity along with a strong foundational knowledge and understanding of the fashion industry as they pursue careers as designers and merchandisers.

The Fashion Design and Merchandising Program has proven to be a very exciting addition to Connecticut’s Gibbs College degree and diploma programs. With twenty-two years of design experience in Europe and USA, Simeonova has guided the phenomenal growth of the Fashion Design and Merchandising Program at the College’s Norwalk campus over the past three years. Simeonova has brought together experienced faculty, recruited from some of the best New York and European schools of fashion, to teach students eager to learn the art of fashion design and merchandising.

About Gibbs College in Norwalk

With two campuses in Norwalk and Farmington, Gibbs College offers career training in such in-demand fields as Computer Programming, Fashion Design and Merchandising, Digital Media, Computer Network Operations, Visual Communications, and Office Administration. The college offers specialized Associate Degree, certificate, and diploma programs that reinforce the important communication, interpersonal and career-building skills necessary for entry into any job market. Find out more about the career focused specialized degree, diploma and certificate programs at Gibbs College in Norwalk at http://www.gibbsnorwalk.edu. Program availability differs by location.

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Ted Havelka

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