Senior capping can be one of the most daunting classes for Marist College students. The course, which students complete in their respective field of study, culminates with a project at the end of the semester. For fashion students in particular, the capping project is a huge creative endeavor.
Marist fashion seniors Tricia Nannariello, Sarabeth Turner, and Alyssa Cogliandro decided to break into the podcasting world for their capstone project.
“While taking the Fashion Event Planning class last year, we were able to attend two events: Freshman Fashion Event and A Day in the Life of a Fashion Student,” Cogliandro said. “During a panel that took place at one of these events, we allowed prospective fashion students to ask seniors about their experiences as a fashion student at Marist. The response was overwhelming. That is where we got our first idea for the podcast.”
After deciding on a podcast as their medium for the project, they started to brainstorm names and solidify their discussion topics. “Originally I came up with the name ‘Degree in Three’ where we would countdown to our last months of school, reflecting on being a senior about to enter the workforce,” Turner said. “However, we ultimately decided to use the name ‘Fashion Uncensored’ which fit the content we wanted to produce better than the original name.”
While doing research for how they would actually put together the podcast, they reached out to a fellow fashion student, Kristina Ang, who studies at Parsons School of Design. She gave them tips on production and podcasting. They also received help from the Marist Media Center, and Nannariello said, “James Duryea, Manager of Operations & Production and Lee Walis, Manager of Technical Services, were both extremely helpful and made the recording process flow smoothly.”
Recently, the Fashion Uncensored team had pop star, LIVVIA, on the mic. After touring with the Jonas Brothers during their Happiness Begins Tour, she spoke with the seniors about her style when attending numerous fashion events, runways, magazine shoots, on-stage looks, and more. LIVVIA also happens to be a personal friend of Turner.
“I actually met LIVVIA on her first U.S. tour back in 2013. We had a few correspondences via Twitter prior to the show, where she then found out I was in the front row and came to watch the show with me after her set. We really just connected from that point on, exchanged phone numbers, and have spent the last 7 years traveling back and forth between Boston, LA, and NYC to catch up. We’ve even gone as far as having me hop on her tour bus for a few days just to make up for all the lost time apart.” Turner said that hanging out with LIVVIA gave her a fresh perspective.
“Going on tour with her was what really made me realize how intertwined the music industry is with fashion,” Turner said. “Everything matters on stage, so the process of seeing her get performance-ready from head to toe is extraordinary.”
When asked what the Fashion Uncensored team wants listeners to take away from their podcast, Cogliandro said they “wanted to take the knowledge we gained through our four years at Marist and pass it down to our listeners, all while keeping it fun and conversational. There are so many things I wish I had known when I started my journey in the fashion world.”
The seniors described their capping experience as challenging but ultimately rewarding.
“In the beginning, we had to prove to our professor that our podcast could turn out to be successful and that we would work extremely hard to make this professional. Our team was constantly on top of our goals and our professor is extremely impressed with how much we have done so far,” Nannariello said. “You also never know where your project may take you and what connections you make along the way.”
You can find their podcast here, and you can follow them on Instagram @fashionuncensoredpodcast. The team hopes to have more episodes in the future.
Innovations in Children’s Eyewear
For seniors Abbey McHale and Jenni O’Leary, their capping project proposal developed from a gap in the children’s eyewear market. Their project features eyewear for kids that is “fun, colorful, and completely unique,” McHale said. “We recognized that there was always a stigma around kids showing up to school with their first pair of glasses, and we wanted to change that.”
The duo realized that the safe, flexible plastic used in children’s eyewear could be produced on campus using the 3D production capabilities offered in the Steel Plant makerspace.
“We had multiple meetings with professionals about testing materials, designing the STL files, running flexibility and rendering tests of our 3D printed prototype,” McHale said. They devised marketing plans through TikTok and Instagram, using influencers like Charli D’Amelio and JoJo Siwa.
Due to COVID-19, the team’s product activation plans were cut short. Nonetheless, McHale and O’Leary identified an opportunity for future production in eyewear.
“We found that children’s eyewear is marketed towards parents and not children,” McHale said. This makes sense because the parents are the ones purchasing the glasses but our goal was for kids to get excited about the product and not see it as a medical need.”
Featuring Red Foxes at the MPorium
After taking part in the MPorium merchandising class in the fall as a buyer, Jordan Hokunson ‘20 fell in love with the process of finding new products to feature in the store. The MPorium, a student-run boutique in the Steel Plant building on campus, features not only Marist inspired items, but also vendors from all over the country.
Hokunson wanted her capping project to give students, faculty, staff, and alumni a chance to get their own work featured in the store. “I reached out to Professor Rebecca Brown [faculty advisor to MPorium students] for guidance. She pointed me to a project where the MPorium could sell products from creatives around campus, but through third party shipping,” Hokunson said. “I assured Professor Brown that I would take on this project and that I could get it up and running.”
While she can’t give specific names of whose work will be featured, she does say that she hopes that the people selected will be chosen through an application process, with their work meeting the shop’s theme for the semester and fulfilling various categories, including digital designs, photography, jewelry, and more.
Hokunson discussed the impact she hopes her project has on the Marist campus in the future.
“I hope that people can take away the value of being a part of the Marist community. When COVID-19 came and basically took away the rest of our year –– the most important semester for us seniors –– it has only made me feel the most gratitude and love for Marist more than ever. I want people to recognize that being a part of this community is a lifelong thing, it doesn’t end when we graduate.”