By Nicole Viviano
Just in time for the Fall Opportunities Fair, students had a chance to purchase high-quality business attire without a hefty price tag when Phillips-Van Heusen opened up shop in the Brower Student Center from Tuesday, Sept. 25 to Thursday, Sept. 27.
Students, faculty and staff alike browsed racks of discounted professional wear, and even had the chance to try on their selections in impromptu fitting rooms set up inside the pop-up shop.
PVH’s goal was to provide students with clothing suitable for a professional environment, and the retailer kept the prices affordable to better serve the needs of the campus community. Most items had an immediate discount between 50 and 60 percent off, and customers could earn additional discounts by posting about the pop-up shop on social media (10 percent) and signing up for PVH’s rewards program (15 percent).
The company has been carefully planning the event with the College’s Career Center since last fall.
“We have always had, at PVH, a great recruiting relationship with the Career Center at TCNJ,” said Michael Whelan, PVH’s senior manager of visual merchandising.
Whelan oversaw the pop-up shop, ensuring that students left well-versed in the art of professional fashion.
“I just think it’s a great opportunity for you to try on clothes, have fun, ask questions and maybe get some insight,” he said.
The concept of a pop-up shop is new to both the College and PVH.
For the College’s first pop-up shop, the Career Center wanted to connect with a recruiter that they had a long-standing relationship with, Debra Kelly, director of the Career Center, explained.
The College is one of the two institutions that PVH partnered with to do its first pop-up shops. In order to provide students with convenient and timely resources, PVH and the College’s Career Center unanimously decided to go with the week of the the College’s Opportunities Fair.
“I’ll probably be wearing it to the career fair,” said Ram Maran, a sophomore accounting major, referring to the full suit, shirt and tie that he purchased at the pop-up shop.
Maran was grateful for the help he received from PVH employees during his time shopping, as they assisted him in finding clothes that fit well and matched his personal style.
“Affordable clothes are extremely helpful for college students,” said Matthew Green, a senior communication studies major. “As a senior, I’m looking for internships and potentially a full-time job. These new clothes will be great for my next interview.”
The pop-up shop was also an opportunity for students to interact with the College’s administration in a relaxed, casual setting.
“It’s a way of connecting and networking without calling it that,” Kelly said.
Professional wardrobes at discounted prices were only some of the Career Center’s helpful resources. For students soon entering the workforce, alumna and Human Resource Generalist for PVH Corporate Stephanie Menakis (’15) reviewed student resumes as part of preparation for the Opportunities Fair.
Emily Behn, the Career Center’s assistant director of employer relations, highlighted the importance of the PVH pop-up shop and the resume reviews for students who are starting their professional careers.
“There is no perfect formula to a resume, but as you share your resume with others, you’ll pick up tips and figure out how to create one that represents you best,” Behn said. “The confidence that comes through when a student looks put-together and is comfortable is the goal.”