A Visit with Elie Tahari!

I honestly cannot believe that we’re almost done with our Precollege classes. It was a great experience and I made so many new friends. It’s easier to develop friendships with people when you all share common interests, you know?

I walked into my In-Store Merchandising class, really not knowing what to expect. Our first project was to take a shoe and to create a display inspired off of the shoe. I, someone who never put together anything like this before, still managed to somehow produce something that looked somewhat decent. Our second project was to create a style guide for Fall 2014 and then style a mannequin based off of the style guide.

Our professor, Mary Costantini took us on a field trip to the Elie Tahari Pop Up store on 5th Ave. I have to say that the trip to the store was truly an unbelievable experience. It was amazing to see everything we had been working on in class come to life. The store was set up so that the instant you walked you knew the clothes were expensive. The clothing racks were organized by color, with an even spacing between each clothes hanger. To think that somebody had to plan the placement of every little detail in that store, down to the spacing between hangers is remarkable.

As my classmates and I toured the building, we saw seamstresses transforming scraps of fabrics into extravagant clothes and multiple window displays. Being fortunate enough, my classmates and I got to meet Elie Tahari himself! He’s a truly inspirational man; he lived in an orphanage a majority of his life and came to the United States with only $100 in his pocket. Elie Tahari told us: “I considered myself lucky if I had shoes and something to eat that day.” He now designs dresses with a price point of about $1,000.00. His story is a typical “rags to riches” type. He proves that literally anything is possible.

-Maria Mattson


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