Fashion club president aims for higher standards
Ask Stephanie McIlroy about New York Fashion Week and she will give you insight into the latest and greatest designs gracing runways.
McIlroy, a retailing and consumer science senior, is president of TREND, a student fashion club on campus. The group’s main objectives include attending local fashion events to help club members establish contacts in the industry and network with various fashion companies.
Having served as president for a year, it’s easy to imagine that this is something McIlroy has been invested in from an early age. But that’s not necessarily true.
“I had never heard of American Eagle or Hollister. I had no idea,” McIlroy said, adding that she grew up as a tomboy interested in sports. “All of the girls would be playing jump rope. I would be playing football.”
Michaela Kane / The Daily Wildcat Stephanie McIIroy is President of the University of Arizona TREND Fashion Club. McIlroy is a senior studying retail and consumer sciences at the UA.
After spending her first year of college at Northern Arizona University, McIlroy transferred to the UA, looking for a fresh opportunity at a new location. The decision to transfer, she said, was the right one for her.
It was not uncommon to see students going to class dressed up and wearing heels on a regular basis in Flagstaff, McIlroy said, while her style was more laid back.
“People were like, ‘What are you wearing?’ I got so many stares,” McIlroy said.
McIlroy will graduate in December 2014 and said she is anxious to leave a lasting legacy with TREND, a club she describes as “the business club catering to the fashion side of retail.” She has been in TREND for two years. One of her main goals this year is to focus on thoughtfully planning and organizing a few events rather than trying to undertake too many tasks.
“I just don’t want to take on too many things,” she said. “I would rather hold one successful event. We never had anything.”
In February, she and a few of her TREND colleagues went to Las Vegas for a trade show. These networking opportunities are central to why McIlroy said she feels being a part of TREND is such a valuable experience.
“I knew that TREND wasn’t just about street fashion. I just felt that it was a really great way to connect with the professional world,” said Philip Rodin, public relations and event planning officer for TREND.
Rodin, an art history junior, said he has enjoyed working with McIlroy since assuming his position last semester.
“Stephanie [McIlroy] definitely holds the club to a very high standard,” Rodin said. “She really got TREND on its feet. She’s the one who really built it and made it a staple in Tucson’s fashion community. Everything that she does — she knows it could help her in the future, but she also wants to help others.”
And other members said they appreciate McIlroy’s willingness to listen.
“Stephanie is so easy to work with,” said Elise Martinez, a pre-retailing and consumer sciences junior and TREND member. “What I love is that she doesn’t shut anyone down. She really wants everyone’s input.”
McIlroy said her dream is to work as a buyer for fashion apparel in New York City. But until then, she will continue to share her love for fashion and use the opportunities that she has been given to build her portfolio and help do the same for others.
“It’s very humbling,” McIlroy said of her position with TREND. “I don’t take it for granted at all.”