Fashion event to earn students experience

The University of Southern Mississippi will present students with firsthand retail experience in the annual Passion for Fashion “Consignment for a Cause” event.

Men and women who are studying fashion merchandising and marketing, as well as other business-related careers, will get the opportunity to learn about working in the world of fashion. “This is a class project in which students in a junior-level merchandising course plan, execute and manage a pop-up consignment store,” said Brigitte Burgess, associate professor of merchandising and merchandising coordinator.

Burgess said her students are involved in every aspect of the event, including pre-sale planning. The purpose of the consignment shop is to teach those who are involved skills in merchandising, promotion, accounting and customer service. The event is also designed to assist students in enhancing each of their critical learning and teamwork skills.

While some people prefer to learn within a classroom setting, Bailey Matheny, a junior marketing and fashion merchandising double major, likes to take a more constructive approach. Matheny, who will be a manager at the shop, said that learning in a classroom and gaining experience from being placed in a realistic work environment are two very different things.

“Passion for Fashion allows students to get experience in a controlled environment with things that they have learned within their time at USM and put their knowledge and skills into action,” Matheny said.

Another reason behind this event is to assist students in paying for school. Burgess said Passion for Fashion began in 2007 and has since helped more than 70 participating students receive aid financially from the proceeds.
Since the start of the shop, approximately 700 students have served as managers and staff. According to, items for all individuals can be found at the event. The shop will include clothing for every type of occasion, including career wear, casual wear, outer wear, formal wear/cocktail, shoes, belts, handbags, jewelry and children’s wear.

The shop will run from Monday, April 7 through Friday, April 11 from 9a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in rooms A and B of the Southern Miss Union.