By Marlon W. Morgan
After a four-year hiatus, Western Carolina University’s Center for Career and Professional Development is bringing back its Hire Attire Fashion Show.
The popular student event, which features a fashion show for business professional and business casual clothing, will be held Monday, Nov. 6, from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Hinds University Center Grandroom.
The CCPD selects 10 students to model business professional clothing and 10 students to model business casual attire.
“We take them on a shopping trip to Belk,” said Theresa Cruz Paul, director of CCPD. “They’re able to pick out the clothing they want to showcase. We give them some suggestions to try to get as much diversity in the clothing as we can.”
Afterwards, the students get to keep the clothing. Cruz Paul said the fashion show attracted between 350-400 students prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first 100 students to attend will receive a swag bag.
“It was one of our most popular events,” Cruz Paul said. “I think it was because it mixes the fun and the educational pieces together.”
On Tuesday, Nov. 7, CCPD will introduce a clothing closet. In another partnership with Belk, CCPD purchased suits for male and female students to rent for free for up to seven days, or as long as 2-weeks if needed. Students are only charged if the clothing is lost or damaged, Cruz Paul said.
The suits come in a wide range of sizes and are available in black, gray and navy blue. They include brand names such as DKNY, The Limited, Tommy Hilfiger, Anne Klein and Saddlebred.
“We’re hoping that the clothing closet helps students that can’t afford to pay for those good suits to do the one-off interview,” Cruz Paul said. “It’s really an option to provide students with a quick solution to those emergency situations.”
Students will be able to shop in the closet during CCPD operating hours or schedule an appointment with a counselor for clothing consultation.
Belk provided clothing for both the fashion show and the clothing closet at a “steeply discounted price,” Cruz Paul said.