Trending-Alexis Lessley Affirms Career in Fashion Merchandising
Alexis Lessley ’21, an Immaculata University fashion merchandising major with minors in buying and data analytics, isn’t ready to abandon any trends within the fashion world. She happily agrees with the universal notion to keep those bell-bottoms in the back of the closet–because they’ll be back in fashion at some point!
“Trends are constantly changing and re-appearing years later and most countries and cultures share different trends than one another,” she observes.
The Lancaster, Pa., resident transferred to Immaculata after her sophomore year as a fashion major at another local university. With the assistance of Lina Castro, program director for the Fashion Merchandising program, Alexis secured an internship at Talbots as a visual merchandiser. The experience provided her with the ability to understand a target customer that was completely different from her. Wanting to focus her career on buying, Alexis recognizes the importance of understanding all different types of customers.
“You may not personally like a certain style but you also have to acknowledge what is trending for that specific customer in order to purchase the right products,” Alexis remarks. Her internship also taught her how to markdown items and to position merchandise in a way that is visually appealing to the customer.
Alexis took an apparel construction and design course and a flat pattern making and design course. She quickly learned how to use a sewing machine and design and create her own garments. She discovered how garments are produced and why certain garments cost more than others.
Accounting, finance and statistics were all subjects that Alexis excelled at during high school. She acknowledges that she has always been very analytical along with creative. When she needed to take a course on retail math, she knew it would enhance her ability to succeed in any type of fashion career. Crucial to a career in buying are understanding pricing, including the wholesale and retail price of products and the retail markup percentages; calculating inventory sell-through rates and performing case studies. Because everything within the fashion industry relates to one another, she was able to use these new skills throughout all of her other classes.
After taking a buying principles and practices course in her junior year, Alexis validated her assumptions about her future career in fashion merchandising. During the class, she enjoyed projects including competitive shopping, completion of assortment plans within a store and development of white space opportunities to help companies improve.
Thriving in her major, Alexis has made the dean’s list since arriving at Immaculata. “Alexis is an excellent student who works hard and genuinely embraces learning opportunities,” says Castro. “With a very positive attitude, she has shown her desire to learn and present herself beyond expectations with every project.”
Reflecting on her time at Immaculata, Alexis comments, “I feel like it was the best decision I could have made considering the amount of knowledge that I gained in a little over a year.”
The comprehensive skills that Alexis has learned at Immaculata have already landed her a full-time position with Burlington. After graduating, she will be an assistant buyer at Burlington’s corporate office in New Jersey.
With a lifelong interest in every aspect of fashion, Alexis is excited to begin her career. She is fascinated by how fashion has the ability to build confidence and make individuals feel good about themselves, no matter what their style may be.
So, don’t throw out those skinny jeans just yet!