It’s nearly boarding time for 21 students headed to Italy to study the history of Italian fashion, and their excitement is palpable. For weeks now they have been preparing for their trip, including researching and writing a paper on an Italian designer of their choosing. Here is what a few of them have learned so far and are still looking forward to:

Vicky Augenstein: “I selected Etro to study and report because I have seen their fashions in stores in Europe and on Pinterest noticing the brand stands out for its unique style.  Researching a brand helps one to understand the direction and strengths which define a brand. …I plan to implement what I learned and apply it as inspiration to my own fashion designs.”


Shams Zakhour: “I haven’t stepped foot on Italian soil and have already learned so much from this course! I am grateful that Ronda spent two full days lecturing about Italian fashion while we were still in the U.S. …Italian designers are so vibrant and exciting!”
DeAnne Appleton:
“I teach both children and adults and know that the more I am exposed to in the world of sewing and fashion, the more I have to offer my students.”
Ann Smith (Then): “I have visited Italy twice, once to Florence in 1969. So long ago. At that time I traveled with a husband and a toddler son so our visit did not involve shopping, looking at fashion windows or anything like that. …I’m excited about this course [and] spending more time in Florence…I think by focusing on Italian fashion I will be immersed in both modern day and the historic context of what makes up today’s life in Italy.”
Ann Smith (Now): “I chose Elsa Schiaparelli for my report because she has always interested me for her wit and originality as a designer. …I have been amazed at her genius and creativity, dreaming up many of the elements we know in the fashion world today.”