Fashion Department looks back with new collection

By Simone Griggs


Simone Griggs (Announcer): The college got a chance to “Look Back” at 1969 last week, on Wednesday, October 30th. The Fashion, Art History, and Culinary departments all joined forces to create a special event inspired by the college’s founding year. Joy Rhodes, professor of Fashion and Merchandising, shared more about what the event was for. 

Joy Rhodes: We applied for a grant for the N.E.H., the National Endowment for Humanities, for a preservation grant for the collection. And the event is basically a celebration of the colleges 50 year anniversary and grant where we are trying to bring awareness to the collection, to help preserve the collection for the future generations to come.  

Announcer: Joy also shared that what was on display during the event, was only a small part of the collection. 

Joy Rhodes: We have pieces dating back to the late 1800s all the way and I mean 1990 is about as vintage as we get. But, yeah, we have pieces from all decades.  

Announcer: We were also able to check out the collection itself with Britt Benjamin, an associate professor of Fashion and Merchandising. She shared some of the history and goals to preserve the collection. 

Britt Benjamin: We inherited it from Fashion Group International so that came about, the woman who really was big in it was, she was a buyer for the Jones Store down when they had one in downtown Kansas City, and then she retired, as part of Fashion Group International –Kansas City chapter, and really felt like they needed to start having a collection. So, she really started this. We don’t have yet, except for the event we had on Wednesday, the ability to really put it out there for the community to see. We used to do it in the fashion show with students modeling it, but that is a terrible way to preserve it. We did go after a grant and we receive it. It wasn’t a ton of money, but I guess it’s a really difficult grant to get. So, we were pretty happy on the first try that we got it. And we had a woman who had done preservation for University of Missouri for their collection, so she came and spent about three days with us, going through, we actually just went piece by piece and she would explain how to store it, how to maintain it, that really is what that grant is about. And then we went to administration on Wednesday afternoon with her to try to explain what we need to do to preserve the collection. Of course, it’s funding, so we will go for some more grants and try to get some funding. And its man-powered, nobody has a job to oversee this collection, it’s just sort of been something we’ve done because we want to do it so badly  

Announcer: If you’d like to find out more about Fashion and Merchandising, you can visit their page on the JCCC website. With the Campus Ledger, I’m Simone Griggs. 



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