With so many paths to choose from after graduation, we love seeing how graduates leverage their Fashion Development & Merchandising degrees when seeking their first “real job.” For alumna Danielle Calcara, her path led to a global fashion design and manufacturing company headquartered right here in St. Louis, Stars Design Group.
Stars partners with Siba to empower students with hands-on internships and other opportunities to explore the fashion industry. An internship is exactly what helped Calcara get her foot in the door: “I reached out to my awesome mentor and fashion department head, Lynne Wasson, and told her that I would love the opportunity to work at Stars. She reached out to Stars and shared my resume. I went through two interviews and started as an intern before being offered a permanent position as merchandiser.”
In her role as merchandiser, Calcara acts as a liaison between product development, the art department, the factory, and her clients. “I love that I get to work with a vast array of textiles and the newest fabric developments on the market. And the amount of industry experience among my bosses and coworkers is amazing; I feel very blessed to work at a company with so much talent, intelligence, and experience in the industry.”
Although she continues to learn something new every day at Stars, Calcara also credits her time at Siba for helping to prepare her for the position. One area of study that turned out to be surprisingly instructive was learning all of the terminology used in the fashion industry. “It seems like something so small, but it really is its own language which anyone working in the industry should know how to speak fluently.”
Calcara’s path to a dream career was not a straight one. After spending 10 years working in a different field, she took a leap of faith when she enrolled in Siba’s fashion program. “Going back to college at the age of 27, then becoming employed at Stars Design Group—these are achievements that I am very proud of and prove that no matter how old you are, if you have passion and dedication, anything is possible!”
Other accomplishments that Calcara is proud of: graduating with a 4.0 GPA while becoming a first-time mom to her daughter. We at Siba know that list of accomplishments is likely to grow as Calcara continues to make her mark on the fashion industry here in St. Louis or perhaps…New York? “Maybe one day—I never say never!”