Relationship with VCU lands alumna at Hong Kong Fashion Week

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Roshella Ricker is having a very good year.

Sure, 2015 is still young, but the Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts alumna has already attended Hong Kong Fashion Week in January — a huge coup for anyone in the fashion industry. Plus, she pays off her student loans this year.

Roshella Ricker, VCU School of the Arts alumna
Roshella Ricker, VCU School of the Arts alumna

“Every dime was worth the investment at VCU,” said Ricker, a buyer and product developer at Urban Outfitters. “It has definitely opened so many doors for me. The things I learned in the classroom were put into action on the job.” Also, she notes, her continued relationship with fashion professor Karen Videtic has been mutually beneficial.

“I’ve been able to give back by speaking in classes and judging final projects,” Ricker said. “She’s been able to send me potential applicants for internships and jobs that we have hired. And now my first visit to Hong Kong.”

Since graduating, Ricker “has steadily moved up the corporate ladder at various organizations,” Videtic said. “I was asked by the Hong Kong Fashion Week representatives to recommend some young buyers that might like to be chosen to attend fashion week in Hong Kong. … Of the names I supplied, Roshella was chosen.”

Hong Kong Fashion Week is the world's second-largest —and Asia's largest — fashion event with more than 1,400 exhibitors. This year, it was held from Jan. 19 to Jan. 22. During her trip, Ricker hoped to glean more knowledge on fashion trends for fall 2015 and bring back some new brands for Urban Outfitters’ online business.

She was not disappointed.

“The biggest thing I appreciated at this fashion week compared to others were the buyers’ seminars that were miniclassrooms that taught us about global trends, different business developments and the growth of the direct business,” she said. “And they actually had fashion shows each day spotlighting the larger brands — that does not happen at other trade shows in the U.S.”  

While Ricker had to shorten her trip for work obligations, she managed to make the most of it. She stayed at the Regal Hotel in Causeway Bay in the heart of Wan Chai, Hong Kong, attending shows, visiting exhibitors and attending seminars during the day. At night, she dined at the Intercontinental, a popular hotel on the Kowloon side of the city, and shopped.

“My favorite was shopping at the PMQ, which is a site that was Hollywood Road Police Married Quarters — the first dormitory for Chinese rank-and-file police officers,” she said.

Renamed PMQ, the site is now a hub for design and creative industries. Its buildings have been retained, reinforced, refurbished and upgraded for new uses. Residential units have been converted into design studios and shops, offices for creative enterprises and lodging for visiting designers.

“I spent a lot of Chinese money there,” Ricker said.

And there’s still 10 1/2 months of 2015 left to enjoy.


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