Soon to be found on the walls of Cornell students everywhere, the academic fashion calendar was released last week. Brainchild of Jaime Vasquez ’02, the calendar features Cornell males and females who were chosen last April as part of Vasquez’ marketing tool to popularize his online company, universityfashion.com.
“We want to become an online shopping store where students can find the styles we portray in our calendar,” Vasquez said about universityfashion.com.
After brain storming, the fashion calendar became the chosen means to publicize the company, Vasquez said. Looking into other student calendars, Vasquez realized that male calendars were fairly uncommon. The untapped female market quickly became the company’s next target audience.
Following some preliminary research, Vasquez chose to work with Umodels.com due to their experience with more than 600 students for online portfolios, as well as various campuses nationwide.
The long process of creating the calendar began with the search for models. Auditions were held at Bibi Mazoons, a club in Collegetown, where close to 220 students participated. Each student was photographed and later judged by a committee of professionals and staff, including Michael Schneider, founder and director of Umodels.com and students from universityfashion.com, Vasquez said.
“The audition process was really casual and easy-going,” said Jillian Amagsila ’03, one of the models. “I wasn’t really serious about it at first. My focus is on my schoolwork, but if opportunities start coming, I’ll definitely consider it.”
About twenty-five male and females finalists were chosen, followed by online votes from 6000 students around the nation to select the twelve male and female students that would be appear in the calendar.
“I’ve never really modeled before, but it was a great experience,” said Justin Wagner ’01. “Each model received a two-year non-exclusive contract with Umodels.com. Our photographs are online and companies in search of models are able to look through the portfolios,” Wagner explained.
The academic calendar, beginning from September 2000 and continuing to August 2001, also includes important academic dates such as registration/course exchange, breaks, study period and senior week, in addition to campus phone numbers.
After the male and female models were narrowed down, the shootings began for the calendar.
Many students were photographed during senior week, around campus, to capture the college lifestyle and setting, according to Vasquez.
“We wanted to get students doing what they normally would,” he added. “From interviewing to swimming in the gorges, we wanted to see students in their space.”
Other students unable to participate in the shoots senior week, were photographed by local photographers during the summer, depending on where they were.
The project was primarily funded through personal and family investments according to Vasquez, and calendar sales will continue until November.
Other students involved in the project were Brian Silverstein ’03, director of photography, director of marketing Patrick Moran ’01 and director of public relations Christina Melendez ’02. The group also included a fashion team that assisted with sets, lighting, makeup and wardrobe.
“This project was a great learning experience,” Vasquez said. “It was hands-on and I was putting into practice what I’ve learned in my classes.”
In the future Vasquez hopes to provide businesses with a “marketing channel to reach student communities,” as stated in the company mission statement.
Archived article by Tanvi Chheda