ETTRICK — Virginia State University wants its students to dress for success, and with the help of a major fashion icon, that definitely will happen.
The college announced Wednesday afternoon it would receive almost 2,000 pieces of business professional clothing from the Coach global fashion house. The attire will support participants in VSU’s Career Readiness Program as they prepare for their post-college life in the working world.
The items include dresses, jackets, skirts, pants, shirts and shoes. They will be available to students through the Career Services Center; the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department; the Reginald F. Lewis College of Business Clothing Store; and the Textiles, Apparel and Merchandise Management [TAMM] program.
VSU said students in the TAMM program will use the donations to help students thrive in the fashion and apparel industries. While the clothing will be used primarily as business attire, the VSU TAMM program will use the donations to prepare students for careers in the fashion and apparel industries. The students will base future fashion designs for a future display window featuring the Coach items.
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VSU was among six colleges chosen for the donations through the Thurgood Marshall College Fund
“We are fortunate to be among the universities chosen to receive this generous donation from such a global fashion powerhouse,” VSU provost and executive vice president Dr. Donald Palm said in a statement released by the university. “We are thankful to both Coach and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund for their investment in greater at VSU.”
The New York City-based Coach is among the top 500 luxury fashion brands in the world with an estimated market cap of $3.29 billion. While the company has branched out into all areas of attire, perhaps it is best known for its range of leather handbags.
Coach is donating a total of 11,000 clothing pieces to the six universities as part of its Dream-It-Real higher education initiative. Other recipients include Cheyney University in Pennsylvania, Delaware State University, Florida A&M University, Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis, and Tuskegee University in Alabama.
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Bill Atkinson (he/him/his) is daily news coach for USA TODAY’s Southeast Region-Unified Central, which includes Virginia, West Virginia and central North Carolina. He is based in Petersburg, Virginia. Reach him at [email protected].