Dateline: May 1st Location: Anaheim, California Reason: Nick Goes to DECA!Nick Verreos: Your Chair and Photos Await! DECA Conference, Anaheim California
On May 1st, I drove down to Anaheim California, otherwise known as the home of Disneyland, to make a special appearance for the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising/FIDM, at the DECA 63rd International Career Development Conference. DECA stands for Delta Epsilon Chi. As I wrote in a previous posting, DECA is an international association of high school and college students who are studying marketing, management and entrepreneurship in business, finance, hospitality and marketing sales and service. DECA offers the students the skills, knowledge and experience to compete effectively in the national and international workforce. Pageant Wave: Nick waves to a photo-snapping DECA attendeeFIDM had a booth at the conference and invited me to come and do a "meet and greet" and sign autographs. As I arrived, I expected A) not so many kids to know who I was--since this really wasn't a "fashion school conference" and B) a quiet afternoon where I sat at the booth and waved to passers-by. I was in for a major shock on both statements. Once I walked into the massive hall of the Anaheim Conference Center, I barely had time to put down my "man-bag" and get some water, as I was quickly directed to my position--front and center in the booth--and the growing line of over 100 attendees who had already been waiting for me! (I know, shut up!). FIDM Booth at DECA: You can see Project Runway Season 5 Winner (and FIDM San Francisco graduate) Leanne Marshall's gown from her Bryant Park Finale Collection on the mannequin
Incidentally, the "centerpiece" of the FIDM booth had one of Project Runway Season 5 Winner Leanne Marshall's dresses on display on a form--the final dress from her Bryant Park Show. Here's a secret: The dress was SO SMALL, they had to use a PRE-TEEN MANNEQUIN FORM---in order for it to fit! Yeah, Leanne's model was THAT SMALL!!!Get In Line: DECA attendees await a hug and a photo with Nick VerreosFor the next three and half hours, I met with students from all over the US. I took pictures with each and every one of them , as well as some parents and teachers who sneaked into line. I also signed photos that the FIDM staff had on hand and even did a special fashion illustration (or two) for some lucky visitors. All in all, I heard there were approximately 350 people who came by (I know that because we actually ran out of photos to hand out). I had such a fun time, the three hours felt like 20 minutes. It was NONSTOP meetin' and greetin'!
DECA navy blue polyester blazers with the patch emblem which all DECA students have to wear and dare I say, some are not too keen on wearing them. In fact, most of the students asked me (OK, they PLEADED!!) if there was ANY WAY I could "re-design" those blazers. Unfortunately, I told them, I couldn't help them with that.Are those necklaces for me? Nick Verreos poses with the FIDM DECA Booth Staff But I did see that as soon as the students were done with their "competitions", they tucked those blazers away, threw on some shorts and flip flops and were well on their way to enjoying Disneyland. Trust me, when the signing was over, I was "that close" to doing the same and follow them! However, I had to return to my studio in LA-LA land and design some dresses... Reporting from the 63rd DECA Conference in Anaheim California, Nick Verreos. Signing Out. Go DECA! And of course, go FIDM!