Villanova x Fashion Industry featuring Alumna Kate Gibbs Parr

The ICE Institute was thrilled to host alumna Kate Gibbs Parr on Thursday, November 10th for her presentation “Villanova x Fashion Industry: 10 Pearls of Wisdom.” Kate shared with the audience her experiences in pursuing her passion for fashion and tips of wisdom that have enabled her to succeed in her career.

Kate was eager to join the fashion industry as a model but first completed her education at the Villanova School of Business. After graduation she became a model and was featured in fashion runway shows, magazine editorial spreads, television works, advertising campaigns and took on further creative and business positions within the industry with designers Diane Von Furstenberg and Vivienne Tam. Kate then pursued a certification in education and became a teacher in the multicultural community of Long Branch, New Jersey. Inspired by her experience teaching predominantly migrant children from numerous countries, Kate combined her two passions: fashion and service. She created an ethical jewelry line inspired by her students and travel as a model.

During the program, Kate shared with the audience her ten pearls of wisdom that have enabled her to excel in her career in the fashion industry. She attributes her success to her hard work, humility, desire to learn, and willingness take on new roles and responsibilities. Kate highlighted the importance of emotional intelligence when building relationships and connecting with your audience. Speaking to her experience as an entrepreneur, she relayed that expectation rarely mirrors reality and one must be prepared to deal with the ups and downs that come with creating your business. Even if you do not have your own venture, it is very important to make a difference within a large firm by acting as an intrapreneur within the organization. Lastly, once you move up it is important to remember your journey and give back to those who are on the start of theirs.

Following Kate’s very informative and inspirational talk there was a showing of the documentary the “First Monday in May”. The film follows the creation the 2015 art exhibition China: Through the Looking Glass at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was the most attended fashion exhibit in history.

Be on the lookout for future programs showcasing the fashion industry!