Fashion, a hot subject on college campuses across the country, is the topic of Fashion Studies 101, which debuted on six campuses last spring and is due in expanded form for the fall term.
Fashion Studies 101 is not the name of a college course. It's a fashion-oriented publication designed as an insert for college newspapers, and the brainchild of two UCLA alumni who hope to cash in on the campus fashion craze.
Creators Zach Raymond, 24, and Darrel Garbe, 28, put out a slim, eight-page test edition last April that was carried in college papers at Cal State Northridge, Stanford, Northwestern, Southern Methodist, Columbia and Emory universities. This September, Raymond and Garbe are planning a 24-page back-to-school edition that they hope will be carried in 50 campus papers.
Targeting the college market is not new. Ampersand, published by Alan Weston Communications of Burbank, and Knoxville, Tenn.-based Campus Voice, formerly known as Nutshell, have prospered nationally as general interest, off-campus publications aimed at the college crowd. Both Newsweek and Time produce special campus editions.
Nor is Fashion Studies the only publication to recognize the hot college fashion market. This October, Alan Weston Communications will launch College Woman, a 48-page magazine that will be distributed free through the mail to women on 400 campuses, according to Publisher Alexander Auerbach.
While a student, Raymond, a 1984 UCLA graduate in psychology, was involved with a number of school organizations that advertised in the Daily Bruin, UCLA's campus paper. At the same time, he learned about the various national advertising programs offered to campus papers.
Garbe, who received a master's degree in business administration from UCLA in 1982, left his job in marketing at Carnation Co. to help launch the insert.
"What we did was combine his marketing knowledge and my school national advertising experience. We came up with an idea to try . . . an insert with real student interests in mind."
Raymond says that after hitting on the idea, he and Garbe settled on fashion as a theme after discovering that it was a major--and lucrative--interest among college students surveyed in a number of independent market studies.
Garbe's and Raymond's research indicated that college students are active fashion buyers, with the average college student spending as much as $700 a year on clothes. In addition, according to Raymond, the studies showed that 85% of college students read campus newspapers and that students depend less on conventional print and broadcast media for information.
With the help of some private investors, they set up Fashion Studies Publishing in Pacific Palisades.
"It was a little hard for us to sell in that we didn't have a prototype," he said of the first edition of Fashion Studies 101. "The people that ended up going with us were advertisers with a particularly strong interest in trying the college market," Raymond explained.
The 50,000-copy first edition of Fashion Studies 101 came out April 15 with four advertisers: sportswear makers Cherokee Apparel and Hobie Apparel, Hanes Hosiery and Chams, a line of clothing for young men. Fashion Studies paid each campus paper $50 per 1,000 inserts. Raymond said advertisers paid to appear in the premiere edition but he declined to say how much.
The second edition is scheduled for the fall term on Sept. 15. Raymond said four or five advertisers, primarily athletic and sportswear makers, have signed up so far, but he wouldn't identify them.