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Haleigh O’Connell: The Girl Behind the Wardrobe

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Name: Haleigh O’Connell

Hometown: Orlando, Florida

Major: Retail Merchandising and Product Development

Minor: Entrepreneurship

Year: Junior

Haleigh O’Connell, a junior at Florida State University, is diving into the creative world of fashion as she delves herself into retail merchandising and product development. As a child, O’Connell was interested in interior design; however, as she grew up, her mind became more focused on the fabric and placement of the materials in designing, which led her to inquire about fashion.

Courtesy: Carlos Crespo


“Finding out that FSU has a retail major is just eye-opening. I never thought that this would be a possibility. It helped introduce me into the science behind fashion, and that’s what I love the most.” Attending classes, such as trend forecasting, she learns about trends that have yet to come years into the future. “If a buyer doesn’t predict the correct trend, the store will not succeed.”

The Retail Merchandising and Product Development major helped the ambitious O’Connell land an internship at the biggest wholesaler in the United States, AmericasMart Atlanta (AMC), which was stationed in Atlanta, Georgia.

Courtesy: Haleigh O’Connell


“It was awesome! They had buyers that ranged from National Geographic magazine all the way to clothing stores, such as Macy’s.” Working with the gift temporaries, the biggest market at AMC, Haleigh was introduced to a world beyond design. “I helped new vendors that were coming to market prepare for the upcoming market.”

As an Entrepreneurship minor, AMC interactively shaped the pavement for O’Connell’s future aspirations in life. During her time at AMC she not only got introduced to designing fashionable prom dresses on a more expensive market, but she also was showing vendors retail products, such as those seen in Starbucks. “Besides the world of design, I was opened up to vendor buying and future sale trends. I now would love to be a store owner,” says O’Connell. “I want to be the boss who makes the decisions of what clothes I would like to sell, how much they will sell for, how much my customers would be willing to spend, and things like that.”

Courtesy: Haleigh O’Connell


This opportunistic fashionista also began to spread her styles around FSU when she ambitiously became a part of the Collegiate Merchandising Association (CMA) and the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC). As a member of CMA, O’Connell had the pleasure of driving to her hometown, Orlando, and helping dress models in the Orlando International Fashion Shows. In Orlando, she helped pull pieces to dress the models. Similarly, as a member of AATCC, she styles fashion shows that take place, right by the FSU campus in Tallahassee, since the organization hosts a fashion every semester.

“Last semester I styled bohemian wear for the fashion designs,” says O’Connell, “and this year we are styling another fashion show with the overall theme being, ‘take a trip to Europe’, and I’m styling ‘beautiful Berlin.’” If you want to catch this trailblazing diva, you can find her at the Four Points by Sheraton, where she will be showing off her chic styles on December 1 at 7 p.m. Hopefully, one day Haleigh will be strutting her designs down an urban city, while paving the way for young men and women all over the country.

I love sarcasm, broadcast journalism, and social media. I have an undeniable charm and wit. I'm most likely watching "The Mindy Project." Oh yes, and I write stories. Major: Editing, Writing, and Media Florida State University
Her Campus at Florida State University.