Passion for fashion
Alumna Ruth Bibby uses experience in fashion PR to judge Liberty’s annual show
Liberty University’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) welcomed back former fashion show director and alumna Ruth Bibby to assist in judging its ninth annual spring fashion show, titled “Cotton Couture: Nature’s Dream,” April 11 in the Schilling Center.
Bibby graduated with a double major in fashion merchandising and journalism, along with minors in business and photography. Before graduating, she also participated in a number of societies and activities. Bibby served as president for the Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society, was a member of the Omicron Gamma Phi Honor Society and was the FACS fashion show director and photo editor for the Liberty Champion.
Bibby’s passion began when she started modeling as a child in Taiwan and continued to stay involved in fashion throughout high school. She is now working in public relations for a company in New York known as “FullBeauty Brands,” where she immerses herself in various aspects of marketing, management and merchandising.
“It’s kind of like promotions, meaning I have to make sure our products are being seen in the right places,” Bibby said. “So, for instance, I would pull out clothing samples to be placed in (well-known) magazines, coordinate styles for television segments and plan events such as runway shows.”
According to Bibby, FACS professor Matalie Howard asked her to assist in judging the fashion show because of her current position in the fashion industry, as she thought it would be a way for Bibby to encourage current students that are aspiring toward a similar degree. But the primary reason for Howard’s invitation, Bibby added, was
because Howard knew how excited Bibby would be to help with the show in some facet.
“(Howard) knows how passionate I am about the show and fashion,” Bibby said. “I think it was spring break my junior year, … I didn’t go home, I didn’t go anywhere with friends. I just stayed and worked on the fashion show. I lived and breathed for that show.”
Bibby said the FACS fashion show is a chance for designers working toward a career in the industry to meet and communicate with peers, enhance their creative abilities and gain real-world experience for their future in the fashion industry.
According to Bibby, companies are now expecting students to have at least one to two years of experience before they apply for a job. Whether that is through a university or internship, that experience is required before they are offered an entry-level job. She thinks events like the fashion show are perfect opportunities for students to gain experience and improve relationships in the process.
Bibby encouraged students to keep working hard and look toward the future. She believes establishing who, what and where they want to be is essential to success. But as for her future, Bibby is hoping to become a brand director of public relations or even possibly working in fashion production for the runway.
“Having a fashion show on a college campus is great for students, because it gives you that experience companies are looking for,” Bibby said. “They can say, ‘Yeah, I actually do have experience, because I did (this) at my campus’ fashion show.’ They also have something that’s tangible to show for it and get to meet and interact with other designers, … who will be eventually working with each other, ideally.”
ELLIOTT is a feature reporter.