Kayla Garb, a first-year honors student at Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School of Business and daughter of JLNJ contributor Shneur Garb, has been named a YMA Fashion Scholarship winner by the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF). Winners receive $5,000 toward their education expenses and career-building internship opportunities, and are considered for an additional award, the National Merit Scholarship, worth $30,000.
Garb, a marketing major and art minor, is also invited to attend the FSF Awards Gala, to be held on January 9 at the Marriott Marquis hotel. Garb is looking forward to attending the festivities. “It is going to be a great opportunity to meet like-minded people from the fashion world and from other schools. I am also really happy to bring about a kiddush Hashem by being there,” she said.
Fashion has long been a passion of Garb’s, and over time, she developed that into a career path. “I have always been interested in fashion, partly because I love art and saw it as wearable art,” she noted. “As I have gotten older, I have become more interested in the science and business of fashion, such as marketing, retail and trend forecasting.”
Competitors for the scholarship were required to submit case studies exploring how digital technology can be combined with the traditional retail model to improve performance for a specific retailer. Garb chose J. Crew as her sample subject and worked with Dr. Gabriela Coiculescu, assistant professor of finance at Sy Syms, to develop it.
Garb’s proposed retail model shifts the transaction to the dressing room where customers would receive requested items requested from samples on display, pay for their purchases using near field communication (which allows devices such as smartphones and tablets to talk with other devices in close range) and opt to have their purchases delivered directly to their homes.
“My role was to guide Kayla in making the final touches to the financial plan that accompanied the proposal,” Coiculescu said. “Kayla came to me with a very well-developed and articulate proposal, and I have to say that I learned a lot about the fashion and retail industry from reading her case study. Kayla is a very talented student, who has the potential to succeed in any future career she chooses. I hope that the FSF scholarship will open many opportunities for her.”
Michael Strauss, interim dean of Sy Syms, said that the school is proud of Garb, who is “smart, committed and focused” in her passion for the fashion industry. He is glad, he added, that a student of her caliber has embraced the program at Sy Syms and looks forward to continuing to coach and advise her on her career aspirations.