Fashion Design/Merchandising Program

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Power of the Purse

Rowan College at Burlington County Fashion Students Participate in the 2nd Annual “Power of the Purse” Auction and Charity Event


The Fashion Department at RCBC once again participated in the American Red Cross Southwestern NJ’s “Power of the Purse” auction and charity event to benefit local disaster relief efforts.

Students enrolled in the Fashion Department were assigned projects to design and create purses for the event.

Each student was challenged to conceptualize an idea from the American Red Cross’ five Fundamental Principles: people affected by disasters in America; support for members of the military and their families; blood collection, processing, and distribution; health and safety education and training; and international relief and development. Starting with concept boards and briefs, students drew inspiration from the principals to create meaningful handbag designs. 


With more than 40 students participating, 16 purses were juried into the event for the silent auction. The students whose purses were chosen were invited to this exciting evening where they were able to watch the live online bidding.

The purse that fetched the highest bid was designed by Jurnee Wade. She created a hand-woven tote called “You Belong,” which went for $130 at the auction. Kelly Longstreet’s messenger bag, “Urgent Message,” was the second highest bid. Other heartfelt purse titles included the following: “Everything is Not Lost,” “Wading for Justice” and “Healing Love.”


The Fashion Department is very proud of all the students who participated and looks forward to participating once again in next year’s event.