Inside the CF Clubhouse

College Fashionista is growing up under Clique Brands Inc. The company is set to bring back its temporary CF Clubhouse concept for college students in New York next month as the business now considers conferences and ramps up sponsorship deals.

It’s an interesting maturation of a site aimed at providing content — fashion tips, campus news and otherwise to college students, which was acquired by Clique in October 2016 for an undisclosed amount.

Last year’s clubhouse was the first dabbling of a physical experience for the digital brand. Learnings were had and the concept was refined for this year.

CF Clubhouse this time around will now be open to any college student who presents a student ID, giving visitors access to panels, speakers and the work spaces while there. College Fashionista founder and executive director Amy Levin said over 2,000 people are expected to pass through the doors when they open June 5 until its closing June 14.

That broadens the reach, with last year’s clubhouse open only to College Fashionista members, of which 900 visited during the course of the month-long venture.

“Last year really far surpassed what our expectations were and was just tremendous brand exposure and engagement both from our community and college students as a whole, so we really put a lot of our learnings together,” Levin said of this year’s version.

The timeframe of the space’s opening was also whittled down to two weeks as compared with last year’s one month, a length that makes more sense for College Fashionista’s Generation Z demographic, which covets newness.

The Clubhouse is once again in New York, a good market that sees the number of college interns swell after Memorial Day, Levin said, allowing College Fashionista a chance to tap students from a diverse set of universities and backgrounds.

Among the sponsors this year are Bumble Bizz, Kendra Scott, Primark and a collaboration between American Eagle Outfitters and Dormify.

“Because this generation is so consumed by authenticity we really partner with brands who share the same core values and who are deeply interested in this generation, which is Generation Z, and that’s how we established these partnerships,” Levin said.

Additional sponsorship deals are expected in the fall with a more interesting proposition of taking the Clubhouse concept directly to a college campus in some form at some point next year.

The company is also expanding topics for panels and other engagements for this year’s Clubhouse programming. While last year’s programs focused on fashion and beauty, this year will offer talks on the future of marketing, where retail is headed and how to design a successful business.

“I think just in general, through surveys and focus groups, our students want more,” Levin said. “They’re more dynamic as individuals and just because they love fashion and they maybe want to go into the fashion industry, they want to understand other pockets of business as a whole.”

The direction of the programming begs the question of whether the company is now considering the conference business in some format.

“That’s absolutely in our roadmap and access to experts is kind of the core of our brand moving forward and what our students are demanding,” Levin said, adding there will be a doubling down next year of those sorts of educational offerings, whether via conferences or online videos to help students understand the job landscape.

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