Passion + Fashion at ASAS

ASAS | 16 August 2023

URBN is a portfolio of global consumer brands comprised of Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Nuuly, and Free People, among others. At the heart of their values (Unite, Respect, Build, Nurture) is the ambition to develop long-term connections with surrounding communities and foster creativity in the next generation. For the past few months, they’ve been accomplishing their goals through a new partnership with After-School All-Stars.

Exploring Career Pathways
URBN’s headquarters sprawls across a rejuvenated campus at Philadelphia’s historic Navy Yard, a few miles south of several schools that partner with ASAS Philadelphia & Camden. Recently, a busload of All-Star students from Russell Conwell Middle School visited the campus. They toured several buildings, speaking to URBN employees about their different brands and the sort of work done by each department.

The last stop was a photo studio packed with rows of upcycled clothing and accessories. Students worked independently or in small groups to coordinate outfits while others learned how to operate the camera, lights, and monitors. Everyone participated in a mock photo shoot, where All-Stars posed with friends or alongside the original outfits they had created.

At the end of the tour, URBN provided tacos and pizza for lunch, and the students had an opportunity to meet and speak with Frank Conforti, URBN’s co-president and COO.

Passion Meets (re)Purpose
Most of the students on that tour had already met employees from various URBN brands when they visited Conwell in July. Guest instructors from URBN led an activity that reused scraps of “retired” clothing to decorate discarded picture frames from store displays, engaging students in conversation about how repurposing things can breathe new life and meaning into items. All-Stars wrote poems or lyrics on colored pieces of paper and displayed them in their upcycled frames. One student wrote, “Do it because it makes you happy,” another “I’m trying to do better than good enough.”

A Seamless Partnership
In addition to connecting these students with industry professionals and hands-on learning experiences, we’re thrilled to share that the partnership with URBN will soon reach All-Stars across the country. Building on our successful “All-Star Academy” model, URBN and ASAS are collaborating to launch a graphic design academy, a seven-week course focused on graphic design and digital marketing. In recent years, All-Star Academy has led to robust partnerships between ASAS and TikTok, Kartoon Channel!, Applegate, and others.

Students in the program will be paired with adult mentors, including URBN employees, who will help them navigate academy coursework while also providing career insights and overall support. The partnership aims to provide about 150 students with in-depth engagement opportunities with industry experts who will teach and help design content for real-world learning and career exploration.

We look forward to announcing the full details of this collaboration in September!