He may be a political science major — but Nick Gerber '15 can now add "fashion designer" to his résumé.
A LEEP Fellow, Gerber, from Santa Fe, N.M., presented his LEEP Project, “Creating Dorm Room Menswear,” at Clark’s annual Fall Fest academic showcase in October. He produced two custom shirts, two pairs of jeans, and a pair of dress pants over the course of the past six months.
LEEP (Liberal Education and Effective Practice) is Clark’s unique model of education that combines a robust liberal arts curriculum with life-changing world and workplace experiences.
Gerber, who received guidance and mentoring from Clark’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship Program, is among 90 Clark students who were selected as LEEP Fellows in 2014. The students worked closely with faculty mentors as well as Clark alumni and organizational partners on projects of shared interest or leading edge research and analysis. The LEEP Projects span a wide range of academic studies and allow undergraduates to creatively solve problems and apply their knowledge in authentic workplace settings.
Several years ago, Gerber enrolled in a course in fashion illustration at a community college in Santa Fe, while he worked in a tailoring shop. He created his designs using Adobe Illustrator. Gerber then started a long tedious process of trying to find fabric suppliers willing to turn his fabric choices into samples; he made approximately 40 phone calls before he tracked down a tailor who agreed to produce his creations.
"Clothing is always changing," said Gerber. "To the consumer that’s terrible because you’re always out of fashion, but to the designer this is really fun. Every season is something totally new."
Gerber continues to study comparative politics at Clark and plans to attend the London School of Economics.
The word is still out as to whether or not he’ll pursue his passion for fashion.
"There’s a lot of room for this to expand to a business after Clark, but it will take finding the right network and dedicated people," he said.
Gerber is the president of Clark’s Club Soccer team and treasurer of Special Olympics Clark Unified. He also participates on the Student Council Judiciary Committee and is a Choices educator.