Pursuing a Dream

Hannah Shevlin has always had a passion for fashion and photography. Raised in Tinton Falls, N.J., Shevlin will graduate from Brookdale in May 2020 with an associate’s degree in fashion merchandise, with a design focus.

“I’ve always had an eye for fashion and been a story teller, which is how I stumbled upon photography,” said Shevlin. “I think creating fashion and capturing the beauty of it can explain more than a thousand words, and I’m endlessly inspired by design and the beauty of art.”

“Don’t take opportunities for granted and enjoy learning from the best.”

-Hannah Shevlin

On the Set

Shevlin’s goal to pursue a career in the fashion industry took a leap forward last fall as she completed a costume design internship on the independent film Frat Haze, set for a 2020 release. “Being on set gave me the tingles, and nothing ever felt so right,” said Shevlin. “It is an insanely fast pace industry; you have to be up on your feet barking at orders left and right; but that is the type of rush I live for.” Frat Haze is about a mother who loses her son in a hazing death and takes matters into her own hands. It was filmed in Rumson, N.J.

Brookdale’s fashion instructor Alexis Jankowski reached out to Shevlin about the opportunity and line costume designer Gina Ruiz took Shevlin under her wing.

“The experience on the set was almost like love at first sight,” said Shevlin.  “I became aware of costume requirements in terms of setting, era, and character attributes.” The Monmouth Regional High School graduate organized and developed costume plots for each character, preparing clothing and costume changes with each scene.

Shevlin’s skills and efforts certainly made an impression. She recently moved to New York City and will work again with costume designer Ruiz on an upcoming movie this spring while completing two online courses at Brookdale. She also completed an internship over the winter break with the Elite Modeling Agency on its launch of a new clothing line. The motivation behind Shevlin’s relocation to Manhattan is two –fold – discovering and furthering her true passion and learning more about herself.

Her career goals include becoming a designer, creating her own line and opening a store. However, her experience on set also stirred a desire to get in front of the camera as an actor.

“Acting is another dream, and something very subtle that nobody really knows about,” said Shevlin. “I expect you’ll find me behind the camera or in front of it one day.”

“Hannah is a designer through and through. I get excited to see her projects, her outfits, and hear about her latest endeavors. “

-Alexis Jankowski, instructor, fashion merchandising and marketing

Looking Back

While at first sad about not going away to study at a university, upon reflection Shevlin said it was probably the best decision she’s made.

“Coming to Brookdale led me to these amazing opportunities, and I’ve had the chance to meet such amazing professors here,” said Shevlin. She said given that the fashion district in the New York metropolitan area is so small, students at Brookdale are truly able to connect with professors on another level.

Shevlin credits Jankowski for jumpstarting her career with the internship. She said her move to New York for the next step in her career would not have occurred without Jankowski.

“I truly don’t know where I would be if it weren’t for her,” said Jankowski. “She’s put up with a lot from me, made me who I am as a design student and is so sincere and helpful.”

Shevlin said Brookdale’s professors go above and beyond in helping students succeed across disciplines. She added that it’s the norm and not the exception. Shelvlin is also grateful for guidance from her merchandising professors, Beth Hochburg and Ann Marie Hughes.

Her advice to those considering coming to Brookdale, for fashion or any field?

“Don’t take opportunities for granted and enjoy learning from the best,” said Shevlin. “My time here has been a blessing, and I’m thankful for everyone who came along through my journey.”