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The Fashion Department is leaving, but Comet’s Closet will stay.

Comet’s Closet in room FD-4. Photo credit: Rachel Hyman

SAN MARCOS – The fashion program is on the way out, but they plan to leave their legacy behind.

After an administrative decision, Palomar’s Fashion Department is moving to the Rancho Bernardo campus. However, they decided to keep their free clothing bank, Comet’s Closet, in San Marcos. The department will officially move to the new campus on June 13 and should be squared away for summer classes to start on June 24.

The fashion program currently operates out of the FD building, a small, outdated structure on the San Marcos campus. Now, they have been given an opportunity to move to a larger and more modern location.

Fashion Merchandising and Design at Palomar Photo credit: Rachel Hyman

Fashion Merchandising and Design Advisor, Rita Campo Griggs, who has been with Palomar for over 20 years, said the department is excited about the move to the new campus.

“We are for it, it’s all brand new… they are actually tearing down a wall so we can have everything in one room,” Griggs said.

Other design programs, like interior design and architecture, are already in Rancho Bernardo. Griggs mentioned the possibility of creating a design center with the other programs.

Even though the fashion department is leaving, they will keep Comet’s Closet in San Marcos. Griggs is looking to hand over the clothing bank to the Associated Student Government (ASG).

A selection of clothes to choose from at Comet’s Closet. Photo credit: Rachel Hyman

A store location change from the FD building to the Student Union may also be more beneficial for students. “I think students would have a better time finding it,” Griggs said, referring to Comet’s Closet.

The fashion department created Comet’s Closet as a way to provide free business and casual clothing to students in need. “I came to the department and said what do you guys think if we do this?” Griggs said.

The first set of clothes came from a class taught in the fashion program, Fashion Analysis (FASH 105). During a lesson on “how to clean out your closet,” students were instructed to bring their unwanted clothes to class. These collected items were then donated to Comet’s Closet.

“We started it, and it was very successful,” Griggs said.

Anyone can donate to Comet’s Closet, and anyone can shop. Many of Palomar’s faculty and students donate to Comet’s Closet regularly.

“We have a lot of students that come up here that have special needs for something, like ASG when they are going to Sacramento and need more business clothes,” Griggs said. Comet’s Closet is also a resource for formerly incarcerated students, providing them with clothes for important events like graduation.

The fashion program hopes to expand its brand. Griggs mentioned opening a new Comet’s Closet on the Rancho Bernardo campus for students there.

After wrapping up the annual fashion show, MODA (meaning “fashion” in Italian), on May 10, the fashion program began immediately packing up for its move to the new location.

Even though the fashion program is leaving, Griggs plans to stay involved with Comet’s Closet and oversee the store from Rancho Bernardo.

“We are here for whenever you guys need us,” Griggs said.

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The Fashion Department is leaving, but Comet’s Closet will stay.