Berkeley Today Stories

Berkeley College alumna Dana Free

Berkeley College Opens Window of Opportunity for Visual Stylist



Berkeley College alumna Dana Free Dana Free graduated from Berkeley College with an A.A.S. in Fashion Marketing and Management in 2004, and while taking the Visual 101 course, she discovered her true passion for styling and window display, shaping her path to a successful career in visual design. “That class taught me that the window design should never distract from or overpower the products the store is trying to sell,” Ms. Free said.

A resident of Prospect Park, NJ, Ms. Free began her career path through an internship at a textile company, R-Pac, which led to a full-time position before she decided to work toward her B.B.A. in Visual Merchandising from the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising. She went on to sales and visual styling roles at BCBG Max Azria, Lord & Taylor, and Saks Fifth Avenue before landing her current position with Neiman Marcus in 2012. As a Visual Stylist for Neiman Marcus’ storefront in Short Hills, NJ, Ms. Free is responsible for visually presenting the store look, brand, and current trends through merchandising, window styling, and mannequin display.

“I’m confident that along with my hard work and talent, being a graduate of Berkeley College has made me a desirable candidate to past and future employers,” Ms. Free said. “These employers know that Berkeley College graduates have the current skills and knowledge they are looking for.”

Up Close with Dana Free

What does success mean to you?

Success means setting goals, following through, and overcoming adversity. Success means going that extra mile, not being afraid to fail, living with purpose and passion, living your truth, and being happy with the person and choices you make.

What initially inspired you to enroll in Berkeley College?

I initially didn’t get accepted into another fashion school for design. While I was disappointed, I knew wholeheartedly that I wanted a career in fashion, and Berkeley College gave me the foundation that would ultimately shape my career path.

How did Berkeley College prepare you for success?

Because of Berkeley College, I discovered my love for styling and window display through a course called Visual 101. It was then that I knew I had really uncovered my passion and this was what I wanted to do.

In which way(s) do you see yourself being successful in the future?

I see myself being successful by continuously growing within my field because if I’m not learning something new, I’m not growing. Another way would be to go after projects or opportunities, even though intimidating, that will bring me closer to my goals and make me desirable to potential employers. I also believe my continuous hard work, passion, effort, energy, positive attitude, and preparation are all things that will continue to make me successful in the future.

What was your most memorable moment at Berkeley College?

My most memorable moment was the day I became a college graduate, when all my hard work, financial struggles, and goals came full circle. It was a very proud moment and one I will always treasure.