Category Archives: Aya

Notes From the 6 Train: Summertime Hustle

So, I’m not sure when/ how/ where I signed up for this opportunity, but last week I was invited to assist Style Coalition at an event held at Milk Studios. Now, nearly everyone knows Milk, during fashion week many events take place at Milk. It’s funny because twice in the past I’ve tried to volunteer at Milk and heard nothing back. And this time, I was asked, without even applying, with pay, to work an event there. (Little story in how things work themselves.)

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The event was a collaboration with Loreal Feria + Style Coalition to showcase Feria’s new hair dyes. Helen Castillo (who was super sweet by the way) from Project Runway, debuted five pieces inspired by the new dyes, & Elliphant & Astr performed.

There was of course, an open bar & food, hair consultations for attendees, free hair dye and makeup.

Helen's pieces

Helen’s pieces

I spent majority of my time in the hair and makeup room & then checking people in at the front door. It sounds simple enough, but with over 250 attendees, I was on my feet the whole time. I was there with a few other FIT students as well. I talked to another girl who was working the event and mentioned that she has worked with this organization several times.

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As soon as the event concluded, I sent a thank you email to the organizers, so hopefully now that I’ve worked with them, they will contact me for future opportunities!

if you’re interested in attending free events in the future, I think all you have to do is sign up at Style Coalition to be put on their list serve.

All Things Color, Love & Fashion,
Ayanna Lane

Notes From The 6 Train: Honoring The LifeWork of Adam Gray

Wow. As I’m still processing this, I don’t really know what to say, but it’s something I do think needs to be adressed.

Adam Gray, assistant director of the FIT writing center, (where I work as a writing tutor) unexpectedly passed away two days ago. He was one of my favorite faculty members at FIT. He was super smart, present and aware in ways most people just aren’t. He was just a really special person.

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Below is what I wrote to go to into a booklet that’s being sent to his parents.

“I don’t know if you know, but your son was a quiet revolutionary.

As a black women from the south, and member of the queer community, I often struggle to find to people to connect with, especially within the hierarchal system of academia. Yet, we established a special connection, that did not merely transcend or ignore our plethora of different life circumstances, and experiences, but instead used those differences to build a more dynamic and full relationship.

He valued truth, in all forms it came in, from the disenfranchised, the unheard and marginalized, he brought this into his practice, his work, and our community. It was obvious, from the books he suggested, language he used, and topics he studied, he cared about the voice & story of people that most usually don’t. Those voices being inner-city black and brown kids coming from working class backgrounds, such as myself, who speak, think and perceive the world differently.

As our society has more and more visible acts of rage and violence, one of the most revolutionary, and most challenging, acts anyone can do is listen to people who are different from them. And that’s what Adam did, listen, and spent his time here at FIT, investigating ways to better equip tutors and students to own their voice, and by doing so, their story, their experience, their purpose.

His work is done, nor his voice is not lost. He can be found in notes, quotes and suggestions scribbled in my notebooks, emails and the energy of our writing community. I hope our words help illuminate the indescribable impact your son had in his work, at FIT and on us all.”

Notes From the 6 Train: Envisioning the Bigger Picture

Hello all!

So I just received some incredibly exciting news! I was told that of the recipients of this year’s PVH $5,000.00 Scholarship! *Yay, throws glitter & dances in it as it falls to the ground.* (This is the scholarship I mentioned in last week’s webcast.)

I want to talk about this scholarships because this was probably one of the most challenging scholarships I’ve ever applied for. The deadline for this particular scholarship was in the midst of midterms and massive projects. Though it was stressful time with all the work and the scholarship was quite extensive, I knew that’s exactly the reason most people wouldn’t even bother to apply. And I was right. Out of all of the ITM students, only three, including myself, showed up to the interview.

This could be you!

This could be you!

To be completely, although there was only a few of us, I was worried about the interview. I had another scholarship interview in the middle of midterms, was unable to prepare adequately, and felt very unsure in the actual interview. This uncertainty had definitely been picked up by the interviewers, and I didn’t get that scholarship. (Hey, you win some, you lose some.)

But when I met with Guy Vickers, the president of The Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation, he was so kind and put me completely at ease. There was also a designer from Clavin Klein, a former PVH Scholarship recipient & FIT student, as well as Christine Pomeranz, the department head of the ITM program. Needless to say, panel interviews can be a little intimidating, but a little research of the company and confidence in yourself and experience goes a long way.

If you are an ITM student, I highly encourage you to apply for these specialized ITM scholarships! Other majors have specialized scholarships as well, so even if you’re not an ITM major, do some research in your department and you qualify for one those.

Here’s the officially press release if you want to check it out.

http://www.fitnyc.edu/files/pdfs/PVH_Announcement2015.16_FINAL.pdf

All Things Color, Love & Fashion,
Ayanna Lane

Notes From the 6 Train: College Week Live.

So I did my first webcast yesterday! Yay.

I think it went really well. I hope everyone who tuned found it helpful. If you weren’t up yet (it was 10:30 am) or if you want to review the webcast, you can create a profile on collegeweeklive.com. I just found about this website while doing the webcast. This is unfortunate, because it’s a really helpful tool for learning about schools.

The website it divided into a few different parts. There are live chat sessions in which you can talk and pose questions (via text boxes, think AIM 5 years ago) to people who work there (like the admissions counselors & I.) If you are interested in learning about different schools, you can look the website schedule and it shows all the upcoming webcasts from schools nationwide. After the webcast happens, it then lives on that particular’s school website forever in case you want to review again the future.

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In addition to the webcasts, College Week Live has a list of resources to help plan (college admissions 101, essay writing, etc.) & paying for college (other scholarships, FAFSA, work-study programs, etc.) College Week Live also hosts a $1,000 monthly scholarship that doesn’t require an essay.

If you’re still making decisions or planning, I’d definitely advise this website as one to check out. Here’s the link. https://www.collegeweeklive.com

All Things Color, Love & Fashion,
Ayanna Lane

Notes From the 6 Train: Webcastin’ & Livestreamin’

Exciting news for all the students looking to transfer to FIT. This Thursday, from 10:00-11:30, I am going to be talking on a live webcast addressing all questions you have. This is the first time we’re doing this a live webcast (also, my first time I will be doing one ever, eep eep!)

Transferring schools, credits and towns can be tricky so I think this will be a good time to clear up some questions from someone who has experienced it all.

As-an-Office-Lady-Miss-Rabbit-is-Sitting-at-Leisure-in-Front-of-Computer-What-a-Professional-Woman-HD-Cute-Rabbit-Wallpaper (you can just sit back & get comfortable like this adorable rabbit!)

So, start thinking of your questions now and I look forward to chatting with you on Thursday. See you soon!

All Things Color, Love & Fashion,
Ayanna Lane

Notes From The 6 Train: The Laundromat Project

In my last post I mentioned that I have a summer internship as an artist assistance, but I want to talk more about the organization that I’m working with. The name is the Laundromat project and it’s mission is exactly what it sounds likes, doing cool stuff in laundromats. The entire premise of this non-profit is to make art more accessible for those whom it may not be for, such as those who live in low income and working class neighborhoods. This is done by bringing act and interactive exhibits to laundromats & other community spaces.

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I am super excited to be working with this organization because it’s work I fully believe in. Accessibility to art (film, dance, writing and poetry for me) has made such a huge impact in my understanding of the world and my existence within it. Creating art has healed me in ways that would impossible otherwise, and has connected me with people and communities that have changed my life.

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But it started because I was exposed to it. Whereas, for many people living in lower income and working class neighborhoods, art is this esoteric or even nonexistence force that exists for other people besides themselves, or exclusively the wealthy. So I look forward to bringing to connecting and building through art. I am also looking forward to working such talented artists, who do this important work.

This is going to be a good summer. I can feel it.

All Things Color, Love & Fashion,
Ayanna Lane

Notes From the 6 Train: Implementing Grace (When Life Changes Without Your Permission)

I just returned from Boston where I attended my best friend’s graduation. Look how beautiful she looked!

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I am beyond proud of my her, she’s essentially my sister, as I’ve known her since we went to kindergarten together. She’s not just good-looking, but also incredibly intelligent & passionate. This fall she will continue her education at Berkeley to get her Phd.

I was slated to graduate this May, but as I am a transfer student, I was set back by just a semester. So I will be graduating in the fall (yay!). For a while, I was quite upset that I wasn’t graduating “on time.” I felt like I was failure, and was ashamed about telling people, as there is stigma about graduating “late” (which I’m not sure what that means since there are significant amount of students who graduate undergrad in more than 4 years.)

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But, as mentioned before, not only am I “okay,” with the fact that I have a remaining semester, but I am thankful for it. There are programs, people and things I would am able to do that are necessary for (that have and will continue to mold my life) if I graduated this May. This was certainly about a bigger plan, divine order if you will.

This, learning to deal with unforeseen circumstances with grace, is one of the most important lessons I’m learning, which has been spearheaded by college events. If I hadn’t, I would have been at my soul sister’s graduation reeling with hidden jealously and disappointment. However, knowing, confidently that both of our paths are leading us to passionate,full lives of magic and love, I was able to be in present and overwhelming proud with a heart of joy.

Sometimes, we set plans and things change. And that’s okay. A quote I heard recently and identified with a lot is “we make plans & God laughs,” that’s life. Let go of the reins and enjoy the ride.

All Things Color, Love & Fashion,
Ayanna Lane

Notes From the 6 Train: Summer Livin’

What are you summer plans?

What are you doing this summer to make your dream work? Is it a large scale project, like an internship or job or something smaller, that might be just as informative? Are you taking classes, at FIT or around your community? Or reading books that will inform your art, practice or plans? Or simply waking up ten minutes in order to write or do do yoga or meditate?

I am lucky enough to be working on my dream machine indeed. This summer I am going to be working part time at the writing center, continuing to blog (yay!) & as an artist assistance with the Laundromat Project, a non-profit organization that works with artist to create public art across New York City. In addition, I am preparing and managing the creative direction for my first aerial dance showcase.

I will also be working on my own music project and begin to teach myself Portuguese (if you have any suggestions for this endeavor or would like to meet up to help my practice, be my guest.)

I will be sure to keep you posted on all my summer activities!

Let us know what you’re up to this summer!

All Things Color, Love & Fashion

Notes From the 6 Train: FIT Always Surprises

Here at FIT, you never know who you may meet. At the end of last semester I had the pleasure of being invited to speak with President Joyce F. Brown & Speaker Mark-Viverto. She’s the Speaker of the New York City Council (the top post) and represents District 8 in Manhattan. I also happen to live in District 8, which is why I was chosen to meet her. Christopher Wallace (FIT Student Association president) & Orlin,another student who also lives in District 8.

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We got to ride the fancy elevator (well, at least without getting yelled at by security), go to the top of the building and have orange tea and snacks in President Joyce Brown’s office. Also, President Brown was quite friendly and easy going, as was Speaker Mark-Viverto. After we told her about FIT and what we do here, we escorted her on a school wide tour. I must admit, it was quite cool to be a witness to the inner workings of the school — and government.

The Speaker was quite impressed with FIT. She thought the campus and the majors (toy design & fragrance/ cosmetics, which she didn’t know were majors) were very (NEED AN ADJECTIVE HERE)

I visited parts of the school that I did not even know existed.
– the cosmetics and fragrance lab

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– the advertisement & marketing communications department film studio and blue screen

– toy design lab

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I also got a special curated tour of the newest exhibit in the FIT museum at the time, Fakin It’, about the fashion industry and knockoffs and the huge impacts they have on the fashion industry as well as how/ where these knockoffs come from.

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This was an exciting experience that I’m glad I got to be part of. Like I said, FIT is full surprises.

All Things Color, Love & Fashion,
Ayanna Laen

Notes From the 6 Train: Showin’ Love To Mother Earth

So yesterday was Earth Day! What did you do to celebrate? Hug a tree? Plant a tree? Thank the Earth for all that it provides for us everyday?

If you weren’t able to celebrate yesterday, there is still a chance for you to thank our mother Earth!

You can start by watching this video about how all our stuff is made, what happens to this stuff when it gets trashed, and why you should care.

Additionally, you can attend the Green Festival this weekend.
The Green Festival is the U.S’s longest running sustainability & green living event. It brings together all who concerned about the well being of the Earth & connect them with retailers that share their same concerns. The website describes itself as “Green Festival® is a vibrant, dynamic marketplace where companies and organizations come to showcase their green products and services, and where people go to learn how to live healthier, more sustainable lives. Green Festival is a unique and powerful platform for CONNECTING potential customers, retailers, wholesalers and corporations – all under one roof. It provides excellent opportunities for green brands to generate business-to-business and business-to-consumer sales, build awareness and strengthen relationships in an expansive and engaging green marketplace.”

If sustainability is something you’re interested in, this could potentially be a great place to network.

http://www.greenfestivals.org/green-festival/about

All Things Color, Love & Fashion,
Ayanna Lane