Discovering a Major: Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design

by Kate Kim as told to Emily Bennett

Kate Kim

Kate Kim

I am currently in my final semester in Fabric Styling, but I got my Associate’s degree in Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design.

A display I designed for Sol Republic headphones

A display I designed for Sol Republic headphones

The Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design (VPED) major focuses on the visual aspects of designing displays and equipment, and the overall merchandising of a store. We also gain experience designing “pop-up shops”, which are gaining popularity in today’s market. People who choose this major generally have goals of becoming visual merchandisers, merchandise display designers, store layout designers, or window display designers. This major was the number one factor why FIT was my top choice. There is no other program like VPED in the whole country! What really drew me in was the fact that it specializes in a specific industry, yet it provides so many various opportunities career-wise. Because of the classes I took, I have experience creating visual presentations and displays for brick-and-mortar stores, pop-up shops, museums, showrooms, exhibition and event spaces as well as experience in event planning, set design, mannequin styling and even more! Right now I am interning with Michael Kors.

A Point of Purchase design encouraging voting

A Point of Purchase design to encourage voting

Mannequins I styled that were on display in the windows looking out onto Seventh Avenue

Mannequins I styled that were on display in the windows looking out onto Seventh Avenue

  I chose VPED because I was fascinated with the idea of capturing people’s attention on the street with a window display, therefore creating interest to come inside to shop. Some of the classes I really enjoyed were Display Graphics, Point-of-Purchase Display Design, Design and Rendering, Event and Promotion Design and Exhibition Design. I think the most interesting class I took was the Exhibition Design one. We had to design a pop up shop layout as well as the merchandise displays. I remember working on the 7th Avenue window with a group to create props and design a window to display merchandise. This was seen by everyone who walked by the school!

A design for the pop-up shop version of Bonobos

A design for the store Bonobos

The greatest thing I learned from attending FIT was mastering several computer graphics programs as well as familiarizing myself with the fashion and visual design industry.


Find out more about Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design here!

Note: Starting in Fall of 2015 the Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design major will no longer be an Associate’s of Applied Science Degree. The College has changed it to a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. The College recommends any students interested in pursuing a BFA in VPED to first complete their Associate’s Degree in Communication Design.

–Emily–

Notes From the 6 Train: How to Survive the 12 Hour School-day

So I’m kind of a pro on this topic. Because I take 6 credits every semester, and only want to come to campus (at most 3 days a week, last semester it was 2) I usually end up having one day where I’m at campus for 12 hours, from 9 am to 9 pm. This is not my preferred schedule, but the class always seem to line up like this, so let me give you a play by play on how I survive, in case you ever find yourself in a similar position. This is particularly true for commuter students who have to travel long distances to come to campus.

1. First, and most importantly, I remind myself that I only come 2 or 3 days a week.

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2. Eat to win! I pack my lunch everyday, and it especially on these longs because going on and off campus to get food can be such a hassle, plus super expensive. You will need:
– A water bottle (gotta stay hydrated)
– A full lunch (full of protein, as you will need that energy to remain focused during your classes)
– Snacks! This one is pretty self explanatory.

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3. Use whatever time you’re not in class to your advantage. You won’t be in class during the entire time. I have 3 classes that are scheduled in 3 hour time blocks, but I have still about 3 hours in between to kill. During these breaks I get work done, get a massage or acupuncture at the health clinic (this does have to be scheduled in advanced though) or even take a free fitness to waken myself up (there are free classes at the gym at FIT.) Though, with this last option I obviously I don’t do a really sweat inducing workout. I would suggest yoga.

Other things you can doing your breaks:

– Work! On campus jobs or workstudy
– Take a nap. the commuter lounge was basically made for that

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4. Handle all of your on campus errands.
– Running to financial aid/ bursar’s office
– Go to a club meeting/ events held during common hours
– Go to a tutoring center/ visit a teacher’s office hours

I know that a 12 hour day seems daunting, but when you get home after such a productive day you feel good! Luckily, my 12 hour day is Thursday, and I have no classes on Friday so I either start my weekend early and go out OR go home and enjoy the well deserved, blissful rest.

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

Transitions

If you would have asked me what I wanted to do with my life this time last year, I would have told that you I was going to be a beauty photographer shooting ad campaigns for Sephora, Urban Decay, and Chanel.  Today if you were to ask me, I would say that I want to be a photo editor on the digital aspect of a magazine (the .com/social media portion) and a group fitness instructor.  It’s amazing how much changes over a year.  While my life did not change all that much, I am different person compared to freshman year me.  I am more responsible, passionate, confident in myself as a person and an artist.  I didn’t give up on my dream, my dream just changed a little bit.  I am still in the photography realm of everything, but my outcome and how I picture my life upon graduation and 10 years plus has changed.

It is important especially in college, and a college like FIT to continue to keep an open mind and to know that it is okay to change your mind.  While it can be difficult to completely switch gears at FIT, imagine yourself out of college and try to imagine what you want to be doing regardless of your declared major.  Go after your passions and take control of what you love.  Don’t let anyone stop you.

Ashley

It’s Getting HOT in Here!

One of my new years resolutions for 2015 was to get back into the practice of Hot Yoga, or Vinyasa Yoga. My freshman year at FIT, I took a basic Yoga class for my required gym credit. I really enjoyed the practice, learning about the different poses and their sanskrit names and translations.

That first yoga class led me to learn about “Hot Yoga.” Hot Yoga is where you do a regular yoga class, however you’re doing the class in a room heated from 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit. Sounds more like torture than relaxing yoga, but trust me, it has many benefits – physically and mentally.

I started taking classes again recently at Yoga To The People, right here on 27th street! Although there are many locations around the city, I enjoy the spacious 27th street studio and it’s physically close to my life at FIT. I sweat gallons during the class, and I can definitely feel it the next day. I’m looking forward to finding my flow again and bringing it back into my routine.

I write this post to encourage us all to find something here in New York that keeps us active! Being the center of the universe, New York has many, many different options. You think of it, New York’s got it – and probably the best you can find. Take a break from your school work, get out of the work room and blow off some steam! 

In these frigid winter months, it’s hard to get yourself out of the house. But it’s worth it! Don’t want to walk too far? There are some great and unique options right down the block from FIT. You could take Yoga class at Yoga to the People, a pole dancing strength class at Body & Pole or even a Kickboxing class at iLoveKickboxing. The options in this city are endless! Try many different things. Find what you enjoy!

Stay warm & Stay active!

xx,

Brendan

Notes From The 6 Train: Veggie Heavenly!

So I’m not sure if you all know but I am a vegetarian. I haven’t eaten meat in four years. I know it can be a challenge for anyone, esp. vegetarians to get all the nutrients we need. This problem is increased in the winter we are unable to bask in he summer sun because our skin is unable to eat up all if that vitamin (double check the vitamin) that makes us happy. We also need the strongest immune system we can have in this crazy weather AND being super close corners with people (which happens much more often in the winter months) so our systems can fight any germs folks on the train pass along to us.

So I’ve created a brief list of vegan/vegetarian restaurants to check out if you’re in a time crunch and want some tasty vegan/ vegetarian dishes. Carnivores are welcome to experiment as well!

how cute!

how cute!

So my absolute most favorite vegan place in the city is Seasoned Vegan. Not only do they have vegan food, but also raw food (food that hasn’t been cooked as to retain all of it’s nutrients that it loses when it cooked), family owned and best of all, it’s affordable! This is a huge plus when it comes to food in NYC, ESPECIALLY vegan food. Plus, it’s Harlem, and is a good reason to go exploring outside of 27th St.

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The next place is much closer by. Terri’s is a great quick and fast vegetarian sandwich shop located on 23rd St. This place is also quite affordable (with a sandwich costing around $7-$8),they also vegan cupcakes, detox shakes a host of other quick foods if you’re running off (or late) to class.

yum!

yum!

This last place may seem a bit obvious… WHOLE FOODS! So, it’s definitely not the cheapest, but you can grab a quick a lunch (I usually head straight to the salad bar and grab some veggie sushi) and run back to campus since it’s only a 5 minute walk. What about you? Where do you go for your veggie delights?

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

Discovering a Major: Technical Design

by Olivia Jorge as told to Emily Bennett

Olivia Jorge

Olivia Jorge

Technical Design involves fitting garments and understanding both the design and production sides of the industry. Most students in the program came from a fashion design background or took prerequisite courses in draping and pattern making. The Technical Design program focuses on understanding garment construction through flat and computerized pattern making and fit corrections, as well as technical sketching and measuring garments.  Live models are also brought in to strengthen our knowledge of fitting.

I’m in my 8th semester now. My Associate’s degree is in Fashion Design, and I switched right into Technical Design for my Bachelor’s. I didn’t know about the major when I started at FIT; I originally chose the school for the Fashion Design program because it was so prestigious.  The location and in-state tuition didn’t hurt either! However, once I heard about the Technical program I knew I wanted to switch. After my first year of Fashion Design, I realized I was becoming less motivated in actually designing. I’ve always liked math, and the pattern making classes were what I enjoyed most in my first major. When I heard about the Technical Design major, I knew I would enjoy the more “technical” side of things.

These pictures show one final project I completed last year. This is the technical sketch I created as the first step

These pictures show one final project I completed last year. This is the technical sketch I created as the first step

I really enjoyed the pattern grading class I took. We first learned how to grade, or increase and decrease the size of a pattern, by hand using a device that had precise measurements, down to 1/32 of an inch. Then we moved on to using a computer pattern program. Grading involves a good amount of math, and it’s interesting to see how such small differences in measurements actually amount to complete garment size differences.

This is the first fitting we had of the design. We worked with partners to sew it and correct the fit

This is the first fitting we had of the design. We worked with partners to sew it and correct the fit

Because FIT is so career-oriented, it’s hard to focus on anything but your major. FIT taught me that hard work can take you far, as long as you love what you’re doing. Coming in as a freshman, I had my mind set on becoming a designer. Once I realized that wasn’t truly right for me, I became a little discouraged but eventually found my path. As a senior now, I’m still not completely confident that technical design is right for me, but I’ll continue figuring things out as I go on.

These were the fit issues we documented and fixed for the final presentation. Everything was handed in as a technical packet to show our process

These were the fit issues we documented and fixed for the final presentation. Everything was handed in as a technical packet to show our process

While in Fashion Design, I did two internships with small design companies and worked for another designer making patterns. After my first year of Technical Design, I did a (paid!) summer internship at Victoria’s Secret in their swimwear department. The people I worked with loved having me, so they’ve been extending my time ever since. Right now my last day is in February, but they’re already working on getting an extension approved. The maximum time allowed for their interns is one year, so by then I’ll have graduated and they can hopefully hire me full-time. If not, I’ll be applying for an assistant or associate technical design position. I would be working with other technical designers in achieving a brand’s ideal fit each season. I’d be assisting with the fittings and sending tech packs overseas with all the garment details and fit corrections to prepare garments for production. Ideally, I’d like to end up working with fitting bras and lingerie.


Find out more about the Technical Design major (BS) here!
–Emily–

Prepare for an Internship

FIT is known for having students that are go-getters.  It’s not uncommon for a student to be taking 21 credits, having two jobs, and an internship (yes I described myself).  So with us living in a city full of opportunities, I have a few tips and tricks of how to scout out your dream internship (I’m not an expert):

  1. Always be on the hunt.  I’m constantly looking and making a list of companies that I’d be interested in interning or working for now, next semester, or once I graduate.  Curating a list makes it easier to make goals for yourself and to set yourself up to not have the question “Where do I begin?”
  2. Follow prospect companies.  Along with making a list, follow all of the companies on your list on every social media possible.  This gives you an idea of the office environment and allows you to feel out if it would be a suitable place for you.  They may also remember you if you are interacting on their social platforms.  If you are interested in working at a magazine, look at the masthead and see who may be the key contact at the time of your internship application…and follow them all!
  3. Go on as many interviews possible.  Whether it’s an interview for a professional dog walking job or for an interview at Vogue, you are practicing and improving your internship skills.  While you’re at the interview, you get a sense of the company and feel out if you are able to see yourself there, even in the future.
  4. Ignore the name.  Don’t always look at the company’s name.  Sometimes working for a startup or small company is better because your learning is hands on.  Bonus: if the startup becomes a massive success, you will have been a part of it!
  5. Find a happy medium.  Think about your dream job.  Now that you’ve thought about it, think about the steps that you need to take to get there.  What internships do you need to have to obtain the necessary skills?  Who do you need to know?  How will you make it possible?  Ask questions and write everything done.  Everything is more solidified in gel pen. :)

Happy internship hunting!  I believe in you!

Ashley

The Application Secret

Some of you readers may be going through a very exciting yet intimidating process at the moment. Completing your FIT application process! The SUNY application had to have been filed by January 5th, 2015 – which I’m sure you all know. Supplemental Materials deadline is February 1, 2015, which includes academic documents, Academic History and essay form, portfolios and so on. Let’s pause for a second, take a collective inhale…exhale. You’re almost there!

As a high school senior, this period seems to be all you can think about. You put all your energy into this process – filling out forms upon forms. Writing essays, gathering up anything and everything that represents your aesthetic, your art, your being! It’s a tough thing to do!

Now looking from the other side, someone who has been accepted and attends the Fashion Institute of Technology, I believe I am quite justified to give some advice :). As an applicant, you want to stand out and look special. Focusing on what sets you apart from the application before and after you. I am not a design student, therefor my application process for Advertising and Marketing Communications was different. However, the overarching theme and intention that all prospective students hold is exactly the same. And the “sparkle” the admissions office searches for is the same. And that is this…

Be YOU. Create from your heart. Write from your heart. Photograph from your heart. Design from your heart. Build from your heart. Are you catching my drift?

If you are putting your passion into the work you’re sending over to FIT, it will show through to whomever’s reviewing it. By expressing your individuality and creativity you will successfully get your point across. Trying to create something you “think” people will like, or “think” they’re looking for or “think” others want to see – you’re doing more harm than good in the long run.

FIT is a breeding ground for the unique, the creative, the hard working. A big theme that I wrote about in my application essay was how I looked at FIT as a big puzzle. Each puzzle piece connected with the next, to complete a larger picture – a new generation of creators and pioneers. I finished my essay by saying, “I want to be a piece of that puzzle.” Luckily, I now am.

If you are applying to FIT, I am wishing you the best of luck in this final process!

xx,

Brendan

“Major” Changes!

Hi everyone ! How was your first week back?unnamed

For me this week was very nerve racking. As I mentioned another post I changed majors! It was almost like starting a brand new school. Even though FIT is one school your departments or major dictates where you mostly spend your time. As an interior design student I was always in the D building and rarely ventured out unless it was for another liberal arts course, which usually fell in the same surrounding area every time.

In interior design we had to chose blocks from day one, so for the most part I was always with the same people. I knew almost everyone in my major, people who were ahead of me and behind me. Since its a small major its very close knit, everyone is always working together.

But this week I took my first step in the A building and just like everyone on there first day I was nervous. My first ITM class I was actually shaking because I knew nothing and I knew a lot of the other students had some kind of background in this and I was from a whole different world. I am usually not the nervous type, I am very outgoing and I can make friends with just about anyone but not today. But soon enough I  realized all my fears were totally wrong. I walked into international transactions and immediately knew I was finally where I belonged. My professor spoke about the class and the major with such passion all my excitement came flooding back. His stories about the trading world, the traveling, the food, the people it made me fall in love with what I had hoped on doing all over again. I didn’t get a chance to speak to anyone in my class, and he plans on doing introductions next week. But I cant tell you how excited I am to go back to that class next week.

I had felt this love for a job once before with interior design but then I worked in the industry and when I met the sales people that came from all over selling us fabric and carpeting solutions I saw a side I never knew existed and suddenly my passion for design slowly faded away. Every chance I got to speak with one of the representatives of companies I did. Asked tons of questions and wanted to know how much they loved what they did. Finally one day I sat down with an admissions staff member and I was advised this was for me.

“But how could it be?” I thought to myself talking to him. I have loved interior design since the moment I could start moving furniture around. Even before then I would beg my mom to change my room around. I never thought in my life that I would be doing anything but design. But sometimes working in your dream job teaches you one of two things either your going to stay or your going to leave it behind. I was so nervous all this time that I made the wrong choice, but I honestly couldn’t be happier.

As students we face this challenge everyday. Are we making the right choice? will this help me get a good job ? Will I be able to live comfortably after school? is it worth the loans? Trust me I think about it everyday too. But just know it is ok not to know, it is ok to try new things out and see If you like them. You can always go back to what you were already doing.

If I didn’t try something new I would have never found my dream job, and be as happy as I am right now.

So how was your first week? Did you make any changes this week?

-Kailee

First Apartment Checklist

So since we do go to school in New York City a lot of students get apartments instead of dorming, to feel a little more at home. But there are a lot of things everyone forgets in all the excitement.

The absolute number one thing you must know is what is included in your lease. Will cable be provided? Is water and heating included? How long is your lease? Maybe you can even get a better price if you sign the lease for a longer period of time.

So number one: Know the people you will be living with! you need them to be responsible, they need to pay the rent on time and someone who wont back out on you causing you to break the lease. Be aware of things that could go wrong, your security deposit could be used to fix anything you guys break.

Know your rights. Whenever you get an apartment , look into the handbook that each state has with the rights you are entitled to. Say something is broken like your heat , do they fix it or do you? how long are they aloud to go without fixing it, ect.

Just in case you have to leave, before packing up ask about what happens if you do in fact break your lease. This actually just happened to one of my good friends at school and it didn’t end nicely. Her roommate was sketchy to begin with , and I warned her to be careful.

Lastly don’t be afraid to ask questions, a lease is a legal contract and you are accountable for anything that happens.

XOXO,

Happy hunting,

Kailee