I decided to interview Mari a recent fashion design graduate. I thought her point of views were really interesting and she had some great advice that I thought could help a lot of future/current students at FIT.
Why did you pick fashion design? I took classes and worked at a fashion design studio in Seattle for about 6 years. I always knew I wanted to do something artistic, and I really loved how hands on fashion design was. Which made it really easy when picking out schools.
How did you pick FIT? The teacher at my studio went to FIT. When I visited different schools, the students and teachers at FIT really inspired me and strengthened my decision to pick FIT. Being that FIT was in New York was a huge bonus too.
Did FIT meet your expectations? For the most part it did. In the technical aspect of making clothes, I found it challenging and my skills improved tremendously. Coming from a fine arts background, I hoped that the classes would of been more creative. But for an overall education, FIT gave me great knowledge about the industry and also great connections.
What’s next for you now? I decided that costume design is something I really enjoy and want to pursue in. So now I’m looking for jobs in costume. I’m also keeping my options open, because I love activewear, so maybe something in that direction too is something I’m considering.
Has FIT helped you choose this new direction? Yes, I would of never thought of costume design as an industry. FIT showed me that costume design is a possible career option. It also gave me a good base to get me there in terms of skills, connections and the ability to create a concept from start to finish.
What did you think of the Art Concentration? It was a really intense program, but something I really wanted to do. There was a lot of drawing and coming up with concepts, which I feel are really important skills to have in this industry. I loved that at the end of the program, I came out with a great portfolio, that I am really proud of and feel confident showing at interviews.
Do you have any advice for future/current fashion design students? Take advantage of the teachers and the advice and knowledge they have. They know what they’re talking about and have great connections in the industry. Don’t take yourself too seriously, enjoy the freedom to be creative. And most importantly be confident in your ideas!
If you want to check out Mari’s work maristudio.us
This is for all the international students, who are freaking out, because they don’t know what to do next! When I first got accepted to FIT, it was such a stressful process, because since I was an international student it meant I had so many extra steps to take into consideration. It made me so nervous. I was so scared of misunderstanding something, that I would call the school 3 times a day (I had a lovely phone bill at the end of the month). Here are a few helpful steps to make it easier for you, when you have to go through that process:
Pay your tuition deposit You want to make sure you secure your spot!
Start your visa application Once you got accepted you will have to fill out the ISFS (International Student Financial Statement) and send it to the school. They will then send you a confirmation with your I-20, which will then allow you to apply for an F-1 visa at the US consulate in your country.
Get all the vaccines required That was a really long and tough process, because they wouldn’t accept my translation of the vaccines, they needed my doctor to translate everything in english and then sign it (he didn’t speak english).
Book your flight ticket Once my visa was accepted, I bought my flight ticket straight away. It’s cheaper to buy your plan ticket earlier, so I didn’t waist a second, since I knew I was going to that school.
Decide where to live Do you want to have your own apartment or dorm? I would dorm, if it’s your very first time in New York. It helps you settle down with less stress and you have time to get used to the city. If you are considering dorming don’t wait to apply, because the spots get taken really quickly.
Summer is quickly approaching us, with finals and projects winding down, we are all excited for something. This summer I will be switching from being an intern to a full time position! As to most that doesn’t sound exciting but I truly love my job and its a great opportunity for me. I will also be doing a lot of traveling. I have a cruise in august for a late birthday present, Canada in July, Philly June 7th for my birthday and as nerdy as this sounds a Tom petty concert, as well as Boston and a few other short weekend trips for weddings. THEN, Next semester I graduate! and I will be back at school two days a week. I am beyond excited that I am finally finishing , and happy that you all got to live through it with me. College is a great time for finding yourself, your career, and sometimes not sometimes its just a great time. But whatever it may be for you I couldn’t be more grateful to say I have been a student and a voice at FIT.
Hope you all had a great start to the week. I know when I first arrived here in New York, I literally wanted to buy everything I saw. It was so hard not to spend money, because there were so many temptations… Coming from such a tiny village, where there is only a grocery store and nothing else, the big city was a frightening place for my wallet. But eventually I managed to control myself and came up with a few tricks to keep me on the right path, when it came to saving and not spending every cent I had.
Start a Budget spreadsheet That’s how I started to keep track of my spendings. I would write down how much I earned and how much I was spending, with details of what it was exactly. At the end of each month I had an overview of what I was spending, where I was spending the most and it helped me cut out on unnecessary thing. For example I used to drink two lattes every day (which is ridiculous) and making that spreadsheet made me realize how much I was spending on coffee. Now I make coffee at home and my lattes are a special occasion.
Walk instead of taking the Taxi/Uber Even if it’s just once a week, it adds up at the end of the month. If you live in the city, it’s really not that bad too walk for 30 minutes (I do it twice everyday and it gives me an excuse to wake up earlier). Considering you’re at school or work for most of the day, it’s really good for your head and body to take a walk and have some fresh air. But if you’re really not into walking take the subway instead.
Don’t eat out! Obviously I’m not saying you can’t go out at all. But make it a special occasion, like once a month. It really makes a big difference, if you start cooking for yourself. Start planning meals and shopping ahead. You’re wallet will thank you! I know eating out is really convenient, but we’re still students and we can’t really afford to go out all the time.
And lastly spend less than what you have/make! The best feeling is when you look into your savings account and you have money saved up. Start making it a thing to put aside every month half of your income, you never know when you will need it. And it’s really good to have some kind of financial security once you get out of school.
Hope these tips were helpful! If you have any tips you want to share leave them in the comments below.
With 30 majors here at FIT and thousands of students, it can be very easy to get comfortable with your crowd within your major. If you are in a smaller major like Toy Design or Cosmetic and Fragrance Marketing, you are most likely spending endless hours in class with the same exact people. It is important to step outside of your major and not only meet people within the school, but also take advantage of the opportunity to collaborate. FIT is truly seamless (no pun intended). If you are a designer, you can collaborate with a photography major to have your pieces photographed…most likely FOR FREE. If you are a photography major, you can reach out and have clothes, jewelry, and product to photograph….FOR FREE! It’s a win-win situation all around! Photographers should be collaborating with graphic designers who should be collaborating with AMC majors. Every student can create a professional quality final product or project outside of the assignments that they are given by the professors. Once we all graduate, there may be creative restrictions, a lack of budget, or a team premade for the company that you work for. As a student, now is the time to take advantage of the resources that you have at your fingertips!