Tag Archives: Fashion Careers

Internships: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Everybody seems to have an opinion on internships. Are they necessary for “real world” learning? Is it just free labor? Do you actually learn anything worth while?

My opinion has certainly changed since starting at FIT. On the one hand, internships are necessary for the “real world” experience of working with a team, in an office and reporting to people above you. Almost any successful professional will tell you that working under someone is necessary, and you should do it even if it is unpaid. This is where it gets a little complicated.

On the one hand, internships offer (hopefully) invaluable experience, networking opportunities, helpful references, business insight and something to put on your resume. There is no doubt that employers want experience. It can also guide you in deciding what you actually want to do when you graduate. Even if you are absolutely positive you are going to be in advertising, do you want to work for a big company or a small company? An exciting but risky start-up, or a stable respected company where you will have much less responsibility or creative freedom? Are you sure the job you think you want is actually fulfilling?

However, many people now believe that internships are detrimental to students. They certainly take up a lot of time with most companies wanting at least two full days a week. It is also hard to quantify how much someone is learning at an internship. Are you just getting coffee, making copies and running things back and forth, or is your supervisor taking the time to make sure you understand what you are doing and, most importantly, why it is important? Most internships are unpaid, which brings up the argument that internships really only benefit middle to upper class kids who can afford to work for free. If a student is paying their own way through college it is unlikely they will have time for school, their job and an unpaid internship.

Of course, most places try to get around this now with “credit bearing” internships. These are also usually unpaid, but the student can get credit for a class. This allows the school to check up on the work place to ensure it is safe, and that the student is getting enough of an education to make the time spent there worth it. However, these credit-bearing internships are not offered by every company and usually require the student to add  another class to their schedule. This limits the flexibility of their schedule for other classes and obviously takes away more time.

If I may interject with my own opinion here, I do think internships are necessary. The ones I did have certainly helped me see what jobs I thought I was interested in more clearly. I have been exposed to big companies, little companies and growing companies. I have learned a lot and made many helpful connections. However, I have never been paid for my work. I have never even been compensated for lunch or travel. Looking back now, it is very frustrating as well as quite disheartening considering I am looking for a job and having done all this work is not  a guarantee I will get hired. I met a woman recently and asked her if she would ever need a research assistant. She replied that she would love an assistant, but could not afford to pay fair compensation at the moment, and did not feel it was right to accept that labor for free. Even though it was an opportunity I could not have, I was so happy when she said that! I mean it was so refreshing just to hear someone say, “I can’t hire you, but I respect you, your work, and your time too much to let you work for nothing.”

What are your opinions? Have you had any good or bad experiences with internships?

–Emily–

Blush Magazine – Spring Issue

For all of you that may or may not know, I am a part of Blush Magazine, the beauty and fashion magazine here at FIT as the Senior Photo Editor.  Our brand new Spring issue comes out this week on newsstands here at FIT.  Be sure to pick up a copy before they are gone!  Everyone on the Blush Magazine team works really hard to put out a really strong and beautiful issue.  We are completely student run from the articles to the photo shoots to the layout and more.  If you want to join Blush Magazine, we meet on Tuesday’s (not every week) in B736 during common hour.  We are having a meeting tomorrow, 3/24 for planning for our summer issue!  If you miss this meeting, email blush_magazine@fitnyc.edu to find out information for our future meetings.  Below is a sneak preview of our fashion editorial shoot for this spring issue!

Discovering a Major: Jewelry Design

by Ashley Yakaboski as told to Emily Bennett

Ashley Yakaboski

Ashley Yakaboski

                  When it came time for me to decide on a major and to start looking into colleges, I was one of those people who really wasn’t sure where they wanted to go, or what they wanted to do. Being a creative spirit, and someone who grew up playing with beads and making jewelry throughout high school, the decision to enter into the Jewelry Design program came from my mother. I had always known about FIT, but when my mother informed me about the program I thought this must be a sign. I had never known that such a program existed, so when my mom said, “Ashley, you love making jewelry and working with your hands, why don’t you just apply and see what happens?” I started thinking about it seriously. Since being a part of the Jewelry Design program here at FIT, my love for design has only become more passionate. For me, jewelry is something that is always on my mind.

Looking into different schools I found that this was the only program that was appropriate for what I wanted to learn. Other schools have metal smithing, but FIT has everything from designing to actually making jewelry. For someone who never had much talent in drawing and painting before, my admissions process was a bit difficult, but rewarding. My first task was to write three different essays, one asked why I wanted to go into the jewelry program, and I had to prepare a portfolio. Taking an art portfolio class my senior year in high school was where I spent my time working on drawings and designs that I would submit. I also included pictures of different bead works I made at home. Coming to FIT to show my portfolio was intimidating, but in the end the chairman has positive things to say.

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 11.19.57 AM

Jewelry Design is a major where you either fall in love with the program, or you fall apart. The teachers are so knowledgeable, passionate, and patient that you can’t help but be inspired by them. Jewelry Design is a small, close-knit program where you learn everything you need to know about making jewelry, from designs, technical drawings, soldering, wax carving and so forth. In Jewelry Design the main goal is to understand the process of jewelry and all the different aspects of it, so that way you can discover exactly what part of design you enjoy.

Since Jewelry Design is only an Associates program, they cram many different classes into your schedule. My first semester the main classes were Basic Sculpture, Drawing, Beginning Soldering Techniques, Piercing and Sawing, Wax Carving, Mechanical Drafting, Intro to Jewelry Design, and lastly Tools, Equipment and Processes. After learning all the basics you are then submerged in other classes such as Casting, White Metal Model, Jewelry Design Two, and eventually you pick between studio classes and jewelry design for your third and fourth semester. (Studio classes only involve the techniques of physically creating jewelry, and jewelry design only involves designing and rendering)

Design I created for my final portfolio

Design I created for my final portfolio

I have taken so many inspirational classes and each teacher has given me so much, but one of my favorites was Jewelry Casting with Rebekah Laskin. I never knew there are so many options when it comes to casting. Although I made a lot of mistakes in this class, those mistakes further helped me understand the process. In this class we took part in cuttlefish casting, where you pour hot metal into a cuttlefish bone, and the bone becomes the design. We also had a project where we were supposed to take a found object and get a mold and casting of it, then our found object would then be made into metal and jewelry. I had lace casted and made a pretty pair of earrings and ring.

From the casting class

From the casting class

Jewelry Design here at FIT prepares us to either work in studios, where we make jewelry, or we can work for companies that need designers to design and render different pieces that can be manufactured by the company. My ultimate goal would be to have my own home studio where I can design and make jewelry, depending on my inspiration.

Since graduating from Jewelry Design, I am now in a completely different major at FIT called Production Management, where we learn about the mass production or garments and all the steps of making a garment, from the tools, stitches, seam, construction, fabrics and so forth all in order to make the garment in the most efficient way. Although Jewelry Design is completely different from Production Management, and although I miss Jewelry Design tremendously, I have discovered that I have different areas of interest, but I also have learned that I further see myself working in the jewelry industry.

FIT Tigers Tennis Team!

FIT Tigers Tennis Team!

While in Jewelry Design the least amount of classes I took in a semester was 10 and my most was 12, so the idea of having an internship during that time is unimaginable. In Production Management I am eligible for an internship my senior year, so until then I am focusing on school and side projects. Even so, I am a very busy bee and time management is my ultimate strength in life. I was involved with the FIT women’s tennis team for two years, I am a student designer for the Style Shop, I was involved in the FIT Skyliners Acapella group for two semesters, I am involved with the production management club, I am a Resident Assistant and mentor, I am a Student Ambassador and I still have time for side projects that make me happy. In all honesty it sounds like a lot and that it would be hard to maintain extracurriculars, but that is the beauty of time management and calendars! Furthermore, when faced with a homework assignment it is always my priority to get it done right away in order to enjoy my free time with these extracurriculars, which make me less stressed.

Since starting FIT I have learned so much about myself and my future, but I think the most influential thing I learned was that everyone has different styles and techniques and each one is unique to who they are. Each project, assignment, and talk with a teacher is something that we shouldn’t take for granted because in those moments we learn about ourselves and about what we like in our major. If you don’t take that seriously, then how will you ever know if you are learning and ultimately how will you know where you see yourself going in life?


To learn more about the Jewelry Design major click here!

–Emily–

Discovering a Major: Entrepreneurship

by Laura Vitarelli as told to Emily Bennett

Laura Vitarelli

Laura Vitarelli

I just recently decided what I wanted to do. Within the past two years I decided I wanted to become an esthetician, which is doing professional makeup, facials, peels, laser hair removal,  and other things related to skin care. I definitely want to try to start my own line of skincare and makeup products, which is why I chose Entrepreneurship as my major.

Many of the classes I take in Entrepreneurship revolve around fashion, which I am interested in as well. The program aims to address the real life demands of today’s marketplace. It is an option for students who want to become more impactful members of society, learn how to manage creativity, become more innovative in business, and learn how to build a sustainable enterprise.

The fact that FIT has a major dedicated to learning how to run a start-up was a huge factor in choosing the school. The admissions process was the same as anyone else applying to a major in the School of Business and Technology. I had to write an essay about why I was the perfect fit for this school, send transcripts and test scores. I didn’t have to show a portfolio or anything like the Art & Design students.

Currently, I am enrolled in the AAS Advertising and Marketing Communications program (Entrepreneurship is a Bachelor’s Degree program). I believe having both majors when I graduate from FIT will prepare me for being involved in today’s crazy marketplace and enhance my knowledge about the business world and how it works. So far, Computer Design has been my favorite class. Right now I am working on a portrait of Ariana Grande made solely of typed letters. It is really challenging and interesting. I visited the club fair last week, and WFIT, the campus broadcast club,  has me interested. And I am definitely going to join the Models and Stylists Association so that I can do makeup on people.

Even though it is only my first couple of months at FIT, the biggest lesson I have learned is to get out of your comfort zone. I think it is something everyone has to do in order to succeed and realize who they are.


To learn more about the Entrepreneurship major click here. And to find out about Advertising and Marketing Communications click here.

–Emily–

Internship Class

At FIT, you have many opportunities to do a credited internship through the school.  Along with the internship in the field, you also are required to take an internship class simultaneously.  The internship class itself only meets 6 times throughout the semester.  Having already attended 3 out of the 6 classes, I figured that I would fill you in on what usually happens in an internship course:

  • You discuss your internship and your experiences each time you meet
  • You reflect on what went well in your internship and what accomplishments, big or small you achieved
  • Write journals reflecting on your experience and how you can improve
  • Submit your internship time sheets
  • Have a midterm evaluation by your supervisor
  • Discuss your company’s mission statement
  • Network with other students within the class to gain connections and hear about their internship experience for your future reference
  • Commonly realize that there are so many people in your building from FIT :)

    The class thus far has really helped me evaluate my internship and what I can improve on as an intern.  Hope this helps some of you curious about the internship process!

-Ashley

A day in the life of a commuter student!

It’s Monday 5:50 am and my alarm is going off, sleepy I roll over and hit snooze for another ten minutes. I just went to sleep a few hours ago if that, because I was waitressing the night before. My class starts at 9:00 and since I live in New Jersey that means I have to take the 7:17 to New York Penn Station. It’s now 6:25 I didn’t hear my alarm go off for the 12th time and my mom is running in my room “Kailee get up! You slept to late again!” So I quickly get up rummage through my closet and find a cute outfit to start my week off right. I then go over to my dresser and put on my makeup and throw my hair up. Gathering my things it’s now 7:00 my train leaves in 17 minutes. I go outside to turn on my bright orange beetle to warm up because today its only 7 degrees out. I quickly go back inside grab my things, make some organic flaxseed oatmeal with blueberries, grab the little snack bag of fruits and veggies my mom packed for me and finally I am off.

Turning left onto broad street I am trying to find a good radio station to listen to a good song on the short car ride. Nothings on the radio as usual because its 7am and everyone’s having a talk show. I finally reach the light before the train station and some kid cuts me off almost every morning because the high school is only a few blocks away. I pull into the parking spot at the train station, check the number on the spot and run to pay its 7:14 I only have a few minutes left until my train arrives. After paying I am running to get onto my train that just arrived.

Walking each car carefully looking for a sit that is empty so I can sit and read in peace. I sit down in the same car everyday. The man collecting the tickets gets to my seat his name is Jim. Jim sees me all the time, has seen me since I first started FIT, when I went on my first interview, has seen me crying, happy , just about all emotions I have had for the past 3 years. He says hello to me I wish him good morning as he checks my monthly pass. I then reach for my oatmeal and start eating slowly while admiring the view out the window. This morning I dosed off shortly after, I wake up and we are at New York Penn station. Its 8:43 and I am  now running up the stairs by the LIRR , while putting my scarf and gloves on. I get outside and put my head down and walk quickly from 34th to 27th, it feels like the longest walk of my life in the cold and wind.

I get to FIT and the security guard greets me in the D building lobby while I show him my ID. I go through to the B building and go down to the basement for my French class. Few lecture hours and a break later ,I am heading back home. By this point my brain and body are exhausted, Monday’s are always the longest since I work the night before and then work again once I get home. I get home it’s now 1:45 I have to be at work by 4:00. I sit down for a few minutes, eat a quick snack, start some homework and then its time to get changed for work.

It’s 3:55 as I am walking into the building, I am always a few minutes early. Monday’s are kids night so its usually pretty busy. Before I know it, its 9:00 time to go home, I quickly finish my side work so I can go home. Its been a pretty long day its now 11:10 and I am finally getting ready for bed. A few hours from now I will be waking up to do it all over again.

What’s a day in your life? Are you a commuter student? Do you live at school? I would love to know :)

-Kailee

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–

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–

How to engineer a light fixture

Hello everyone !

So in fourth semester interior design studio we are asked to make a light fixture , that’s right a real working light fixture . You have to wire it , make an actual blue print of it , and sketch other ways it can be turned into a different light fixtures . This light will then be placed in your restaurant that you will be designing . You will pick a movie and then base your lighting fixture off that movie .

My movie was Julie and Julia , most of you may know it . It’s a classic ,one of my favorites . I was so excited when I recieved it I worked harder on it then any other project I have had in the program. After many sketches and ideas that got passed on , I finally got it !

Overall I spent around 200.00 dollars , there was no limit on what could be used or how much you could spend or not spend . But for mine I went all out .

IMG_0307First I went to home depot, I knew I wanted a perforated metal but I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to find one. This was actually one long strip of metal that my dad bent for me into this oval and drilled holes in.

Next  we used metal tubing to hide wires and also keep the oval steady so it would be able to hold its own weight ( this fixture weighs almost 80 pounds) .

IMG_0312Next in the holes that were created we drilled into spoons I found at a thrift store. True silver spoons, I didn’t realize how hard this would be until I actually did it. There are over 100 spoons of all variations and ages. Serving spoons, dessert spoons, soup spoons, you name it it has it.

IMG_0317I wish I could post the video but I am not great at editing things yet and its to long. But the inner LED is a flexible band with changing colors. I put this on the inside edge of the metal and ran the wire through the top to look like it was apart of the hanging feature.

Remember I said this fixture weighs a lot? Well I carried this from Penn station to the 5th floor of the D building all by myself. I think the excitement of showing the critiques and my classmates gave me a little boost of adrenalin to carry it that far. ( In heels may I add)

In the end I got an A on my project, it was truly a project I put my heart and soul into and also something I couldn’t be more proud of in my career in the interior design program.

is there anything you are excited to do at FIT? Are you excited about the light fixture ?

Let’s talk about it

Discovering a Major: Fabric Styling

Despite the fact that the Fashion Design and the Fashion Merchandising Management programs are by far the largest here, FIT is not just a “fashion” school. We offer 29 undergraduate programs and 7 graduate programs. However, even after four years I was shocked, shocked, to find out that majors existed that I had never heard of (I’m looking at you Home Products Design). So, in an effort to bring to light the many other fantastic opportunities FIT offers, I am started a new segment called “Discovering a Major”.

Usually, I will have mini interviews with students from each major giving insight into what they actually do and learn, but for this first installment I think I will discuss my own rather unknown major: Fabric Styling.

This was a tabletop styling project we did this semester

This was a tabletop styling project we did this semester

Originally, I was a Fashion Design major and got my Associates Degree in that. However, towards the end of my second year I was getting frustrated and overwhelmed with the program. After many hours of crying on the phone with my mom questioning every possible path I could take, I decided to switch my major on the last possible day to apply for Fabric Styling.

Fabric Styling is a weird major, and no one really knows how to describe it. I say it’s a very broad field of study that mixes textile development, trend forecasting and actual styling. This variety is a big part of why I chose it. At 20 years old I really didn’t have a clear sign of exactly what I wanted to do with the rest of my life and choosing a less specific major was actually really freeing for me and re-ignited my creativity.

This was a fashion styling project we did with a real studio set up and model

This was a fashion styling project we did with a real studio set up and model

I am still not totally clear on where I want to be after I graduate (and yes, it is still extremely stressful), but i know I want to stay in the fashion world and travel around the world. Hopefully I will be able to find a job that allows me to do both. So far I have had internships with a small fashion designer, ELLE magazine, the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and an agency for stylists.

I was the first Fabric Styling student (along with one classmate) to have the chance to study abroad. Florence was amazing, although most of our classes were not exactly what students in New York were doing. I will say the program is not run perfectly, but there are lots of opportunities available if you take advantage of them.

This was a mood board for a lingerie design project

This was a mood board for a lingerie design project

I really enjoy the “Fabric Styling” and “Research Techniques” classes because although the projects have specific end goals, we are free to achieve them however we feel and it has allowed me to creatively stretch my presentation skills. My least favorite class so far has been  “Advertising and Promotion”. I just don’t think the advertising and marketing worlds are for me, although it was helpful to be introduced to the more business side of the industry.

We learn many different programs for developing textiles

We learn many different programs for developing textiles

My favorite part of the major is that it is only a Bachelor’s degree program so everyone comes from different academic backgrounds. Most people started in the Fashion Merchandising Management (although the department has been changing their policies and as of now is no longer accepting anyone from the business school unfortunately), but I have classmates that have studied Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design, Textile/Surface Design and even transferred from outside liberal arts colleges. It has been really helpful to not only see how they interpret the projects, but also hear their critiques and past experiences.

If you are interested in more examples of work I have done for Fabric Styling you can see my portfolio here. To learn more about the major itself click here!

I hope to introduce you to more of the lesser-known majors FIT offers soon!

–Emily–