Tag Archives: FMM

The Style Shop

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Have you been to the Style Shop yet? Definitely a necessary stop for any open house or admitted students day. Sure other colleges have bookstores or maybe even fancy boutiques, but I have never seen another university with a store run by students, for students with products made by students.

The Style Shop, located in the Dubinsky Student Center (turn left as you walk in), is run by the Merchandising Society. The Style Shop opened in 1996, and since then has been giving  students real-life retail experience right on 27th street. I sat down with co-manager Cathleen Cataldo to talk about the successful enterprise.

Co-managers of the Style Shop Cathleen Cataldo and Nicole Gabriel with Olivia Kim, the Director of Creative Projects at Nordstrom

Co-managers of the Style Shop Cathleen Cataldo and Nicole Gabriel with Olivia Kim, the Director of Creative Projects at Nordstrom

It seems like every FMM (Fashion Merchandising Management) student works or wants to work for the Style Shop. Why do you think there is such a huge interest?

I think a lot of people want to do it because it gives you real life experience on how to run your own business, especially for freshman coming in who may have never had retail experience before, and it’s something they can talk to interviewers about and put on their resumes. For management positions it is also really great experience because we are completely running the whole business on our own.

So how does the Style Shop work? What are the basics everyone needs to know?

There are four different buying teams. First there is the industry buying team that goes out to different wholesalers throughout New York City and buys mostly costume jewelry. Then we have our vintage buying team that goes out to different thrift stores and buys cool and unique clothing for the most part. There is the designer buying team that buys from FIT faculty, students and alumni. They are buying one-of-a-kind, handmade pieces made by the FIT community. Lastly, there is Product Development that actually works with vendors to create FIT slash Style Shop branded merchandise like printed t-shirts, laptop bags, in the past they have done iPhone cases, stuff like that. What was a huge huge seller for us this year was the “spirit jerseys”  that say “Fashion Institute New York” on the back. Yeah, that was definitely our biggest seller and we’re actually waiting for a new shipment to get in today hopefully. They sold out on the first day.

The popular spirit jerseys

The popular spirit jerseys

So what sells the best? Industry, Designer Vintage or Product Development?

A lot of people come into the store looking for merchandise made by FIT students –  the designer stuff. However, industry makes the most sales penetration wise, just because their merchandise is very inexpensive. So those are the top two departments overall for sales. Okay, if you want me to go through all of them: for product development, the spirit jerseys are the top seller. For designer, I mean it’s a combination of things. Everyone likes the jewelry, but right now designer has some great velvet chokers that have been selling really well. For industry, just the statement necklaces always do really well, and for vintage it’s their cool, unique clothing. It’s not necessarily “vintage” but it is all bought at thrift stores. Just cool pieces that can’t be found at your average store.

Who are the main players within the Style Shop team?

I’ll explain the entire management process. So, myself and Nicole Gabriel are the two co-managers and we oversee twelve different departments. The four buying teams which I mentioned earlier, plus the visual merchandising team that does all the visuals for the store. We also have a marketing team, a PR team, we have store operations, human resources, and the finance, planning and digital teams.

So how long have you been in the Merchandising Society?

I’ve been in since by first semester at FIT…

And you’re graduating in May so –

Yeah, so all four years. I started out in the Style Shop with a small management position my first semester. So I’ve been very involved for all four years and that’s how I got to where I am today.

Cuffs designed by FIT student Libby Merritt

Cuffs designed by FIT student Libby Merritt

So what’s your favorite piece in the store right now?

Favorite piece right now? Oh man, that’s really tough. I’d have to say, umm…there’s a lot of vintage pieces, like our vintage buyer brings in a lot of really cool, unique vintage clothing and those are always some of my favorites. And those velvet chokers, those are really cool.

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Stay in touch with the Style Shop with:

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and any questions about the Style Shop can be sent to styleshopfit@gmail.com

If you’re interested in the Merchandising Society you can visit their website here.

–Emily–

The CIC: Career and Internship Center

  • Girl: “Sooo, how many internships have you done?”
  • Me: “Um, only one. Why?”
  • Girl: “What JUST one? I’ve done six already!”

This was only sophomore year and this girl (which is almost every girl at FIT) has worked for six different companies already and counting. I suddenly freeze and my brain in matter of seconds is clouded with self-doubt, I mean what had I been doing for the past two years (studying, volunteering, working, enjoying life, traveling). Quickly, I (very much) lost interest when she started bragging about all the designers she (supposedly) met.

In your freshman year (and so forth) you will encounter this situation over and over again. The good news is that when it comes to internships it’s not about the quantity but of the quality (what you learned, how long where you there, did they slave you). To ensure that all of our students at FIT have amazing internships and career outcomes we have the Career and Internship Center. This valuable resource is located on campus in B-202 (or should I say in the Business and Liberal Arts Center) and available to the Students, Alumni and Industry.

Almost every major at FIT requires a credit-bearing internship during their AAS  which you can choose to do in your 3rd or 4th semester. You can also do more than one internship and some of them might even be payed (just remember NO free labor, no matter how bad you want to work for that company or how big that designer label is). Prior to any internship there are orientation sessions which you have to attend and you will be guided through all the steps. In a nutshell:

  1. You get assigned a counselor which works with you through self-assessment and resume development.
  2. You get access to our Online Job Bank (which has been pre-screened to ensure fair labor and +), where jobs from the fashion industry get posted directly to us before going public.
  3. You choose your top 5, do your research (hand-in-hand) with you counselor and write cover letters, thank you notes and much more.
  4. You get a call-back and have a mock interview at the CIC (you go over work etiquette and what the industry requires) and finally go out into the real world (definitely beyond 27th and 7th) and get interviewed.
  5. You get a yay or a nay, and then select who you want to work with (keeping in mind that this is a binding contract you will be making)
  6. Next semester, you have an IC class 6 times where you report in with your professor and evaluate your internship, and get tools to further develop yourself in the workplace.

The CIC, also offers our students the opportunities to assist to On-campus recruitment events (the A-building lobby is usually lined up with tables where you can see Guess, Victoria’s Secret, Ralph Lauren and +), Job and internship fairs, and Company information sessions (Macys, Kohl’s, Tommy Hilfiger and+) . Even after you graduate, alumni get Lifetime job search support and individual assistance from our career counselors.

So just remember what matters; that you get an internship where you are happy. A company that you like and admire and that values you as a human being, and prioritizes your knowledge (you are not there for fetching coffee). That girl might have done six, but I did the ONE I had always dreamed of doing. I got to work at Oscar De La Renta HQ directly with Senior Vice President Merchandising & Sales and the Senior Merchandising Manager for Childrenswear. I got to see firsthand how you start a collection, market and sell it. I could continue bragging like that girl did, but what’s the point? (you get me, it was AWESOME, every Dominican Girl in fashion’s dream). The connections I created are priceless and all I know is that if it wasn’t for FIT I would’ve never thought I could get there.

Carpe Diem,

Sadie

PS: How I wish I could find that girl and shove this pic in her face I’d take this 6 to 1, ANYDAY (booyah!)

Me and Oscar de La renta

“Some people dream of great accomplishments, while others stay awake and do them.”

 

 

My First Week at FIT

My first week at FIT feels like a million years ago but in fact it has only been two and a half years. Living in the city that never sleeps, where there is always something to do, distorts your sense of time. By now, I have lived so many amazing experiences, that my first week is but a memory of when it all began.

I for one started back in the Spring of 2011 full of dreams and ambitions. It was one of the most nerve wracking weeks of my life, but thus far the best decision I have made (well that, and study abroad in Belgium). Those seven days were full of excitement, change and anxiety. Starting from scratch again, gave me a clean slate, the chance to become whoever I wanted to be. That spring I chose to be successful by my own definition, let the city make me, not break me.

In just 168 hours, I had moved in to Coed Hall 13thfloor (by the way very creepy how the numbers’ not marked in the elevator) in New York City, had volunteered at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week for designers such as Zang Toi, Daniel VosOutside Lincoln Center Volunteerovic and Ruffian, and had started a new chapter of my life. Beginning college is the inauguration of the path you choose for yourself. It means you make your own choices and ultimately you truly get to know whom you are and what you are capable of. I chose FIT and FMM they’ve helped me realize I’m capable of anything I set my mind to.

Carpe Diem,  Sadie

Outside Lincoln Center, first time at Fashion Week

Till that day, I’d only seen it in movies. Dream come true