(3)FIT in Florence | Page 3

FIT in Florence

March 14, 2016
by Rose
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When in Rome…

This past weekend, I experienced my last academic trip of the year: an overnight visit to Rome. We were graced with beautiful weather for the journey and, even though we were only there for two days, we got to experience so much and were given a generous amount of free time so that everyone could pursue their individual interests and go on their own to places like the Spanish Steps, Vatican City, Trevi Fountain, or even just wander around the city. Of course, after walking so much each day and tiring out our bodies, we rewarded ourselves with lots of gelato – if you’re ever in Rome, go to “Fiocco di Neve”, a wonderful gelateria that is right by the Pantheon and was recommended to us by a local!

Gelato and a puppy ... AKA the best moment of my life.

The best moment of my life.

We arrived in Rome Saturday morning and Professor DiGiugno gave us a historic walking tour during which we saw many of the most famous sights that Rome had to offer: we went inside of San Pietro in Vincoli (where we got to see Michelangelo’s “Moses” statue), the Colosseum, and the Pantheon. Rome is an amazing place because it seems like a regular Italian city until you turn a corner and stumble upon a street lined with massive ruins that have been standing there for two thousand years!

The Colosseum, in all it's glory.

The Colosseum, in all of its glory.

Inside of the Pantheon (note the coffers in the concrete dome)!

Inside of the Pantheon (note the coffers in the concrete dome)!

After the walking tour, we went to the Boncompagni Ludovisi Decorative Art Museum in which there was an exhibit on fashion from the 1950’s and 60’s and this was incredibly interesting because we got to see original garments and illustrations from the Italian fashion houses that we had learned about in class this year, such as Sorelle Fontana and Roberto Capucci. After this museum visit, we were free to go off on our own and I went to see the Valentino Headquarters – walking down the Spanish Steps to get there – and visited to some embroidery and fabric stores with my friends. No matter where we go in Europe, we always end up in places related to our major! It had been a long, tiring day so, after making our way back to the hotel and eating a quick dinner, it was time for some well deserved sleep so that we could be well rested for the next day.

Neville, Typhani, and Olga enjoying their gelato.

Neville, Typhani, and Olga enjoying their gelato.

On our second, and last, day in Rome we saw an exhibit celebrating the 150th birthday of Toulouse Lautrec at the Ara Pacis Museum, which I loved because he is one of my favorite artists and this museum had an extensive group of his original lithographs and posters on display. After this, we had a guided store visit at Louis Vuitton where we were greeted with great kindness and enthusiasm from our tour guides and I learned much more about the brand than I had known before. We were then given free time until we were to leave Rome that evening and my friends and I wandered through the streets, passing by the Trevi Fountain to make a wish, and made our way to the Palatine Hill. Exploring the ruins here was possibly my favorite part of the entire trip because it was so peaceful and calming to just walk through scraps of what were once grand buildings that have now deteriorated as nature has taken its course.

A magical encounter at the Palatine Hill.

A magical encounter at the Palatine Hill.

It is incredible that an extremely powerful empire once thrived in the exact area that we can casually walk around in today and that we now just see hints of what was once was. This academic trip helped us to realize the importance of history and how the ruins of old civilizations give us insight into why we must appreciate and not forget the past. Rome is a magical place with so much to see and I thoroughly enjoyed our weekend trip there; maybe I’ll go back someday to explore some more and see everything that I couldn’t during these past two days!

Ana and Paige strolling along the streets of Rome.

Ana and Paige strolling along the streets of Rome.

March 3, 2016
by Stephanie
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My Highlight of Paris

Oh Paris,

you are beautiful,

you are charming,

you are chic,

you are awe-inspiring.

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This wasn’t my first trip to Paris and it certainly won’t be my last. Paris is an enchanting city that pulls you in deeper with every step. The architecture, the art, the fashion, the crepes. It was a deliciously busy week. My favorite part of the week though was the eye-opening experience at the Aganovich Atelier.

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For those of you that don’t know Aganovich is a mainly women’s wear (they are also starting to make menswear, they just don’t have fashion shows for that collection.) business that originated in the UK and recently moved to Paris. It is run by Nana Aganovich and Brooke Taylor. In November 2014, they were officially recognized from the French fashion industry to join the Chambre Syndicale du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et Créateurs de Mode.

From the Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Collection from their Paris show.

From the Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Collection from their Paris show.

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They have a gorgeous studio on the East side of Paris hidden among the winding streets. The space is quaint, but full of beautiful samples and creative energy. When you walk through the door you are met by a peek through into the basement with a glass spot on the floor and then sloping stairs that go up two floors to the pattern making and sample sewing area. There were immaculate patterns and people sewing samples on machines as Brooke Taylor gave us a tour. We spoke about the ups and downs that they experienced, moving from the UK to France, the difference between the NYC and Paris, as well as their design process. Which mostly takes place in the patterning of the garment. We even got up close and personal with one of the samples, flipping it all around, the construction and quality was fantastic. 
The Aganovich visit was by far my favorite of the trip. It was an enlightening visit that gave us valuable insight into the design process. Their creativity and passion for their work is inspiring. It was a whirlwind trip to Paris and I can’t wait to go back one day. 

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March 1, 2016
by May
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LONDON SCHOOL TRIP DIARY

The Fashion Business Management Program trip to London was by far THE best school trip I’ve ever been on! The five-night, six-day-long itinerary allowed us students to not only learn about the fashion scene in London, but also gave us the opportunity to familiarize ourselves with the city!

Day 1: Upon arrival to London City Airport, we were given seven-day unlimited tube passes to use for the duration of the school trip. We then took the tube with our chaperones to get to the hostel which was near Oxford Circus. Once we checked in at the hostel and settled in our rooms, we met up again in the lobby to visit Liberty London where we were left on our own to do independence research on visual merchandising, customer service, product assortment and marketing strategies. Liberty has become my favorite department store in London ever since because of its oriental architecture, the floral concept and the products.

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Checking out Vintage Chanel at Liberty London.

Day 2: The second day began with the “Undiscovered Royal London Walking Tour,” during which we explored the Buckingham Palace, Green Park, and the Westminster Abbey by foot! During the tour, I learned so much about the history of the Royal Family, especially about the life of King Henry the VIII who had six wives during his lifetime. After the walking tour, we took the tube to Brick Lane Market and Spitalfield Market where we were given time to eat lunch and wander on our own. These markets are the reasons why London is my favorite city in Europe – I was able to fill my tummy with all different types of cuisine from Indian, Ethiopian to Burmese! Aside from offering a great variety of food at a reasonable price, these markets also sell clothes, accessories, souvenirs and vintage pieces. I can personally spend hours browsing through them! The day ended with a visit to All Saint’s flagship store where the students learned about the operational aspects of the retail store.

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Hiya, Big Ben!

Day 3: It was a big day for us because we attended PURE London Trade Show! The day began with a WGSN Exclusive AW 16/17 Buyer’s Briefing where we took notes on upcoming trend predictions. After the briefing, we had to interview a vendor from the trade show in a group of three to learn more about the brand and the selling process for the sales management assignment. My group had made an appointment with a sales manager from an Italian accessories brand called VODIVI’. Our appointment went really well since we were given so much information by the sales manager, Gian Luca, who also extended us an invitation to visit the production team of the company in Umbria, Italy! After our appointment, we spent the rest of our time at PURE watching catwalks and attending industry seminars. Needless to say, PURE gave us a taste of the wholesale side of the industry. After PURE, we visited Harrods, London’s luxury shopping emporium, for individual research.

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IMG_5309 My group with the VODIVI’s sales manager and the president. From Left to Right: Gian Luca, me, Luciano, Taylor and Dina.

Day 4: The students were divided into three groups for the day since we had MANY industry appointments scheduled. My group went to Selfridges first thing in the morning for individual research once again. I had been to the department store before during the evening time when the store was super packed so it was a change to see the store so empty in the early morning. I admired the store windows outside as I daydreamed how fun it would be to have the priviledge of curating Selfridges’ windows one day!

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The Corner Restaurant and Champagne Bar at Selfridges.

After Selfridges, we headed out to our appointment at a concept store called Jigsaw on Duke Street. I personally had a hard time understanding the concept of the store during the appointment but its aesthetics felt like Club-Monaco-meets-Urban-Outfitters due to its clean, sleek career clothing mixed with trendy lifestyle products and a coffee shop.  After Jigsaw, we went to our appointment at the WGSN headquarters. There, we met a client specialist who explained to us the creative and analytic services offered by WGSN. I learned that there is more to WGSN than fashion – it also forecasts trends in other industries. It was nice to have been able to witness the open work environment and learn about the company. Afterwards, we went to our last stop, Dover Street Market, for individual research. Upon arrival, we were requested by the security to go inside the store five people at a time. Although the staff felt very cold, I find the creative concept of the store to be very intriguing, and the store has the best edit of products with out-of-the-box visual merchandising. My friends and I also made a stop at Victoria Beckham’s flagship store right across the street. We were in awe with the store’s interior design and were impressed by the customer service. I’m so glad to have visited the store since Victoria Beckham is one of my industry idols! (#PoshSpice) After a long day of industry appointments, my friends and I spent the rest of the evening crossing the Abbey Road over and over again in attempts to recreate the Beatles’s famous photo.

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1000 tries later…

Day 5: The last day also did not disappoint. In the morning, we visited the headquarters of Beyond Retro. Beyond Retro, I learned, is a leading vintage retailer in Europe that sells vintage pieces collected from rag houses. The company also has its own brand called Label, which recycles old clothes into trendy vintage clothing, also known as up-cycling. Beyond Retro has such a unique identity, and it was great to see that there is a company like theirs who is pioneering a new retail scene and are not afraid to be different. After Beyond Retro, we went on a Bermondsey Street Fashion Heritage Walking Tour with a historian named Mr. Stephen Humprey. During the tour, we learned about the neighborhood of Bermondsey, hats and leather factories. Afterwards, we went on another guided tour inside the Fashion and Textile Museum for the “Liberty in Fashion” exhibition.

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The Archive room at Beyond Retro Headquarters.

Day 6: While some students returned to Florence with the chaperones early in the morning, many continued on their own trips for the five-day weekend. Some of my friends went to Ireland and others to France. I instead stayed in London with my boyfriend to enjoy the city at a slower pace, and also made a road trip to Oxford!

I feel very inspired by the creativity, the humanity and the FOOD that I encountered during my time in London.  I hope this diary gave you a glimpse of the FBM academic program abroad! I’m glad to be back at home in Florence but I cannot wait to return to London! A presto Londra!

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Hey I just met you and this is crazy!