(3)FIT in Florence | Page 3

FIT in Florence

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!

 

 

February 24, 2016
by Rose
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Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Last week, we got to experience a part of the semester that we had been anticipating greatly: FMM’s trip to London and FD’s journey to Paris. After going through the same routine everyday in Florence, we had been getting more and more excited as the days counted down until our academic trips began and, when they came, we were not disappointed. I went to Paris with the rest of the Fashion Design students and we were bombarded with appointments, trade shows, museum visits, trend reports, and much more and, through such a packed schedule, I felt as though I was truly able to experience an immense amount of what Paris has to offer.

Jumping for joy outside of Versailles!

Jumping for joy outside of Versailles!

Sacre Coeur in Montmartre AKA one of my favorite places on earth.

Sacre Coeur in Montmartre AKA one of my favorite places on earth.

As a student who is minoring in art history and has taken many courses in that area throughout high school and college, I was extremely excited to be able to see all of the artwork that I had only viewed through the pages of a textbook before. Through a class trip to the Louvre and an independent visit to the Musée d’Orsay, I got to see many pieces that I know very well and, from Degas to Leonardo and Impressionism to Classicism, I got to travel through the entire art world just by walking through two museums. Also, not only does Paris have some of the best art in the entire world, but it is also universally known as being the home of high fashion and, through visits to the flagship Hermes store, the concept store, Colette, textile trade shows Texworld and Premiere Vision, the Aganovich atelier, and some of the oldest department stores in the world, we design students were completely overwhelmed with inspiration and design ideas!

The Nike of Samothrace... a statue I've dreamed of seeing since I was 14 years old.

The Nike of Samothrace… a statue I’ve dreamed of seeing since I was 14 years old.

"Poppies" by Monet in the Musée d'Orsay.

“Poppies” by Monet in the Musée d’Orsay.

After the Paris trip ended, we had the choice to return home with the school or go off on our own for some independent traveling for a few days and my friends and I decided to fly to Dublin. Coincidentally, we were not the only ones who thought that this would be a fun trip that weekend because what seemed like half of the entire program ended up on a bus trip to the Cliffs of Moher together! The Irish countryside is breathtaking and like nothing I’ve ever seen before and, after a long, busy week in Paris, a realizing and carefree adventure in Dublin was exactly what we needed.

A surprise FIT reunion at the Cliffs of Moher in Dublin!

A surprise FIT reunion at the Cliffs of Moher in Dublin!

For those of us who choose to study abroad for the travel experience, trips like these cannot be anything less than absolutely incredible. Just being in Florence by itself is amazing but, when you get to visit other countries and experience various cultures, you recall what brought you overseas in the first place: your love to travel, explore, and get out of your comfort zone. Whether school-organized or independently-planned, any voyage you take in Europe will bring you unforgettable memories and experiences, and this I guarantee.

The breathtaking Palace of Versailles.

The breathtaking Palace of Versailles.