Category Archives: Students

Michele Savoia

The Center for Professional Studies mourns the loss of our instructor, colleague, friend and FIT grad, Michele Savoia. Savoia was in the very first Menswear Design class at FIT and after graduating went on to a wonderful career as a custom tailor and costume designer.He had a very high profile clientele and truly was a walking encyclopedia on all things important in the Men’s business.His sense of fit, image and styling was unparalleled.You could not stump him and his advice was spot on in terms of what to wear when. His own avant garde appearance, complete with numerous tattoos only added to his appeal and our adult students, many professionals in the industry, loved him. While the press quickly labeled him a “fashion designer” the fact is he was called “The Tailor” carrying on a family tradition from his grandfather and father.

Here is a picture of Savoia taken in his very last class on Wednesday evening 2/12. It is quintessentially him and captures his vitality. His accidental death is such a loss for all who knew him. Let us all remember him just this way. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

Michele Savoia teaching. Photo by Larry Byrd

 

Alice + Olivia Ready-to-Wear Fall 2014

By Lesly Xochmitl & Orialys Coriano, FIT Hot Topics Interns

Alice Olivia inspiration
Alice + Olivia’s Ready-to-Wear Fall 2014 collection depicted garments that are “dark, sexy, and all tied back to a Victorian element,” (just as Bendent previously stated). She was inspired by Benjamin Lacombe’s fantasyland and whimsical illustrations. And accordingly, Bendent named her own fairytale Enchanted: The Search for the Golden Monarch. Bendent explicitly displays characters such as Cinderella or Rapunzel with rich and modern looks. The model portrayed as Cinderella wore a luxurious royal blue gown and for Rapunzel we see her in a vivid green cock-tail dress and matching stockings that read: “Don’t hate a dirty mind, have a sexy imagination.”And, despite the “pure” reputation these characters demonstrate in stories, Bendent adds edge as she styled looks with dark buttons, lavishing black chokers and dramatic black cat-eye makeup touches. Bendet also showcased what she interpreted to be seventies-fashion highlights.  Overall, Alice + Olivia’s designs concentrate on the Victorian era as it was interpreted in the 1970′s.

Fall 2014 Ready-to-Wear Alice + Olivia

Fall 2014 Ready-to-Wear Alice + Olivia

Fall 2014 Ready-to-Wear Alice + Olivia

 

Are You A Design Entrepreneur?

DENYC logo

The second (annual I hope) Design Entrepreneurs NYC program came to an amazing finale Thursday evening September 26 with the announcement of two winners of cash awards of 1st place- $25,000 and 2nd place- $10,000. Becca McCharen owner of CHROMAT (chromatgarments.com) placed first in the business plan competition and Vasumathi Soundararajan (an FIT grad!) of Ken Wroy, Inc. (kenwroy.com) came in second (there were only two places). Kudos to the winners!

Design Entrepreneur Winners 2013

L to R: Dr. Joyce F. Brown, President, Fashion Institute of Technology; Vasumathi Soundararajan, Ken Wroy, Inc.; Becca McCharen, Chromat; Jeanette Nostra, President, G-III Apparel Group.

And kudos to the entire 2013 class of Design Entrepreneurs NYC! Everyone is on their way to growing their companies with freshly minted business plans in their possession.  The intensive mini-MBA program started in June with solid weekend-filled classes and then the entrepreneurs spent their summer, under the guidance of mentors,  working hard writing and refining their business plans. After submitting their business plans, the entrepreneurs waited to hear which ones were selected to present – half of the class of 35.  The presentations, in front of industry judges in four different rooms, narrowed down the field to 4 finalists who then presented in front of all the judges and the 2013 class.  Some of the Judges included: Tim Baxter (EVP & GMM, Macy’s), Morris Goldfarb (CEO, G-III Apparel), Ellen Rodriguez (President & CEO, French Connection), Jeffrey Binder (Consultant, Former Divisional Merchandise Manager, Bloomingdales), and Laurence Leeds, Jr. (Chair, Buckingham Capital).  I was privileged to be a moderator for one of the panels.

So the entrepreneurs are off now to grow their businesses and take them in new directions as a result of this experience.  As well as stay in touch with their classmates, faculty, school and judges.

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.