Instructor Spotlight: Mary Capozzi

Mary Capozzi has been an instructor at FIT for over 8 years. During her 17 years of experience in the fashion industry, Prof. Capozzi designed children’s clothing, swimwear and denim. She also has a passion for art, particularly fashion illustration and digital illustration.

Prof. Capozzi teaches:
HSX 095 Costume & Couture Rendering

Teaching Philosophy:
My life philosophy, which extends to my teaching, is “seek knowledge from cradle to grave”. I love to learn and impart that knowledge to my students. I appreciate when students are challenged and when they challenge me to grow. Precollege students bring an energy and excitement to the learning environment. I am always completely blown away by the level of creativity and imagination they display in their presentations.

Recent Exhibitions/Work:
SUNY Empire State College Graduate Art Show

Instructor Spotlight: Frank Rocco

Frank  Rocco is a New York City Fashion Photographer and has been working professionally and full-time since the nineties. He specializes in beauty, portrait and figure photography. Frank Rocco loves to photograph people and he appreciates the special connection between himself and his subjects. He feels at home whether he’s photographing a fast-moving guerilla-style shoot on location or a carefully planned studio beauty session.

Teaching Philosophy:
One of the benefits of fashion photography is that the photographer has more freedom to be creative with lighting, posing, angles and composition than a portrait or lifestyle photographer. I encourage my students to learn how to emulate images that they appreciate with consideration for lighting, angles, posing and composition and to make deliberate decisions regarding those elements. I also encourage the spontaneity that makes fashion photography exciting. I am a firm believer in completing the assignment and then going beyond expectations to create something new and magical.

Frank Rocco’s figure and fashion photography images have been in multiple group exhibitions.
Solo show of abstract images in Martha’s Vineyard, June of 2017

Fashion Photography by Frank Rocco:





Instructor Spotlight: Su Ku

Su Ku is a dynamic and dedicated fashion design instructor who has been teaching in the Fashion Design-Art Department at FIT since 2012.  She taught courses ranging from the first year foundation class to the senior portfolio development class.  Before coming to FIT, Su Ku held positions of leadership in the fashion industry such as the Design Director of Liz Claiborne and designed multiple collections addressing all different price-points and lifestyles. She studied art and art history at Yale University as an undergraduate, and received a masters degree in Regional Studies from Harvard University and a second masters degree in Art History from Columbia University.  Su Ku also earned an associate’s degree in Fashion Design from FIT and is combining her academic and design industry knowledge and skills to teach the Fashion Inspiration and Research course where students study the arts of western civilization to form creative design journals.

Prof. Su Ku teaches:
HAR 016 Creating the Fashion Figure
JSX 011 Fashion Art: Silhouettes

Teaching Philosophy:

I believe that utilizing history as a research tool to design means that you will never run out of ideas.  For example, history provides a palette filled with sumptuous Byzantine mosaics, brilliant Renaissance hues and gorgeous Rococo florals, just to mention a few.  Combining any of these elements together with one’s imagination will create unique designs.  I engage my students to connect with the geniuses of history to find inspirations that will enable them to become great designers.

Industry Experience:
Director of Product Development at Carlisle Collection
Design Director at Liz Claiborne
Designer of Collection at Dana Buchman
Designer at Joseph Abboud

Inspired Designs by Prof. Su Ku:

Instructor Spotlight: Janice Giardina

Janice Giardina is an adjunct assistant professor at FIT.  She has taught Fashion Design Art college and Precollege classes at FIT since 2001. Janice embarked on her career in Fashion Design while still in high school in the late 1980’s in FIT’s precollege Saturday Live program and was later accepted to the university as a Fashion Design major.  She graduated with a BFA in Fashion Design and went on to design womenswear in the industry.

She has designed eveningwear, activewear, knitwear, and career and casual sportswear for branded and private label manufacturers who have sold to major department stores such as Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Talbots.

Prof. Giardina Teaches:
JSX 011 Fashion Art: Silhouettes
JSX 012 Fashion Art: Rendering Fabrics

On Precollege Programs:
I started out in the Precollege program myself in the late 1980’s!  Since most art universities require you to know your major when applying, I think it’s great to explore this early.  Taking Precollege classes is a great way to help you find out where your passion lies, and you’ll have fun and make friends while doing so!

Teaching Philosophy:
You will excel when you’re passionate about what you’re doing and enjoying yourself.  I tell my students to have fun while they’re working.  Find something that inspires you and bring that into your work.  You cannot be creative without inspiration.

Artwork by Prof. Giardina:





Instructor Spotlight: Joseph Denaro

Prof. Denaro majored in Fashion Illustration at Parsons School of Design. As a fashion illustrator, he has traveled the world fashion circuit for Vogue and Vogue Patterns. Aside from his mainstream career, he has accepted commissions for portraiture, fine art, and animal depictions. A devotee of watercolors and markers, Prof Denaro has an evolving style that keeps his love of the illustration both current and fresh.

He divides his time between commissioned work at his studio, creating new images for his unique apparel company ABOUTFACEjdenaro LLC, and teaching at his Alma Mater Parsons and Manhattan’s Fashion Institute of Technology.

Prof. Denaro teaches:
HIL 011 Sketch a Model: Fashion Illustration for Beginners 

Teaching Philosophy:
I bring my expertise of fashion drawing from my many years of working in this creative and exciting field. Watching students grow creatively is the most rewarding part of teaching. I understand all students will not go on to be fashion illustrators, but participation in the arts will broaden their perspective in the future. In teaching, I believe that dialogue leads to the free exchange of information, and I hope I can transfer my knowledge and experience for the enrichment of my students.








Industry Experience:

Prof. Denaro has illustrated for Abercrombie & Fitch, Lord and Taylor, Brooks Bro., Strawbridge and Clothier, Mc Calls, Vogue Patterns, Simplicity Patterns, Russell Fabrics, Woman’s Day Magazine, Plymouth Shops, Tanner Shops, Klopman Fabrics, Burlington Industries, Accessory Magazine and Couture III Illustration to name a few. He has exhibited at W Hotel, NYC. He is also the author of Fashion Illustration in Markers.

In 2015 ABOUTFACEjdenaro LLC, a premium clothing brand for women (and men) incorporating his fashion images was introduced to the fashion market.