Spare Change

Three of my pieces from my first class at FIT!

Change…it’s a loaded word, isn’t it? Many people are hesitant to step into new situations, embark on uncharted waters. But, in our ever-evolving society, change is something we need to embrace. FIT has helped me to cultivate this mindset by teaching me that change can be a catalyst for creativity and positivity. As I travel into the city each week for class, I am kept on my toes by the dynamic developments occurring in today’s fashion industry.

A unique design from one of FIT’s curated museum exhibits. I love how this piece challenges typical fashion through its asymmetrical shape, unique pattern, and beautiful butterfly detail!

Much like New York City, the world of fashion and art is something that transforms every day, every hour, every minute. Being surrounded by such knowledgeable professors and talented peers who have my same passion for this exhilarating field challenges me to think outside of the box and explore new ideas in my own artistic journey. When I sat down in my first FIT class three years ago as a nervous freshman in high school who loved to sew, my perception of fashion was relatively limited to what I personally thought was aesthetically pleasing. As time went on and I enrolled in more classes, however, I learned that fashion was so much more than beautiful clothing; it is an art form that represents the evolution of culture.

This is a Charles James design I saw at the MET a few summers ago. At the time this piece was created, it was completely breaking customary fashion (and societal) boundaries!

My time at FIT has taught me to question social norms and challenge complacency, both in my creations and in daily life. I challenge all of you to step outside of your comfort zones in your artwork and embrace the excitement of change. To quote the great CoCo Chanel, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

Talk to you next week!

~Kaela

A Day at Dover Street Market

Hey Everyone!

Dover Street Market is a store started by the brand “Comme de Garçon” which pulls together designers from all around the world to showcase their works. DSM’s merchandise is marked by wildly successful brands ranging from “Supreme” to “Gucci” and every brand in between and beyond. Recently, I was able to take a tour of the store with my FIT Precollege class, here’s what happened:
On the walk from FIT to DSM, I find myself constantly looking out for an ex-school building turned high-end fashion store. It isn’t until I already walk W A Y past the store that my classmates who had previously visited call me over to the pristine, and understated front stoop. We wait outside for a little bit before three women in all black couture come out to find us. The women then guide us like a group of lost sheep into a side entrance, past a series of exceedingly well-dressed security guards, and into the front room
The unmarked building should, in theory, turn away potential customers simply because if it’s mysteriously camouflaged storefront. The exact same characteristic that would keep a customer from shopping in the store is, a lot of the time, what brings in customers. The extremely well-dressed tour guide/ sales associate/ social media representative explained to us that it is chiefly the supposed exclusivity that appeals to people; the glamor of possibly shopping alongside celebrities in an aloof, chic, New York City store is just as appealing as getting VIP passes to a music festival or invited to throw the first pitch at a Yankee game.
Our guide sends us with another sales associate who brings us up to the top floor by way of a GLASS ELEVATOR (I mean… how cool! I felt very much like Charlie in the chocolate factory) which allows us to catch a glimpse of the magical curation of designer goods as we rise. We step into the first exhibit-like showroom consisting of Supreme right next to Gucci, which is right next to Junya Watanabe. Following our lovely journey in the magic elevator, we make our way back down floor by floor, getting a better look at the extremely impressive detail that goes into every brand’s space before ending the tour with an informal Q&A session about how someone may get to working at a store like DSM.


I had always wanted to make my way into Dover Street Market, but I never really knew if I would find an opportunity to. I loved learning about everything DSM does! FIT Precollege Programs has once again opened doors for me to experience the industry in a really cool way!

Special thanks to the team at Dover Street Market for a great day! Make your way down to 160 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016! WARNING: It’s really cool :)

See you all next week!

~ Kaela

Farewell Fashionistas!

Sunday, December 18th  was the last class of FIT’s Fall 2016 Precollege Program. Before I say goodbye to my time here and to my readers this season, I will outline what the final assignment was like.

As an 11-week course, we had a number of assignments along the way to keep us on track, to prepare us for a career in presenting our ideas to our peers, and to test our knowledge of the material we learn. Inevitably, this last class marked the final assignment: creating a fashion line for a fictional collaboration between a chosen fashion icon and retailer.

In terms of product development, this means breaking up the fashion line into the categories of fashion, core, and essentials.

For my project, I was assigned James Dean as my fashion icon, and Brooks Brothers as my retailer. Thus, my personal goal was to create a collection embodying the edgy, rebellious side of James Dean while not straying too far from the traditional, conservative Brooks Brothers image. I had to try not to alienate the target customer, while using my new fictional brand ambassador to hopefully draw in younger customers to breathe new life into the retailer. I took advantage of the common links of layering and “All-American”-ism between my icon and my brand. This collection was my result:

I also thought it would be a cute idea to create a few outfits (to present via Keynote) out of the items in my collection, using Polyvore. These are a few results of that:

So that’s the crux of my FIT chronicles! Thank you to all of my readers and supporters this season, to my professor, to the Precollege Program directors, and to the great girls in my class for making this semester an excellent and memorable one!

I can say in all honesty that this is a great course, and I would highly recommend it not only to anyone interested in fashion, but to anyone interested in evolving into their best self in the most constructive of environments. It sounds dramatic, because it is; this class and the entire experience it promotes is honestly life-changing.

I shouldn’t hope to see you at FIT’s Precollege Program next Spring- YOU should hope to see yourself here! Give yourself the gift of self-love this holiday season and sign up for class!

-Alivia

Farewells and Goodbyes


On the last day of class all that is left are farewells and goodbyes. It feels just like yesterday we were all strangers with one common interest but yet here we are sad to leave one another after 11 awesome weeks. With a new outlook on not only the fashion world but FIT also, I decided to ask my classmates to reflect on their time here in the Precollege Programs to give insight for many of you hoping to absorb some of the same knowledge we have gained.

“I Love the location and vibe of FIT.”

-Julia

“This is my first class I have taken at FIT it has been a great experience, definitely coming back.”

-Brandi

“Great way to meet new people and make new friends.”

-Sarai

“Definitely where I see myself for college.”

-Jasmine

For me, this being my second year here, I have doubled my education and am very engaged in the fashion industry. With hopes of coming back in the Spring, I know I will yet again get to participate in this experience of a lifetime. From writing about FIT and sharing my thoughts and process with all of you, it made me realize how gratifying the Precollege Programs are and that there is nowhere I would rather be.

Thank you for tagging along on my journey.

With love,

Faith

 

Learn From The Best (So You’re Not Like The Rest)

alivia-cooney Happy December, dolls!

With college applications due right around the corner, this past Sunday found many class discussions centered around the future. Even more so than the immediate future, many of my classmates were concerned about the longterm future, particularly that which would ensue following their potential acceptance into FIT for college.

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: the average FIT student is ambitious. They respect and value their creativity, but understand the need to have a solid career grounded in reality. Thus, my classmates had some insightful questions for our professor. Such intelligent questions included “How do I become a buyer?”, “Does FIT have good connections for internships?”, and “What’s the best major to enter if I wanted to start my own business?”

Luckily for me, I have an aunt who graduated from FIT to ask these kinds of questions to, and to rely on for advice on entering these related industries.

This week I decided to interview my aunt, Antonette Bivona. She graduated from FIT in 1991 with BS in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing, after first getting her Associate’s Degree in Fashion Buying and Merchandising, also at FIT. Today, she holds the prestigious title of Director of Global Marketing for Revlon Cosmetics Products Corporation.

(image reposted from global-customer.com)

(image reposted from global-customer.com)

I wanted to ask her a few questions to find out more about her FIT experience for both my knowledge, and the knowledge of my readers, fellow Precollege students, and FIT hopefuls.

Me: What originally made you interested in FIT?

A: I’ve always been interested in fashion and beauty, and FIT is the premier school for the industry. In fact, the [Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing] program I was in was really unique because it was the first one of its kind. When I graduated, it had only been around for two years.

Me: How did FIT help you get to where you are today in your career?

A: FIT helped me get an internship at Revlon, and I was lucky enough to be offered a position there once I graduated. I’m still here today, after 25 years, largely thanks to FIT’s well-rounded education of the industry.

Me: What skills did you learn at FIT that have contributed to your success in the workplace?

A: Hard work, diligence, creativity, professionalism. FIT was excellent with giving us real world experience, bringing us straight into the industry. For example, they would take us to spend the day at different cosmetics companies’ headquarters. They’re great with nurturing their students to seamlessly make their way into the industry straight out of college. They ensure we build lasting connections through different internships.

Me: What were some of the challenges you faced along the way?

A: Due to the economic recession of the times, the fear of not getting a job was very real. The workload was intense, and the expectations were high. In my last year specifically, I had an internship, school, and a job. Nonetheless, it was a great experience.

(image reposted fromhttps://www.fitnyc.edu/business-and-technology/deans-forum/past.php)

There you have it, FIT friends! Next time you draw some designs for your Precollege portfolio, draw inspiration from happily successful FIT alumni like my aunt, and even more well-known fashion figures like Calvin Klein and Michael Kors! Hard work and dedication, along with the tools and skills learned from such a great school as FIT, always make the experience well worth it!

– Alivia