Beyond the Classroom

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Many of my classmates would agree, one of our favorite parts of our time here at FIT is the real life experiences and interactive lessons. Sitting in a room for four hours can get a little tiring but when you have such a great class and professor like mine who always urges us to learn hands-on, it goes by in a breeze. Our trips and lessons beyond the classroom really engages and intrigues us all and we absorb so much more. My class and I have sat through a talk on the decades of fashion, visited the museum at FIT and my favorite trip-our venture to Mood Fabrics.

Our first internal field trip was to the history of fashion department where we saw the timeline of fashion and learned about the origins of major fashion companies like Coco Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent. Our curator even brought out garments and collections from the past century. We saw vintage Dior, vintage Chanel and various other iconic pieces from recent decades.

Dress from the 90s

Dress from the 90s

Dress from the 60s

Dress from the 60s

For the next internal trip we traveled across campus to the Museum at FIT. We learned about the fashion trends of conformity and structure through the past exhibit Uniformity, full of uniforms seen on soldiers, sailors, flight attendants, store employees and school children.

Jean Paul Gaultier ensemble 1993 (left) Sacai ensemble Spring 2015 (right)

Jean Paul Gautlier ensemble 1993 (left) Sacai ensemble Spring 2015 (right)

McDonald’s uniform Stan Herman 1976 (left) Moschino ensemble Jeremy Scott Fall 2014 (right)

McDonald’s uniform Stan Herman 1976 (left) Moschino ensemble Jeremy Scott Fall 2014 (right)

Chanel “Brasserie Gabrielle” ensemble Fall 2015

Chanel “Brasserie Gabrielle” ensemble Fall 2015

Coco Chanel clutch Fall 2015

Coco Chanel clutch Fall 2015

On our last trip we stopped by Mood Fabrics, the place where all fashion designers and craft fanatics’ hearts melt and they become mesmerized by the endless shelves of fabric. We spent hours roaming the floors collecting fabric swatches and leaving with a cheerful “Thank you Mood!” filling the store.

Retrieved from Manhattansideways.com

Retrieved from Manhattansideways.com

Until next time,

-Faith

Fashion Forecasting: Seeing into the Future

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Have you ever wondered who decides that olive is the “color of the season”? Or who says that chokers are a “thing” again? These trends are determined by Fashion Forecasters, or as I like to call them, the Fairy Godmothers of style. By collecting styles from the past and from the present, these trend detectives and fashion fortune tellers decide what the upcoming trends are and they dictate what consumers will be wearing. They attend runway shows and observe street style to create tomorrow and reinvent yesterday.

As someone who is inspired by marketing and the fashion industry, I strive to surround myself with new skills and become more involved with the ways of predicting the future of fashion. It has only been a few weeks into my class of Fashion Forecasting here at FIT, and I have already learned so much. My classmates and I study the prediction of color, fabrics, textures, materials, prints, and other styles presented on the runway and in stores. We understand how forecasters must play on the vision of a business and the target customers by analyzing the history of fashion to see into the future. In class we look at each others outfits, study street style and gather similarities in style and color from window displays, all to figure and point out current trends. Some popular styles we have talked about include…

Distressed denim:

Photo from fashionbombdaily.com

Photo from fashionbombdaily.com

Choker Necklaces:

Photo from refinery29.com

Neutral color palette:

Photo from Elle.com

Oversized clothing:

Photo from Pinterest.com

Photo from Pinterest.com

Some of these trends are new and some have been revived, but whether new or old, they always find their way back to the top, because fashion always finds a way to repeat itself.

Until next time,

-Faith

FIT: Expectations versus Fantastically Incredible Truth

alivia-cooneyHey city starlets! It’s time for another poast in which I toast FIT’s Precollege Program for opening me up to a world of coexisting creativity and focus that I didn’t know existed, let alone could enter before college!

I had high hopes in signing up for my Product Development class this fall. After five weeks of immersing myself in the program, the school, and the surrounding culture of Chelsea, I can say with all honesty that my experiences have exceeded even the highest of my expectations.

Stepping off of the LIRR train and onto the Penn Station platform, my first day began a little astray from schedule, but nonetheless in an Average Alivia fashion: Immediately after finding my way out of Penn (harder than you’d think, considering there’s literally hundreds of directory signs) into the hustling-bustling habitat that New York City is so renowned for, I walked a full two blocks in the opposite direction from FIT. The only unfortunate unexpected part of my experience at FIT thus far? Navigating the city without a sense of direction!

Entering the concrete, blue business building (poetry is alive) into class, I anticipated entering a community of like-minded artists and up-and-coming enterprisers. I wanted to view these potential friendships as networking opportunities, with equal parts potential for creative collaborations and business collaborations. Within minutes of starting the class and meeting my peers who I would be spending the next 11 weeks with, I knew my anticipation proved accurate!

While I expected to value these classmates from a business standpoint, I did not expect to form such natural friendships so quickly and easily. These friendships are not just all-business; they are honest and fun as well.  It wasn’t even two classes in before I started having kinds of conversations with these girls that I don’t even have with friends at school who I’ve known for years. I went out after class to stores with these girls without any prior plans, so fluidly and without any initial awkwardness. There is a natural kinship: we are all one tribe. Even apart from the amazing girls in my class, I’ve had inspiring and promising interactions with many other millennials in the area, from store clerks to fellow shoppers. I don’t make friends nearly as easily and quickly with people in the suburbs as I do with city people. Such a refreshing vibe that I didn’t even know I needed. My (cliché) advice for anyone in the precollege program? Don’t be afraid to talk to people!

Another thing I didn’t expect about the program was the time commitment. I knew it would be an all-day project once a week, but I did not expect the lingering influence it has in my life all week long, each week. I’m not just talking about assignments and projects; this class has honestly changed my worldview. I’m much more focused. I no longer let petty daily high school happenings weigh me down, because I have an inner drive that gives me strength. Now that I’ve been exposed to such a great environment, it is all I can concentrate on. I’m constantly working on posts for this blog, projects for my class, and seeking out opportunities to be in the city as much as possible. This concept is so important to me and many of the other girls in my class. The gift never leaves.

I think the most major part of my experience at FIT that I didn’t expect was the fun and fantasy-like adventures that I go on before and after, whether it be for food, shopping, or entertainment.

Generally, I don’t stray too far from seventh avenue (my route from Penn to FIT), partly because of convenience, partly because I have strict parents, and partly because I still have no sense of direction.

As far as shopping is concerned (and I know from personal experience that it is a major concern for many FIT students), there are literally tons of diverse options within walking distance. Listed below are some of my favorites, sorted into categories, and complete with the respective price ranges (according to Yelp). Also important to note is that these are not all clothing stores, but rather unique stores of all kinds that are hard to find dupes of outside of the city.

Buffalo Exchange – 114 W 26th St ($$)

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(reposted from pinterest.com/buffaloexchange)

I’ve mentioned this store before, and I will mention it again. Buy, sell, and exchange unique, trendy, seasonal apparel. Must be 18 or older to sell/exchange, unless you are accompanied by an adult with ID.

Lasting Art – 110 W 28th St ($$)

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(reposted from yelp.com)

I’ve recently discovered one of the most underrated, beautiful streets in Manhattan; West 28th Street, also known as the FLOWER DISTRICT! So lovely! This store in particular is known for their authentic artificial flowers.

New Dragon Toy Wholesale Inc. – 101 W 27th St ($)

One of my favorite things about the FIT area is the huge amount of specialized wholesale stores. This one is a toy store, so it’s a bit more niche-y. I went here to buy my ten year old sister  some birthday presents just last week. (Thankfully, my economic choice was worth it, as she loved her new chachkis!) These stores may not be known for their quality, but they are great for quantity. When I took a class at FIT in eighth grade, I once got about five packs of printed leggings (all the rage at the time) in bulk for just twenty-something dollars. Sadly, I never took note of the specific name of that store, but if you take a quick stroll down this block alone there are several stores that can satisfy this purpose.

Rock Star Crystals – 146 W 26th St ($$)

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(reposted from yelp.com)

Just a few stores down from Buffalo Exchange, this store sells exclusively crystals of all kinds, in both raw and jewelry form. The idea is that crystals possess certain healing powers. I literally gasped when I first walked past it, it is so strikingly beautiful. It is stores like this that remind me how much money I need in order to live out all my impractical whims.

Strand Bookstore (in Club Monaco) – 160 5th Ave ($$)

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(reposted from pinterest.com/shienru)

Our class visited Club Monaco on a field trip a few weeks ago in an effort to study their floor plan and its relationship with product development. However, I was quickly whisked away by a strong fragrant scent toward the far side of the store. I’ve always loved and appreciated bookstores as a whole, and this one is easily my new favorite. It has such a vibe! Filled with rare collectible books all about art, feminism, fashion, and other liberal arts, I would be completely content living there for weeks on end with no outside interaction. It also had one of those wheely ladders like in Beauty and the Beast. Easily the most aesthetically pleasing bookstore I’ve ever been to. I’m in love!

Truemart Discount Fabrics – 261 7th Ave ($$)

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(reposted from commonthreadupholstery.com)

What fashion student wouldn’t appreciate a fabric store? I have yet to go inside, but being directly across from the FIT campus, it is so tempting AND convenient.

Uniqlo – 31 W 34th St ($$)

A store specializing in basic clothing essentials ranging from t-shirts to leggings to socks. It’s one of my personal favorite stores because of its practicality, which has granted it locations all over the world. From a product development standpoint, I appreciate the business model.

Whole Body at Whole Foods Market – 260 7th Ave ($$)

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(reposted from nytimes.com)

A whole store dedicated to carrying on Whole Foods’ value of the all-natural and organic, but with a focus on health, beauty, and homeopathy (another branch of liberal faux-science akin to crystals in which I am a sucker for)? Sign me UP!

In addition to shopping, there are also some sick local galleries that you need to visit. I could write a whole separate post about them, but for now I will just plant the seed.

Last Rites (325 W 38th St)

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(reposted from art-nerd.com)

Popaganda NYC Pop-Up (72 Gansevoort St)dscf4069

(reposted from streetartnews.net)

A long day of commuting, working hard in class, and navigating the city is tiring. Below I’ve listed some cool restaurants great for a pre-class startup, mid-class break, or post-class pick-me-up. I’ve bolded the places I’ve been to, and the others I frequently walk past and hope to stop at soon.

  • Argo Tea Café – 275 7th Ave (at W 26th St)
  • brgr – 287 7th Avenue
  • Broadway Bites – Greeley Square, Broadway
  • Cafe 27 – 250 W 27th St
  • Fresh & Co – 363 7th Ave
  • Gigi Cafe – 307 7th Ave (directly across from Pomerants Art & Design Building)
  • Gregory’s Coffee – 356 7th Ave
  • The Juice Shop – 7 Pennsylvania Avenue
  • Just Salad – 291 7th Ave (They just sell bagels… just kidding. It’s just… salad.)
  • Pret A Manger – 342 7th Ave
  • RARE Bar & Grill – 152 W 26th St
  • VLife NYC – 348 7th Ave

That’s the word on the street for this week! Check back next week as we continue to “Liv” The Dream in NYC, brought to you by FIT’s Precollege Program.

On the Outside Looking In: Precollege Crash Course of HAC 063

hac 063

Mentions of Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, and Coco Chanel, were made when the class was asked about creative people who have used modern technology and advertising techniques to build empires.

Walking into Professor Bohn’s dark computer lab where students listened to his lecture, I am reminded of my own college classes at BMCC. Students occasionally glanced at notepads to write down what the professor was saying, spending the remaining time looking at the slides of the PowerPoint that appear on their computer screens. The class was about Marketing, mentions of ad agencies and the debate over “creativeness vs. business”, made that abundantly clear. Professor Bohn stood in the middle of the room in a sport coat, discussing several aspects of successful marketing campaigns. He would weave the internal attributes of any advertisement, and compare them to something modern. Mentions of Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, and Coco Chanel, were made when the class was asked about creative people who have used modern technology and advertising techniques to build empires.

“There are no products, only services,” the professor said,

The professor would use the PowerPoint to begin discussions germane to the topic of marketing. “There are no products, only services,” the professor said, stating that when someone purchases a product such as Crest toothpaste, they’re paying for the “beautiful, shiny, white teeth” that the brand promises. After finishing a few information slides, the professor began to show different ads on the screen. Prominent companies like Chanel, Campbell’s, Porche, Apple, and the U.S. Army use similar techniques to market their products. When asked about the designs and slogans that appear on the screen, the students are actively engaged with the professor, throwing idea out into the open to be discussed at will. The atmosphere was intense, but accepting. Most people took a turn to say their piece or comment on the ads, the discussion morphed from the aesthetic aspect of the ads, to what the students might have done differently to improve the ad.

Spending time in Professor Bohn’s class showed me that not only are FIT Precollege students ready for FIT, they’re striving to become the moguls of tomorrow and it shows in their work.

-Matt

What is Fashion Forecasting?

Hello readers! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. As the semester comes to an end in 3 short weeks, I thought I would go over what I’m learning in HFM 060: Fashion Forecasting: Seeing Into The Future. I took this course because I’ve always wondered why certain trends happen. Is there a science behind it? What mathematical formula do retailers use to know what people are going to want to wear?

In reality, it’s more complicated than that. Trends are formed based off a tremendous amount of research and what is happening in the world at the time. The process is complex and definitely very interesting, which makes learning about it exciting. My professor, Suzanne Piazza, started by introducing us to simple fashion vocabulary. This was very informative because these terms are important to know. Then, we learned about business within fashion and how to be successful in dealing with business. Next, we learned about the history of fashion. This was my favorite part of the course because understanding why people dressed and designed they way they did in certain time periods is very interesting to me. We each did a project on a decade of our choice which made this topic fun to learn about. Then, we learned how to formulate a theme for a fashion forecast. A theme is the topic of your prediction that has a unifying, dominant idea. Inspiration for themes can found almost everywhere. Next, we learned about color theory. I never knew color could be so interesting! Color affects us so much and we don’t even realize it. Color is a vital part in forecasting a trend because consumers aren’t going to buy something if they don’t like the color. When forecasting fashion, your consumers are your real customer, so you have to please them first. This makes the job of being a fashion forecaster risky, but most of the time rewarding if you’re good at it. Finally, now we’re working on our final project of forecasting our own trend for Fall/Winter 2016. This project is really cool because we’re using resources that actual retailers use like trend forecasting services. I’m excited to see how my project turns out.

Overall, this semester has been the best learn experience I’ve ever had. It’s exciting and rewarding to learn about something you’re passionate about. I’ve not only learned so much from Professor Piazza, but also from myself and my classmates. I would definitely recommend this class to anyone who is interested in any part of the fashion industry because it is very informative. I can’t wait to come back to FIT next semester.

Have a great week everyone!

Thank you for reading,
Kenzie Davis