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.

Work:
Website: frankrocco.com
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:
HSX 090 Fashion Design Using Global Inspiration
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: Elida Behar

Elida Behar has been teaching in the Fashion Business Management Department in the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology since 2009.  She spent her life’s work in the retail industry.  First, in luxury at Saks Fifth Avenue and then at the NYC off-price specialty retailer, Daffy’s.
Prof. Bahar has experience in buying and developing multiple product categories, such as shoes, handbags, toys, dresses, childrenswear, and men’s furnishings.

Prof. Behar teaches:
HSX 123: A Week in the Life of a Merchant

Teaching Philosophy:
I believe in succession building; I have an obligation to impart my knowledge to those who will follow and lead in the industry and in the American society. I have always approached teaching as the business practitioner.  I connect the dots for the student – they are hearing merchandising theories for the first time – it is difficult to comprehend.  I give many examples from my experience and the multiple product categories which I bought.

I believe that it is important to be positive in the classroom and to exude enthusiasm about the industry, more so than ever due to the changes that are being caused by technology.  I am envious of the students, and I say so, as I wish that I was at the start of my career during this important and exciting period.

Recent Industry Accomplishments:

International Teaching | Summer 2015-2017

Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou, China

Prof. Behar has been selected to teach Global Merchandising to the upper divisions and has been re-appointed every year.  This past summer, she was a keynote guest speaker at the International Forum of Fashion Brand Development at the university.  Her speech addressed the Global Market and Merchandising Strategy.

Prof. Behar is a contributing researcher to Retailing in Emerging Markets, 2nd Edition by Bloomsbury Publishing, which was released in October 2017.  The textbook is used in the Global Merchandising course: Elida Behar Contributes to Book on Retailing