Instructor Spotlight: Josh Tierney

JoshTierneyJosh Tierney is a multidisciplinary designer and creative director. His diverse background and understanding of fashion, styling, visual merchandising, theater, fashion, graphics, interiors, food, and art have provided him with a unique point of view for planning and designing unique events.  Josh has worked on events of all sizes and scope, in venues in the New York area and beyond.  His work has been featured in Biz Bash, the leading event planning news magazine, as well as Edible, the Knot, Brides, Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, and Town & Country.  Josh is an FIT alumnus, with degrees in Display & Exhibit Design, and Fabric Styling.

Professor Tierney teaches: HSX 067: Fashionable Affairs: Events Made Easy
Do you love parties? Do you love design?  Whether you’re a socialite or a budding event planner, this course will teach you everything you need to know about the basics of planning and designing a memorable party.  Fun, collaborative, and interactive – you’ll design tabletops, centerpieces, mood boards, and more.  Make your next event unique, stylish and unforgettable using china, glassware, linens, and décor in creative ways. .  Learn the ins and outs of event design from an industry pro.
Register HERE

Teaching Philosophy:
Teaching Precollege is all about exploration; enlightening students to new ways of thinking, and exposing them to possibilities for their future.  My class is all about giving students a taste of event planning and design, and the students’ individual journeys in figuring out what want to know more about.  My goal in teaching Precollege is really to spark passion, and the first step for students defining their passion is figuring out what they really love.  I apply my professional experience, education, and knowledge to teaching the class, calling on real-world industry contacts to share their experiences with the students, providing three-dimensional field trips and lectures.

On Precollege Programs:
Having attended FIT’s Precollege programs myself over a decade ago, I remember the impact the courses had on my life at that time, and how Precollege ultimately set a course for my educational and professional career.  Precollege provided both a creative outlet as well as insights into the fashion and related industries.  I ultimately attended FIT for college.  The class I teach, Fashionable Affairs, meets in the same classroom where I attended Precollege as a 16 year old, and my Precollege instructor, now a colleague, teaches a class across the hall.  The transition from student to instructor has been a surreal experience, but is characteristically unique to the FIT experience.

Industry Experience:
Executive Creative Director at Great Performances

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Instructor Spotlight: Jasmin Zorlu



DSC_0004Professor Zorlu was born in Germany and raised in the wonderlands of Iceland and Japan, where she developed a fascination for all things modern and minimal.  Her artist mother took her to art museums and galleries all over the world, which led her to pursue an undergraduate degree in Art History.  However, in her last year of college in Michigan, she took a theatrical hat design course and became hooked by the sculptural possibilities of the powerful accessory of the HAT. After graduation, she moved to New York City to take more hat making classes at FIT, also earning another degree in Accessory Design.  She’s been designing and making headwear for 20 years, with a brief stint as a corporate footwear designer on the West Coast.

Professor Zorlu teaches: HSX 104 Hang on to Your Hat!
Hats are hot, and now they’re everywhere! Musicians and celebrities know the power of the hat. From royal weddings to award shows, hats are stealing the spotlight! In this class you’ll learn how to make a 1920’s style cloche or fedora hat that perfectly fits you by using the exciting art of ‘Freeform Blocking’. Using steam and your fingers, manipulate a pre-formed woven straw cone on a standard wooden hat form, hand-stitch it, and then trim the hat with your own handmade flowers, cockades or bows from ribbon. All hand-stitching: no sewing machine knowledge required.
Register HERE

Teaching Philosophy:
My teaching philosophy involves showing my students traditional techniques in hatmaking and inspiring them to find new materials and ways of putting shapes together which are fresh and exciting.  Observing the world around them with a keen eye, drawing upon nature, architecture or even people’s hairstyles will help develop their design sensibility.

On Precollege Programs:
Pre-college programs at FIT are a wonderful introduction to the fashion industry and to the resources of the school:  its instructors, culture, facilities, and resources like the museum and library.  FIT has the only certified Millinery Certificate program in the US; the classes I’m teaching are a fun introduction to millinery (hat making and design).

Advice for Students:
Wear your own creations and invent your own style! People will love to get inspired by you.

Industry Experience:

  • Assisted Tracy Watts, James Coviello, Rod Keenan, Patricia Underwood, and 2 people in the theatrical headwear industry.
  • Commissioned by Erykah Badu, the R & B singer
  • Was part of a cooperative clothing boutique in the lower East Side of Manhattan.
  • Designed unique patterned fabric hats for Goorin Brothers which were mass produced and sold in the US, Europe and Japan.
  • Recently, loaned out hats to Lady Gaga for one of her videos and also had my hats shot for a Vogue Italia editorial.

Publications: Oyster Magazine (from Australia), WWD, Oprah Magazine, Paper Magazine, Accessories Magazine, The Hat Magazine

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Instructor Spotlight – Tara St James


Tara St James is is an Adjunct Instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She is the owner and head designer for the sustainable fashion label Study – New York. She was born and raised in Canada where she studied menswear tailoring.






Ms. St James teaches this awesome class:
JSX 050: The Fashion Cycle
This class will teach you the steps need to make your ‘FASHION RUNWAY’ dreams a reality. Learn how your designs travels through the fashion design process; how to translate inspiration into sketches and mood/design boards; why one fabric is better than another; what happens in the pattern room; how the factory works; what it takes to produce a runway show; and finally, how your designs end up in a store! After this class you will know how a real designer puts a line together and have a road map for your future.

Teaching Philosophy: 
My teaching style combines a hands-on atmosphere where students are exposed to current industry techniques and innovations in textiles and finishes as well visits to museums for exposure to present day and historical inspiration. I like to create an environment conducive to sharing ideas and thoughts, allowing the students to learn from one another.  I infuse sustainable thinking in all my courses as it is engrained in my business and lifestyle.

On Precollege Programs:
Teaching the Precollege programs allows me to introduce a new generation to the fashion industry I know and love.  I am continually impressed by the students’ motivation to learn and create above and beyond their current middle / highschool workload.  Their enthusiasm motivates me to share as much as I can so the students have a realist understanding of all this industry can offer them in the future.

Industry Experience:

  • Owner, creative director for Study NY, casual ethical contemporary womenswear made in New York City
  • Designer of womens jeans for Brooklyn Denim Co
  • Launched Covet, mens & womens casual streetwear
  • Designed for Parasuco, Dex, Azzure and Spiewak

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Instructor Spotlight – Jim Webb

Jim Webb’s work has crossed several borders. Besides being a storyboard revisionist and layout artist for MTV ANIMATION and storyboarding episodes of hit shows such as the VENTURE BROTHERS and the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, Jim has written and illustrated for a variety of comic book publishers such as GRAPHIC CLASSICS, MIRAGE STUDIOS and HEAVY METAL MAGAZINE. He’s created style-guide designs for DC LICENSING, background work for MARVEL’S SECRET INVASION series and taught a class at PRATT INSTITUTE.  He created ad layouts for TV LAND’S hit series HOT IN CLEVELAND and is currently working on another story for HEAVY METAL and the third issue of his creator owned comic, THE ADVERSARY, for ASYLUM PRESS.


Mr.Webb teaches this awesome class:  JSX 025 Let’s Create Comix!
In this class you focus on the basic building blocks of comic book storytelling: story, character design and page layout. Students create written scenes, and go from thumbnails and character sketches to a penciled layout of a page, reviewing and critiquing the steps as they go along. Students will explore the use of photo reference as a means of making fantasies look real. The class will discuss the student’s creative ambitions and the importance of reading as a stimulant in the creative process.

Teaching Philosophy:

As I tell the students, we’re all on the same journey. We may be on different stops along that journey but it’s the same one. I want to give them the idea that if they have fun doing their work and use sound building blocks they’ll continue to grow. I encourage them to contribute their own ideas ; discussion is essential. I’m constantly reminding them that if they are unclear or uncomfortable with anything I suggest, by all means say so! Enjoy the process. I try to be flexible and responsive to their questions…even when they don’t ask.

On Precollege Programs:

I enjoy the idea of helping them build a foundation, instilling good work habits, without calling them work habits.  The enthusiasm is there which is the engine for the whole thing. What I find most rewarding is seeing a student with a particular problem area in the beginning of the workshop and by the end of the experience make real improvement. I feel great when that happens.

Industry Experience:

Writer/Artist for Heavy Metal Magazine
Inker for Marvel Comics
Storyboard Artist for Venture Brothers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series
Comp artist for TV Land

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Instructor Spotlight – Gregg Woodcock

Gregg Woodcock is a Adjunct Instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology.  He hails from the Bronx and has a degree in Industrial Design with a minor in Transportation Design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.

Mr. Woodcock teaches this awesome class:  HLD 031 SK8, Run and Jump into “SNEAKEROLOGY”

Sneaker freakers, fashionistas and advocates of all things different will love this course.  This class will walk you through the development of professional sketches for your own sneaker design.  You’ll learn the importance of design research in various markets including vehicle design, cultures, and music, and then use this research to develop drawings from thumbnails to ink line drawings of your original ideas.  You’ll learn the lingo of athletic shoe parts and become familiar with the process of creating product specifications to present to a company. You’ll also learn basic sketching and presentation techniques required for your portfolio.

Professor Woodcock’s Teaching Philosophy:

To engage the a student’s individuality; channeling what is great in them and how it applies to the course they are enduring.

On Precollege Programs:

“I’m a child at heart.  Teaching here takes me back to my younger days as an artist.  I know what I would have wanted to learn, who I would have modeled myself after and who I was impressed by and wanted to learn from.”

Industry Experience:

  • Lead designer for P. Diddy’s footwear operation
  • Designer of luggage and sport bags for Nautica, Chaps and Trump
  • Launched footwear for Mossimo 
  • Designed for Fila, FUBU Phat Farm, and Diane von Furstenberg

Advice for Students:

     “Be humble.  Find a way to absorb new knowledge.  Open your mind, eyes, ears and be fearless of any question.  Keep a sketch book- not only for sketches but for questions, passions, desires and dreams.”