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: 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.

The FIT dream experience by Alexis Carey

In 2011 I decided it would be fun to do the FIT middle school summer workshop with my best friend, Sarah. I had heard about it through my mom, since she went to school at FIT and knew I was interested in fashion.

On July 11, 2011, our very first day, my mom walked Sarah and me from Penn Station to FIT, where we waited in a long line with many other kids from all over the world. I was expecting to get there and have to be super serious, since that’s the vibe I got from the orientation, but it was the opposite. Our mornings were spent in the classroom learning some of the future trends in Fashion Forecasting. In the afternoons, we took pictures around FIT and Bryant Park for landscape photography.

Being so young, I enjoyed the photography classes a little more than the Fashion Forecasting because we were active and didn’t just sit in one place for a long time. It was also fun to enjoy lunch outside and explore the FIT campus. Our first week at FIT flew by. Everyone was shy, but Sarah and I did manage to make a couple of friends on the last day whom we tried to keep in touch with. At the end of those four days, we realized how fast it went and wished that we had more time.










By taking seven classes over six years (2011-2017), I learned so many new things that I would have never learned without FIT. Each year I learned not only about fashion, but also about myself.  Taking all the FIT classes has helped me decide what I want to pursue in college and in my career. After taking a few design and business classes, I decided that I really have a passion for the marketing and business side of fashion. I took my passion for the business a step further by creating my own blog,, where I blog about some of the fashion classes I took at FIT. In 2016, I took the course, “The Week in the Life of a Merchant.” I really enjoyed experiencing stores through a merchant’s point of view, and not just as a consumer. Through this workshop, I got to form my own opinions on which brands do well and those that do not, which did not occur to me before. In Fashion Forecasting, which I took in 2017, I really enjoyed looking at the current trends and those for the future. Not only is it interesting to see what will stay the same and what will change, but it helps me integrate styles into my wardrobe and inform my blog followers!

Although there were many things I loved about taking courses at FIT that made me continue to do so for many years, the thing that was the least enjoyable in my experience was the process of signing up for each course. Sarah and I could never figure out what we did wrong, but the system would always lock us out of our accounts when it was time to sign up. It caused a lot of stress over whether we could get into the class we wanted to.

Fast forward six years to my last year taking classes, and a lot has changed. First of all, each summer I’ve basically grown up at FIT and experienced so much more than I ever thought I would through four day workshops. I’ve learned of inspirational places to go to in New York City, like Barney’s, Story, Dover Street Market, and the Meatpacking District – some of the coolest places to take pictures. There have been some incredible professors during my FIT experience! My landscape photography professor was very cool and could relate to students!  Since I took Fashion Forecasting my first year and then again six years later, it was interesting to see how I have grown during this time. I also had the same teacher, Gary Wolf, who was amazed to have the same student twice. I think it was cool to see the similarities and differences of that course from a middle school to a high school workshop. The high school workshop is more in depth about the fashion business, as opposed to the middle school class which covered the basics.

Overall, I cherish the experiences I have had at FIT throughout the years and will definitely miss the students and professors. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have been able to explore every aspect of fashion, which has helped me get to where I am today.  What I have learned at during the summers at FIT will be a part of my future endeavors.

-Alexis Carey

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

Instructor Spotlight: Elizabeth Hunter

Elizabeth Hunter is an experienced communicator with a background that includes creating successful publicity and marketing campaigns on behalf of top consumer products, consulting firms, luxury brands, and governments.

Hunter attended Fordham College and the Gabelli Graduate School of Business with a focus on business and marketing. She lives in Manhattan and in her free time works as a professional calligrapher, making appearances on location for cosmetic companies, liquor brands and charities.
 As Vice President of Public Relations of the original campaign supporting Absolut Vodka she worked with 500 contemporary artists and dozens of American fashion designers who created original designs for the brand’s celebrated advertising campaign.   She has worked with all major news outlets worldwide, and been interviewed and quoted on the front page of major dailies, fashion magazines and interviewed on television.

Hunter is a member of the New York Society of Scribes and the International Association of Master Penmen and Teachers of Handwriting (IAMPETH). She tells us that she will write on any surface — and that writing in silver paint is her favorite!

Prof. Hunter teaches:

Teaching Philosophy:

“The world is changing very quickly. I believe that developing polished, strategic writing skills, and understanding the modern media, will give students a distinct advantage in their careers and in their lives.”

Industry Experience includes:
Absolut Vodka
K2 Investigations
Avon Products
The Country of Japan