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Me: What originally made you interested in FIT?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

Last but not Least

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As time here at FIT runs out, we are all cramming to get our last project over with and fit to perfection. Of course we all are doing so with tears in our eyes, heartbroken that this is the last time we will be preparing anything for this semester. For my final project, I was put in the shoes of a fashion director for a major fashion brand. Of course I picked my favorite store–Free People. We then had to research our company’s history and create a mood board for the season of Fall 2017.

Utilizing forecasting sites provided, I researched and depicted trends of Fall 2017 and came up with a Western Gilded theme. This aesthetic incorporates the colors, materials, shapes and details for the season while keeping in touch with Free People’s style. It also consists of deep colors, intricate details, and rich textures combining fashion from the Wild West and the Gilded age. Working with a brand like Free People that has a bohemian style, I made sure I grasped that through these trends and then my board came to life.

I used materials like silk, velvet, chiffon, lace and suede; mixed with oranges, greens and reds. These colors and textiles all come together to decorate the flowy dresses, tailored pants and fringed jackets. But now it is all finished and only goodbyes and farewells are left.

Free People Fall 2017 mood board

Free People Fall 2017 mood board

Until next time,


Hallways To Runways

alivia-cooneyDecember. The angels are singing, and stars are sparkling the streets of Paris and lighting up the screens of the naughty and nice worldwide… no, I’m not talking about Santa!

It’s time for the angels to strut their stuff down the star-studded runway in the most highly publicized, commercialized time of the fashion year… it’s the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show!

Any FIT-bound fashion fiend can’t help but pay more attention to details that the average onlooker may overlook.

Your friends may watch to Keep Up With Kendall, and your brother may watch for Bella’s beauty.

No matter the motivation of the consumer, the fact is that they are consuming, and where there is a market, there is an artisan. For example, in the case of landing a job designing for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, there are skilled crafts to be crafted that most do not consider. Though many viewers focus on the models’ enviable figures and fame, there are plenty of others who see art through the models’ mirage. Many young fashionistas view Gigi’s gemstone bra and dream of a way to bring such a glimmering vision to fruition. How does one gather the skills necessary to embrace such a niche market of consumers, a market which is in high demand, yet the details and processes of which are nearly invisible to the public eye? How does one turn such an obscure yet beautiful dream into a reality?

(reposted from petersons.com)

Strolling through the hallways of FIT each week has opened my eyes to a fascinating flora and fauna of fashion and design worlds that I always knew existed, yet never considered the depths of. A quick glance in any classroom will show me specialized equipment made to create collections galore, the results of which can be found in the display cases lining the walls of each floor and wing. This culmination of such detailed creation can be used as a great source of inspiration to keep dreaming, creating, and searching for ways to best cultivate your gifts and passions.

(reposted from petersons.com)

Spread your angel’s wings and try a precollege class in such specialized courses as Screenprinting T-Shirts, Designing with Pattern, Comic Book Drawing, or “Sneakerology.” Later, if you’re so lucky to land a coveted seat in an FIT college class, you can consider a major in lingerie design, packaging design, textile/surface design, exhibition design, or many more inventive fields whose focused curriculums can be found exclusively at FIT.

After a long flight to Paris, Victoria’s Secret angels reach stardom by strutting the runway. Start your angelic journey of artistry today by flying to FIT’s website to sign up for precollege courses! Be the star of your life’s runway at FIT, the premier destination where all runways begin.


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 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.

Chanel “Brasserie Gabrielle” ensemble Fall 2015

Coco Chanel clutch Fall 2015

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

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

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

Until next time,


Fashion Institute of Thanksgiving

It’s time for Thanksgiving and all its festivities, and any fashionista knows what that means: it’s time to stuff your style down your relatives’ throats and show them that you are the Kim K of your family.

Parade around your dining room table this Thanksgiving like you’re a Macy’s balloon flying down the streets of Manhattan. As you get ready to feast this Thanksgiving, remember that style is the stuffing of the season, stringing together the holidays of the coming months like lights on a tree. As you’re scarfing down your stuffing, remember to put on a scarf!

The components of a precollege course at FIT are comparable to the components of any standard Thanksgiving dinner menu.

(images reposted from getsauceynow.com and twitter.com/fitprecollege)

(images reposted from getsauceynow.com and twitter.com/fitprecollege)

The class itself would be the turkey. Whether it’s small or large, Saturday or Sunday, workshop or live, it’s bound to satisfy and serve as the focus of your life’s plate for the season.

(images reposted from pillsbury.com and timesledger.com)

(images reposted from pillsbury.com and timesledger.com)

The weekly commute would be the mashed potatoes. Sometimes bland, sometimes seasonally flavored, always present. It’s widely accepted by all and always welcomed as the gateway to gravy and other fun ways to spice up your life.

(images reposted from bettycrocker.com and under30ceo.com)

(images reposted from bettycrocker.com and under30ceo.com)

The lessons learned during class make up the stuffing. There’s always something different inside, and we always come back for more to keep us feeling full. It brings our meal together, and gives us a purpose to stay seated.


(images reposted from allposters.com and gccoe.com)

The projects and assignments we’re given serve as the corn, beans, and squash of the course. Much like the three sisters, these go together and compliment each other for the greater good of the class (and the plate).


(images reposted from and vaniercollege.qc.ca and wikipedia.org)

The class discussions wash down the lessons and project presentations like a nice glass of apple cider. Serving to satisfy a sugary sweet tooth while nourishing between bites, this gives us the fuel to keep our food down and continue our confectionary conquest.

(images reposted from ccmtheimaginarytraveler.wordpress.com/tag/spice and towerh.com)

(images reposted from ccmtheimaginarytraveler.wordpress.com/tag/spice and towerh.com)

The plethora of people we meet make up the cornucopia of cranberry sauces and seasonings galore. With enough personalities to make up a season’s harvest, we never get bored of blandness and have the desire to devour our plates clean.

(images reposted from reference.com and wildyeastblog.com)

(images reposted from reference.com and wildyeastblog.com)

What would a class at FIT be without the fashion? Similarly to the diversity of Thanksgiving breads and rolls, which satisfy our cravings for carbs, our cravings for clothes are always satisfied. Whether it’s buttered or plain, banana or nut, poppy or sesame, it’s always fun and it’s always different. We roll with the trends each week, and we can never have just one roll!

(images reposted from allrecipes.com and wall--art.com)

(images reposted from allrecipes.com and wall–art.com)

When we eat dinner, we challenge ourselves to find the perfect balance of stuffing our faces and saving room for dessert. Similarly, I challenge myself weekly to find a balance between spending all my money on coffee and clothes before class, and waiting to go on a new adventure after class. Whether it’s a new street or a new neighborhood, or just a new store, the inevitable adventures surrounding class serve as the dessert to bring a sweet finish to a savory Sunday. While the desserts are often impulsive and indulgent, staples like pumpkin pie have become synonymous with the holiday itself. Similarly, the adventures I’ve gone on in the city after class have become staples of my Sundays, keeping me seated in class and coming back for more each week.

Gobble down your dinner this Thanksgiving in your glamorous garb and enjoy good times galore! What’s on your plate this season? Save room for sweetness, because this is just the start of the season of style!