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: 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, www.fashionfitnessfun.com, 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