Instructor Spotlight: Eileen Karp

Eileen Karp has a broad background in fashion. After earning her BS degree in Textiles and Clothing at North Dakota State University and an AAS degree in fashion design from the Fashion Institute of Technology, her fashion design career began as a creative designer of loungewear and sportswear. She founded a business designing an exclusive maternity line for an upper east side NYC boutique; the designs were also sold to Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. Her entrepreneurial background led her to a variety of freelance and consulting opportunities for a broad range of companies. She moved into various aspects of creative design and related positions primarily in the cut & sewn knitted and woven sportswear areas. Concurrently, she began teaching as adjunct at FIT–SUNY and became a full-time professor in the Fashion Design Department in 2007. In 2008, she completed a Master’s Degree in Education from California State University East Bay. She developed a new interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science program in Technical Design at FIT that has grown steadily. In January 2014, Eileen became the Chairperson of the Fashion Design Department in FIT’s School of Art and Design.

Prof. Karp teaches:
HAP 026 Sewing for Fashion Designers
HAP 017 Introduction to Draping for Fashion Design (Level 2)

Teaching Philosophy:
In my role as teacher, I am charged to inspire my students through example and guide them to embrace learning. Lifetime learning is critically important for professional and personal growth. The practice of fashion design constantly evolves and advances through exposure, exploration, and experimentation. Heraclitus said, “The only thing that is constant is change.” To prepare my students for success in this creative field and for life, it is incumbent upon me to develop in them a strong foundation that they know how to tap when, occasionally, the creative well runs dry. I have an obligation to weave into students the ability to be adaptable, flexible and open. As an educator, I commit to encourage their ability for conceptual development with the power to problem solve through the continuous asking of “Why?” “How?” and “What If?” as they seek and discover answers.

Industry Experience/Recent Exhibitions:
Over 30 years of experience in creative design, patternmaking, fashion business, technical design at all price points and types of industry experiences.
2016/2017, showed two original works in the annual “New Views” FIT Art & Design School Faculty Exhibit.