My Journey to FIT

I vividly remember having my hundreds of Crayola crayons and markers layed out on my carpet- in color order – and designing my dream house room by room when I was about 7 years old. Each room was a different color, and I had a spiral staircase with a custom-made fish tank built into the hand rails. I definitely had a wild imagination, fueled by any products sold by A.C. Moore and my mother’s willingness to buy them, despite the fact that all of the craft projects would be done within the next hour. I began drawing my dream tree house, dollhouses, and clothing. I made up every aspect of my life and drew it onto paper. I was a girl who had always known what she wanted.Eyes 2

I began drawing clothing, my halloween costumes, and first-day-of-school outfits. I began imagining shoes, and dresses, and being utterly disappointed with all the stores that didn’t have them. Hadn’t someone thought of those things yet? I sketched them all, in dozens of notebooks given to me by family members. I showed my mom outfits that I drew, and she noticed that months later some of the things would show up in stores. I had a knack for predicting trends. I would cut up my jeans and make them into skirts. I’d cut shirts apart and imagine how they were put together. My mom was not so happy about that.

My mom attended SUNY Oneonta and SUNY New Paltz where she had gotten her Masters degree. She told me that she had heard of a SUNY school that was centered around fashion. She wanted to take me to visit. We went down with a couple of my friends, to visit this school, The Fashion Institute of Technology. It was 7th grade and I was on my first and last college visit. I knew where I wanted to go, and what I wanted to do with my life by the time I walked out of the Katie Murphy Ampitheatre.Eyes 1

My grandmother bought me a sewing machine the following Christmas, and lessons with a friend of hers, a seamstress. Both her and my mom said if I was going to design clothing I had to understand how they were made. I had no idea that it would be some of the best advice I would ever get. The seamstress who taught me is incredibly talented, generous, and kind. She became like another grandmother to me and was a huge part of me being accepted into FIT.

I loved reading, I was great at simple math, and I thought history was interesting. My mom’s friends and coworkers said they wish they had students as interested in learning, but for some reason, I hated school. The school I went to was not exactly the highest ranked, and had very little funding for the arts. I began absolutely dreading school. Every day was a battle with myself to go. I knew I had to keep my grades up to make sure I got into FIT, but school was extremely discouraging. I asked my mom if she would homeschool me, but she told me to visit the school that she had taught at instead.

I was amazed with the school, Fox Lane. They took art very seriously, and had great teachers who were motivating and helpful. The academics however, were another story. The standards were higher than I had imagined, and I wasn’t sure if I could keep up. I wanted to learn as much as I possibly could in art, and I knew I would have to keep up in my other classes to. The competitive edge in the school would push me to do better in all of my classes. I decided to switch schools after one quarter, and go to Fox Lane, in an affluent area, a culture I had never seen before, with kids who had grown up together and were complete strangers to me.Fabric Rendering

There weren’t any classes related to fashion or sewing, but there were dozens of clubs. I decided to start a sewing club. I was craving the company of people who loved to do the same things as I did. We raised money to buy several sewing machines, cutting boards, irons, and fund several trips to the city.We went to Mood Fabrics and received free tours, we went to fashion shows at the Waldorf-Astoria, we ran workshops to give blankets to kids in the emergency shelters, and what hit closest to home was visiting the Savage Beauty exhibit at the Met. I had heard of Alexander McQueen, but I didn’t know much about him. By the end of the tour I was obsessed. I had been battling depression just as he had, and found the same love for design as he did. The rooms evoked emotion, and the passion and detail in every garment was incredible. I used to shy away from my edgy side, unsure of how people would feel about it or stereotype me. His work inspired me to not be afraid of who I really was, or putting my feelings into my work however bizarre they were.

So my eagerness to get into the fashion world grew, until it engulfed my life. I had a 45 minute commute to school, and had to stay after to run clubs and so my mom could do after-school help. I was working in the art room during every free moment I had, and I went to FIT on Saturdays. I left at 6:30 in the morning, and got home at 7:30 pm. It was exhausting, but I loved every minute. My skills were getting better with every class I took.

Mondays, I would get into school and talk nonstop about my classes. One of my friends had been working at Panera Bread when a costumer came in and started talking to her about her daughter. She said she wanted her daughter to take photography classes at FIT, and my friend told her about me and how much I loved it there. The woman handed my friend her card and told her to give it to me.

Spilt TeaIt turned out that she was the Senior Buyer at a department store, and she wanted to see my portfolio. I got together all of my work from my FIT classes and brought them to her house, where we talked about possible internships. It was as if a miracle happened. Somehow, another amazingly generous person with endless knowledge became a part of my life and had wanted to help me reach my dream.

She had given me a phone number to call, a small design company called NCO2. Everything on was a dream. I had interviewed with them, the two owners and two designers, and they were incredibly kind. They taught me so much in the short Summer I had spent there, and I was on Cloud 9. I honestly couldn’t have had a better first experience in the business of Fashion, getting to experience the life of a designer. On the train ride in every week, I would read biographies on fashion designers. It seemed as though it had been my calling in life. Excerpts from close friends of designers would describe their personalities, as if they were describing me.

Every time I went to FIT it got harder to not actually be in school there yet. I wanted it to be my every day life, I wanted my classes to never end. I wanted to learn everything the professors could possibly teach me. I daydreamed of my life there, exploring the city for inspiration, my dorm room, and the new people I would meet. I loved the competition. It drove me further into love with Fashion.

I spent my last year of high school taking the Fashion Portfolio class, perfecting every detail of what would determine my future. At school, I took an advanced placement art class where I decided to make artistic garments for my portfolio. There were many, many late nights as I also had a part time job to start saving for college and buy the ridiculous amounts of art supplies I used. I waited for my letter to come, getting a little more frustrated every time someone asked if I had heard back yet. I had thought about what might happen if I didn’t get in, but the thoughts hadn’t been very deep. I couldn’t really imagine not getting in. I had to. I had no idea what I would do if I didn’t.

When the day did come, it was a huge wave of relief in some ways. In other ways, I still had the same stresses. I just wanted to be there already. I had been waiting for so long.

Karlie

My friends at high school modeling my designs


Why I am where I am today…

Considering that my dad drives me to and from NYC for class every single Saturday, I think it’s safe to say that he supports me immensely. Need I say more?

I have always wanted to be involved in fashion since I was little. In school, when my teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I got older I always wrote down “fashion designer” much like the majority of the girls in class did. For some reason, everyone just wanted to be one, without even knowing what a fashion designer did! Sadly, I was one of those girls at the time. Then, about 4 years ago in the 6th grade, I realized I wanted to make fashion a lifelong career. At that time I did all the research possible to ultimately come across FIT’s Precollege Programs. It did take a while (three years) to finally convince my parents to let me take a class. Although this was understandable because I was only 12 years old at the time and my parents didn’t think I was serious about it.

Finally, this year (freshman year) my parents allowed me to take my first class in the fall and they couldn’t be more supportive. Both my mom and dad are extremely supportive of everything I have accomplished so far involving fashion. Also, they honestly don’t care what route I take in the fashion industry as long as I am happy and feel satisfied. That so refreshing to hear because I would hate feel pressured by them to be successful in a certain field, and only that field. Truly, I couldn’t ask for more loving and encouraging parents. Ultimately, they are the reason why I have the courage to set high goals for myself and believe I will reach them.

 

Michaela

My Biggest Fans

Over the years my family has supported me in all the activities I have participated in. When I had first gained an interest in getting involved with fashion, my parents helped me find a good program to try out the different aspects of Fashion. When we had all come to an agreement that FIT Precollege programs were the best choice, I was ecstatic.

As time moved on and I was participating in the programs at FIT, my parents saw an improvement with me. I knew what I wanted to do in the future, my grades at school were better, and most of all I was more focused and serious about preparing myself for college. Before spring semester, I had come across about an email about FIT looking for Precollege bloggers. I have always enjoyed writing so I said hey why not try – the worst that can happen is they deny me from blogging. When I had received the email that I was chosen, I couldn’t be more happy and proud of myself. Of course like any mom, my mom told everyone in my family about my blog posts! They all were very impressed that I decided to blog for FIT!

Overall my family has been very proud of my progress at FIT so far! How have your families reacted to you taking classes at FIT? Leave  a comment below!

Until next time…..

xoxox Tori

We are family~

Just when I thought I couldn’t think of a “funny” title bam! That one Sister Sledge song pops into my head, I hope you sang it while reading the title, heh.

I wouldn’t be anything without my family, seriously. They are always there for me and still love me even though I’m a big weirdo. They’re my biggest fans and actually my biggest clients (you would not believe how many times I hear the phrase “Hey, can you fix this for me?”).

Fortunately, my parents support my choice in the career field I’m going into instead of forcing me to become a doctor or lawyer or engineer or whatever. This is what my mom says, “If you decide you want to be a circus clown one day, great, we support you! Just be the best circus clown there ever was!” I for one, am not a big fan of the circus (smells like elephant poop in there, yuck) but I get where she’s coming from.

Since day one, there was no hesitation from my parents. I’ll always remember the day I went to Wal-Mart and me and my mom were passing buy the (now obsolete) sewing section, and I looked over and thought “Wow, that’d be cool, making my own clothes.” I turned to my mom and asked for a sewing machine. Since it was early fall, I was going to finish the sentence with “for Christmas” but I didn’t even get that far because she had already answered “Sure, let’s get you one now!”

When I first found out about the Precollege Programs here at FIT again, no hesitation, no arguement, only pure excitement about me finally being able to go somewhere to expand on my craft.

Now with college appilaction deadlines drawing near, once again my family is offering to help with anything I might need. Without their support and love, I wouldn’t be where I am today so shout out to the Lopez, Torres, and Ali family, I love you guys!

Love, Talya

Family Support: I’m So Fortunate

I am very fortunate to have a family who supports me in everything I choose to do.  When I was younger I would change what I wanted to be when I grow up about every week.  I wanted to be a ballerina so I started dancing when I was 3; I wanted to be a musician, so my parents let me do orchestra; I wanted to be an actress, so my parents signed me up for theater and acting classes… and so on. I basically did every activity and every sport too.

I started off wanting to be a designer when I was 11 but I realized that there was more opportunities in the industry than just that which helped me to realize that styling was what I was born to do.  FIT Precollege classes was actually my sister’s idea.  She is in her last year at Parsons The New School for computer graphics modeling and said the Precollege program she took there gave her the skills to have an advantage in college.  If it wasn’t for my big sister’s support, all the amazing experiences and knowledge I have gained at FIT for the past year would never have happened.  So I really owe everything I have accomplished to this day to  my entire family for encouraging me to try new things and strive to be the best that I can be.

xoxo,

Mary