Instructor Spotlight: Jamie Ross

Jamie Ross is an Adjunct Professor for Fashion Merchandising Management in the School of Business and Technology at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Professor Ross has taught at FIT since 2007  and received her AAS in Fashion Buying and Merchandising and her BS in International Trade and Marketing from FIT. She has been quoted in Elle magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Crains, and USA Today among others and has appeared on segments of Good Morning America and CNN.

Professor Ross teaches HFM 064: The Ins and Outs of Fashion Merchandising for Precollege Programs at FIT.

Ms. Ross’  Teaching Philosophy:

I believe in teaching students the current reality of the fashion industry and the tools and resources I use everyday. I like to create a very positive atmosphere for the students where they can feel free to express themselves and encourage and interract with others. Field trips and hands on projects further enhance the experience.

On Precollege Programs:

I find teaching the Precollege programs to be an extremely rewarding and humanistic way to give back to the industry at the earliest level. I give the Precollege students a tremendous amount of credit for being motivated to get an early start on their college education, along with attending high school. Their enthusiasm motivates me to share as much as possible.

Industry Experience:

  • September 2000 – Present
    THE DONEGER GROUP, New York, NY
    Creative Director
  • April 1999 – Sept. 2000
    J.C.PENNEY CO., New York, NY
    Fashion Specialist (and previously with JCP from 1989-1992)
  • April 1994 – Nov. 1997
    POPULAR CLUB/J.CREW INC., Garfield, NJ
    Fashion Stylist
Recent/Upcoming Shows/Exhibitions:
  • March 22 and April 26 2012 – Miami and Europe Street Scenes Presentations at Doneger Offices
  • December 2011 – Margit Symposium at FIT
  • June 2011 – HBA Beauty Expo – Spoke on Bergdorf Goodman monitored panel about new trends in the beauty industry


Black, White, and Red All Over

After completing 5 weeks of HFM064: The Ins and Outs of Fashion Merchandising, I have already learned more from my short time participating in my first FIT Precollege Program class, than I have in my many months of online research and Vogue magazine browsing.  The extra information I have received in class has really furthered my knowledge of the industry as a whole.  When I find myself debating the importance of fashion and appearance with my house full of lawyers and law students, I now bring a more compelling and aggressive argument to the table rather than my usual Chanel quotes, “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”  Sometimes I find myself talking about things I didn’t even know I knew, just from my time flipping through magazines and viewing designer collections in class; sometimes I even impress myself with my new found knowledge.

My friend and I went for a mini shopping trip before my class last week at the Urban Outfitters near my town; everything she picked up I seemed to have a witty fashionista comment to make about it.  “The 60’s are so in right now and the paper bag pants are so going to do it for you” or “Buy me some bell bottoms and a pair of platform shoes and I’ll be fine for the rest of spring, and if it was 1974 I’d be fine for the next 6 years,” exaggerated-I know.  But after learning about the multiple trends that are present right now, I have discovered that my history teacher is indeed right, history truly does repeat itself; with the reassurance of my FIT professor I find the same is true about the history of fashion.

During the first couple of weeks of classes, we covered the trends of the 20th century (50’s housewife, 60’s mod, and 70’s disco) and we are now applying all of those looks in our trend report projects which are due this upcoming Saturday.  Call me a procrastinator and I will deny it, although I will be lying.  I have to finish a project we started in class last week plus get started on my project that is due the following Saturday, which I was given ample warning of the close due date.  But to save face I’m not going to tell you the class is in less than 24 hours and I haven’t scratched the surface on one of my projects yet…oppps.  Well other than my bad time management, the class has done wonders for my confidence.  When I explain to my friends the activities we have done in class they all listen with envy wishing they would have taken the class with me when I begged them to do so a couple weeks prior.

But it’s not as glamorous and cool as I sometimes make it out to be, there is hard work involved.  For my upcoming project we had to go to 34th Street and take pictures of store windows and go into the stores and take notes on some of the trends we see emerging right now, as well as the colors and fabrics we are seeing a lot this spring.  Okay so I lied, walking around NYC with other aspiring fashionistas is pretty cool and also kind of exciting (which gave me the chance to buy this pretty cool necklace from H&M all my friends have been complementing me on).  And when we’re not exploring NYC, we’re having a Pandora radio jam fest while putting together the pieces of our trend report projects.  My project, titled “Black, White, and Red All Over,” references this concept: No matter what the trends are for the season or fabrics or patterns, Red, White, and Black will always lead the fashion frontier in colors (separately and combined).

When you dream about taking an FIT class you couldn’t dream this big, I know I didn’t, but as rewarding as it is to be in class, it’s even better being out in the shops and being able to apply everything you have learned.  For me, that’s the best reward of it all.
Amira

My Class Field Trip to 34th Street

Macys Flower Show Window Display

H&M Window Display

Checkout the 60’s vibe (paper bag shorts) and use of neutrals

My Half Finished Trend Report Project My Class Is Working On

Black, White, and Red All Over

My Outfit Inspired By My Trend Report- Black, White, and Red All Over

The awesome necklace I got during my class trip into H&M, haven’t been able to find it in any H&M in New Jersey

Until Next Week, Sincerely

The Blogger-Bobbie Austin

Introducing New Precollege Blogger – Amira

My size 8 Christian Louboutin Shoe Print

A Jersey girl, totally obsessed with fashion, with a style my peers say looked as if I took from out of a magazine (which I don’t).  Some would say I am one of the many fashion hungry New Jersey girls who wish they could live the New York City lifestyle every day, but instead are confined to the small suburban neighborhoods, and are only lucky enough to visit the fashion capital of the world (which is debatable, but in my eyes there’s no other), on Saturday afternoons, at our parents’ discretion.  But I like to break away from that stereotype.

As soon as I get off my 1:15 NJ Transit train, I take a deep breath and inhale the New York City air, all while avoiding the rush of the 7th Ave Saturday shopping crowd (they may look innocent but with the sales and display windows calling they can be quiet the pushy bunch).  After my first breath of fresh air all week (there’s that nasty little rumor that New Jersey air isn’t so fresh), I become a completely different person.  Clutching my freshly bought Vogue Magazine, which I only buy at New York City news stands, in one hand, and my bag, full of pens, a notebook, and my square geeky D&G eyeglasses, in the other hand; I look forward to my FIT Precollege class.

Ten minutes after my arrival, you will find me in room B303, in the HFM 064: The Ins and Out of Fashion Merchandising class.  The Jersey girl who’s closest daily connection to the high fashion world was the Vogue faithfully carried in the halls of a high school-which Robert Verdi walked 26 years ago-is now getting a whole new fashion experience that could potentially change her life forever.  The first week went by fast, but the independence of being on your own in the city made you wish the time would slow down, if only for just one day.  But sadly life must go on and the 4:45 dismissal approaches, and the only thing I’m looking forward to as I walk out the door, is walking back in the next weekend.  Because it was my first time taking a FIT Precollege Program class I did not know what to expect, all I knew was what the description from the website told me, and that alone was good enough for me.  But who would have known the class turned out to be more than I could have ever hoped for.

With little experience and a somewhat shaky knowledge of the fashion industry due to my small suburban town connected by one small village where you can find 2 or 3 boutiques on the same block, the information I’ve been learning in class has helped a great deal with mapping out my future goals and setting some short terms goals that could eventually guide me to accomplishing my ultimate goal.  I got the chance to visit the FIT museum, go over the spring trends, (anything and everything 70’s, 60’s paper bag shorts, color blocking, and much more) take photographs of store windows on 34th street with newly made friends, and got the chance to research a designer with my partner in the historical FIT library, where greats like Michael Kors and Carolina Herrera once studied.  And the most important of the privileges the program has offered is the chance to be under the direction of a former fashion merchandiser who lived her life traveling to foreign countries while doing something she loved.  My professor talks of her experiences in the industry using teaching methods that could not only excite a class full of aspiring fashionistas like myself-who we are all listening at the edge of our seats holding on to each and every word spoken-but to any individual even those who tend to shy away from the industry.  I usually tend to idolize fashion greats like Anna Wintour, Shala Monroque, and Elisa Sednaoui, but I think I found a new since of respect and idolization in my teacher Professor Peggy Connolly.

That’s what I personally love about having a career in fashion; you don’t do it because it was a last option that happen to be handed to you-you do it because you love it!  I love to write, I love fashion, and I love to blog, so as an inspiring editor I mixed my talents of a key eye for fashion and my somewhat creative writing style to start to really look start attempting to get my foot into the showrooms of greats like; Coco Chanel’s Karl Lagerfield and Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy-and slowly but surely get out of the malls for good.  Taking the Precollege courses at FIT and starting my own blog (www.bobbieaustinscloset.blogspot.com) are part of my plan to eventually become notable FIT alumni.  I want to be a part of the world many are scared to even dare immolate or take a chance in entering, I want to leave my permanent and far from subtle size 8  Christian Louboutin shoe print in the all but too exclusive world of the fashion industry.

Amira