Course Showcase: HDE 116: In-Store Merchandising Techniques

Artwork by Precollege students A. Stefanoni and E. Glogowski

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HDE 116 In-Store Merchandising Techniques

How do today’s most popular stores compare to each other? What makes one store “hot” and one store “cool”, while still appealing to the same consumer market? Students will learn to create branded environments and display presentations based on top trend designers and retailers. Working individually and in teams, students will be introduced to styling and merchandising techniques that appeal to a targeted marketplace. Projects will include mannequin styling and creating window displays.

Artwork by Precollege students A. Stefanoni and E. Glogowski

In First Person: My First Day of Class

I had to wake up extra early for the first day of class last week.  I took the 6:40 train at the Ronkonkoma train station rather than my usual 7:40.  I get onto the train and tactfully choose a double-seat so I can spread out my stuff to avoid someone sitting right next to me.  I am wearing a cream and peach H&M blouse, grey skinny jeans, and black combat boots, with my hair in a messy fishtail braid.  On the seat next to me is my new quilted leather Chanel-esque chain bag with a navy, cream, and peach horse-printed scarf tied around the handle, my outdated iPod nano, my FIT Precollege ID hanging from a faux-pearl necklace, a ruffled kitten umbrella, and my fashion-collage folder from the Spring semester.  I suddenly feel anxious and my mind is overflowing with thoughts. I try to not stress out, after all I have done this before and it was the greatest experience of my life.  I put in my headphones and listen to some Animal Collective,  the rest of my trip is a breeze and my worries are gone.

After stopping for a Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks on 7th ave, I make my way to my class on the 4th floor of the D building.  I am the second person to arrive, I sit in the second seat at the first table right next to the girl I later find out is Meredith.  Eventually, my friend Christina from ‘The Ins and Outs of Fashion Merchandising’ arrives, I feel so relieved to see a familiar face in an unfamiliar classroom.

Professor Sokoli turned out to be not only one of the coolest teachers I have ever met, but one of the coolest adults in general.  We gossip about the latest season of ANTM, Rachel Zoe’s new line, and share our excitement for the new show Pan Am and how they are going to pull off the 1960s through props and fashion.  We all introduce ourselves and then he goes through our projects for the semester.  We are going to be doing shoots for a pair of shoes with a setting that relates to the design, shape, or color of the shoe; a food setup; a table setup with a plate representing a specific designer; and our final project will be dressing up a mannequin.  I can’t help but to feel SO excited for this class!

By our 11:15 Starbucks break, I made friends with nearly everyone in the class.  We all have so much in common its natural for us to just click with one another.  Thats one of the things I love about FIT,  we are all in that classroom at 9 o’clock on a Saturday morning because we have a uniting love; fashion.  After only one day of Styling of Fashion, Food and Home Products for the Visual Industry, I already know this semester is going to be a great one and I just can’t wait to get a head start on the experience I need to be a fashion stylist.



Introducing New Precollege Blogger – Mary

Hello!  I’m Mary, a 16-year-old FIT Precollege student from Long Island, NY.

I am quite petite, but I have huge dreams that I am determined to accomplish.  My greatest aspiration in life is to be a successful fashion stylist.  I love dressing up myself and my friends and trying out new things, whether they are noted trends or something completely out there and ridiculous.  Taking risks is what I do and it shows through my personal style.  I like to wear clothing from specific eras mixed together unexpectedly; some days you will see me wearing red lipstick, thigh highs, and a floral dress with Dr. Martens, other days I will be wearing liquid leggings, metallic oxfords, with a vintage blouse.  Conformity bores me and my style is always evolving. It is hard to keep up with myself sometimes.  Instead of being an outcast in school for being different, people respect me and often tell me I inspired them to try something new. This makes me feel amazing because I feel one step closer to becoming an influential stylist in the fashion industry.

I am currently taking ‘Styling of Fashion, Food and Home Products for the Visual Industry‘ which is directly related to what I want to do as a career.  I also took ‘The Ins and Outs of Fashion Merchandising‘ this past spring.  The first course I took was very informative in learning the vital terms for the business part of fashion, I advise anyone interested in fashion to take this class reguardless of what specific major you want to pursue.  I learned about every angle of the fashion industry from the primary market to the designers and couture runway to the everyday consumer.

I have taken an interest in fashion my entire life, and this passion has only grown over the years.  In middle school, I realized fashion could be more than just my life, I could make a living out of it.  Since then, I have been doing all that I can to prepare myself to get into FIT, such as spending hours watching documentarys on designers and memorizing designer’s names and signature looks.  I sound pretty serious about all this but I still know how to make time for other things I enjoy such as blogging things that inspire me (, film photography, shopping, cooking/baking, reading, graphic design/silk-screening t-shirts, working (at an italian restaurant c:), watching movies, exploring the city, and of course just hanging out with my friends and boyfriend.

I live and breathe fashion and I really feel so fortunate to live only an hour train ride from the most fashionable city in the world. It would be so much easier to sleep in late on Saturday mornings but I love waking up and going to class, it doesn’t feel like a chore like highschool often does.  I also love taking after-class trips with my friends to Buffalo Exchange, lunch at Nooch, and just taking the subway to Soho and St. Marks Place to enjoy the amazing street style.  New York City is a magical place and FIT just adds to its charm.  I hope to use this blog as an outlet to share my inspirations, advice, and experiences at FIT Precollege with those who also attend or are thinking about taking a class in the future.