Here at FIT we dedicate a week every semester to the sustainability of our industry with the sustainability council and club leading the way for events and panel discussions.
I stopped by the Patagonia Worn Wear pop-up to learn a little more about what they do and their journey. Their FIT setup consisted of three sewing machines (one industrial brother machine and two home machines), sewers tools, and a big box of trims and notions. The repair technicians mended several different types of damages such as broken zippers and buttons, busted seams, and patching holes. Patagonia owns the largest repair facility in the US located in Reno, Nevada, which is even more astounding when you realize that they only repair Patagonia products.
Patagonia’s Worn Wear wagon
The Worn Wear team even consisted of an FIT alumn, a TDM (Textiles Development and Marketing) graduate, who is with the materials innovation team at Patagonia. She spoke with me about the Patagonia branch “Tin Shed” which is a corporate venture capitalist fund they use to invest in environmentally and socially responsible start-up companies which they use to further their corporate mission!
What aspects of sustainability are you interested in?
Last week I blogged about working a part time job as a way to gain invaluable experience while an FIT student. While finding a job might be daunting, FIT offers a fantastic job bank where you can look for industry related jobs!
I find this really helpful as my major Production Management can sometimes be confused for event production or music or construction. The FIT job bank lets you sort by major, or other similar key words so you can find something similar to what you are interested in.
FIT students are in demand around NYC, especially for retail jobs and other part time work. We have a good reputation and it helps when it comes time to apply to jobs. A lot of the time, you’ll even be working with other FIT students at your job, and can meet people in other majors and departments at the school this way.
My experience with the career bank has been great – I found a part time job I spent a year working that I really enjoyed. It also was a great learning experience, as I got to work at a small business and see how their processes worked.
The career services are available to all FIT students, past and present. You’ll always have the FIT services backing you, wether you’re just starting out or a few years into your career.
Now that you’ve settled into school some, you might be considering getting a part time job! I’m a big advocate for working , whether it be a side hustle or folding clothes at the local retail shops. Not only can you learn a few skills, but seemingly small jobs can lead to big things!
Freshman year when I started at FIT I applied to work for Madewell as a sales associate. I ended up working there for a little over a year, and met some really cool people, some of whom I still keep in touch with today! The hours worked around my class schedule, and it was walking distance from my dorm. Earning money was a big help in NYC, where everything costs so much compared to living at home in the suburbs. But more than that, it helped serve as another educational experience and resume builder- all while getting paid.
Understanding retail has really helped in my schoolwork and internships- I am wary of feathers (they always seem to fall off in the stock room) and I got to see which styles got consistently passed up due to fit issues. Little things like these have helped a lot when working on development of garments.
More than that, I had the pleasure of interning at Madewell corporate offices this summer. My year spent at the store definitely gave me a leg up in the applications process, and was incredibly useful working on the production and development as I already had some product knowledge.
As one of my internship class professors at FIT told me, the opposite of networking is not working! If you have the time, I would really recommend a part-time job. FIT has services for students to find internships and jobs – out Career and Internship Services office is available to current students and alumni!
Finding the right materials in Florence, Italy for projects might be a whole adventure around the city. It takes a lot of curiosity to find the right places to shop for fabrics, trims, buttons, that you might be looking for. The following is a list of stores and markets that will help you through your search!
Bacci – Located in the central market, in between all the local leather-goods vendors, this store was my go to when it came to buying fabrics for garments. They had such a wide range of fabrics, from linings to linen, from silk to velvet, even wool and Alpaca. Prices are good and there is a student discount.
Giesse – This fabric store is located in between Florence City Center and Polimoda Design Lab in Scandicci. It is very convenient as a one-stop store, with a variety of supplies including: fabrics, trims, design tools, etc. Towards the back of the store, they have a container with remnants of fabrics with great prices since they are the final pieces.
Cascine Market – Located in the Cascine Park right along the Arno River is one of the largest markets in the city. You can find anything you may need for your household, but most importantly it is a great place to find trims, ribbons, buttons, zippers, etc. There are also vendors with fabrics and you can find lace in some booths too. The market is also great for thrifting, prices are pretty cheap, and the great thing is that the market is so big there is so much you can find!
Haberdashery Samba Di Villani Carmela – Located near the Duomo, this tiny store is great for ribbons and any extra embellishments you may want to use in projects. They have some beautiful brooches, appliques, buckles for belts, etc.
These were some of the ones that I went to the most and found great materials in each. There are, however, other stores, it all depends on the quality that you are looking for. There are some stores that have the finest of finest fabrics, it all depends on your budget.
A little recap of the past weeks; we were finishing up our garments and portfolios for the AAS Exhibition in Florence, Italy! Meeting with our professors and industry critic, Mr. Mirko Bottai, from the design firm Emilio Pucci.
Last week we gathered in the ballroom of the Stibbert Museum. Located a couple of minutes from Florence’s historic center, to celebrate the ending of our journey here in Florence and to also exhibit our work completed abroad!
A ceremony filled with parents, professors, classmates, friends, it was certainly a joy to see everyone walking around and enjoying the evening. We had our professors and industry critic speak a little to the graduating class and to our parents. As an Italian tradition, instead of a graduation cap, we were placed laurel leaves crown, symbolizing our graduation!
Fashion Design Graduating Class of 2019 Florence, Italy
I got the great opportunity of being the class speaker, which also gave me the chance of thanking every single person involved in the process. From our industry critic Mr. Bottai, to our amazing and caring professors Cinzia Cardelli and Sophie Springer. A big thank you to the administrative team of FIT and Polimoda, as well as all those people who in one way or another cooperated so that we could satisfactorily complete our studies.
After the ceremony we had a reception made for the occasion in the Limonaia, with our portfolios and illustration work showcasing on tables. Guests walked around the room with little aperitivo plates while gazing at the very elaborated fashion design portfolios. In the end, it was a great way to finish with what are our design classes!