Recently, I went through a very difficult decision process to sort out my summer plans. For context, I am a junior soon to be heading into my senior year, and I am originally from Washington state. I have been working as a production intern at Tory Burch since the Fall semester and was offered an opportunity to stay with them as a product development intern over the summer. I have yet to stay in NY over the summer, and I always miss home this time of year since I’ve been away for so long. There were many things to consider when debating to accept this offer from Tory Burch. I wouldn’t be able to see my friends and family from back home over the entire summer, I wouldn’t be back in the PNW during one of my favorite seasons, and I wouldn’t be saving money from not paying rent. It is also my last summer as a student and I wanted to be very careful with how I used this fleeting freedom. On the other hand, if I stayed with Tory Burch, I would be building my resume and developing more skills and experience to further my career and eventually achieve my long term goal; I eventually want to move back to the West coast and work for iconic outdoor apparel and lifestyle brands, with one of my top picks located in Seattle, WA. If I stayed in NY over the summer, I would be helping my future job search when applying for positions back home, but was this worth not seeing my friends and family? In the end, I chose to take the internship with Tory Burch with hopes that working towards my long term goal would be best for me. There was really no right or wrong decision in this situation for me because I could see myself being both thankful and regretful at the same time for making either decision. Sometimes, you just have to push aside your critical analysis and just make a decision when one is needed. It made me realize that I’m at a point in my life where my choices are going to have direct consequences on aspects of my life, and that real planning needs to be put in place if I don’t want to lose control of my life. One thing I did to sort out my decision was I put together a 5 year and a 10 year life plan for myself, mapping out different aspects of my life, including career, health, and relational. These things are important to think about and develop an understanding of what you want. It’s never too early to start planning.
This month, the Production Management club took a trip to the Precision Custom Coatings headquarters in New Jersey, which consists of the Precision Textiles division, focused on non-woven fabrics, coatings, and laminations. PCC services a wide variety of industries, including apparel, automotive, footwear, filtration, bedding + mattress, and home goods. We took a guided tour through their non-woven production facility and got to see the different processes of creating non-wovens and coating them.
First, their fiber comes in bulk orders shipped in big bundles. These fibers are densely packed and need to be separated in order to be turned into a fiber. To do this, the fibers are sent through a machine called a “carding machine”. While they are separated in the machine, the quantities of mixed fabrics are determined at this stage, such as a 20/80 (20% one fiber, 80% another fiber).
Once the fibers are separated and somewhat layered together, they must be bonded together. This is where the variety of machinery and fabric types comes in. We were lucky to see several methods that PCC uses to bind their fibers. One method is with repetitive exposure to pressure and heat. With the fibers evenly exposed to heat, they loosen up and latch onto each other.
Another method, the “Needle Plunge” method, involves running the fibers through a machine where a bed of needles repeatedly poke the fibers from both above and below. This condenses the fibers and locks them in place.
The other method we saw was the “Saturate” method. This involves a fusible resin application to the fibers, where, exposed to heat, they will bond together. The resin is funneled into a tube with tiny holes all on the outside where the resin can be dispersed onto the fabric, the white residue in the above-left photo is residual resin.
Once the fabrics are finished, they undergo inspection by the workers. Here they are looking for any inconsistencies in the bonds of the fabric, tears or snags, uneven thicknesses or color, and any other imperfections.
It was an amazing opportunity to visit Precision Custom Coatings. The staff were all extremely friendly and gave us so much information. A lot of what we saw is talked about in classes at FIT, but seeing it first-hand really puts it in a different perspective. It made me think a lot more about the mechanics and engineering involved in the production of fabrics.
So if you ever hear of a club taking a trip, don’t just shrug them off. They are definitely worthwhile and can lead to some awesome discoveries!
In an industry that is ever-changing, sometimes at speeds that are hard to imagine, it can be hard to keep up to date with information. It is a question that I constantly have running through my head, “where do people get their information and how do they find these sources?” I have asked some of my peers and professors how they get their information, and I have used them myself to see how these sources were. I am going to start a series of posts regarding fashion news sources. As a Production Management student, I will take a keen interest in business-news sources but will try my best to cover sources that everyone will be able to use.
Fashion News Sources: #1
This is probably my favorite source of industry information. Updated daily, it gives readers all of the who’s who and what’s what of the fashion industry. With short and concise articles that don’t have any useless filler copy, this is a great source to get a solid understanding of whats going on in the industry on many levels. From foreign business structures to luxury brand business strategies, it doesn’t miss much. It even has a weekly recap in case you don’t tend to read daily where it summarizes all the articles that were published over the week. FIT students even get a free BoF Professional account thanks to TopShop, which gives you unlimited access to articles, access to exclusive articles, and access to the iPhone app.
This is it— next semester is my final semester. My last hoorah. My last time to enjoy the city as a student. I can’t believe my time here is almost up. Your last semester of college is totally not the end, even though it may feel like it at times. Good news is there’s tons of ways to make your last semester memorable and productive, just like I’m going to make mine!
1. EMBRACE THE LAST MOMENTS
It’s crazy to think the “best four years of your life” (or three in my case, lol) are just about over. As scary as that may sound, there is so much to look forward to. The most interesting feeling as a senior is the nostalgia you feel about the past.
2. DO SOMETHING
It’s never too late to get involved. Join that organization you “never had time for” before. Plus, it makes for a great resume builder…or just take on an intensive internship!
3. POLISH YOUR RESUME AND PERFECT COVER LETTERS
Speaking of resumes, now is the time to perfect them. Make sure everything is up to date and practice writing cover letters.
4. SOAK UP WHAT FIT HAS TO OFFER
The real world will not be as forgiving as FIT…who am I kidding, we all know FIT is intense. If they haven’t already, mommy and daddy won’t be paying for things anymore. Appreciate the free food around campus, going to an organizational meeting and having financial aid.
5. STAY ORGANIZED
Chances are you’re going to be applying to at least 40+ jobs (unfortunately, finding jobs after graduation isn’t as easy as your humanities elective). Create a spreadsheet to organize where and when you applied, what position and the location of the job.
6. KEEP UP
Let’s be honest, you mentally checked out of college as soon as winter break started. But skipping class and missing homework assignments won’t help you graduate. Buy a planner and stay up to date with all your deadlines. Each assignment you turn in leaves you one step closer to graduation.
7. NETWORKING NEVER FELT SO GOOD
By this point you should know what exactly you want to get into, and the only way to get into it is by making those connections. Keep in touch with your old internship supervisor and network whenever you can—these are going to be useful relationships to have. Mingle like you’re desperate, but in this case, for a job, not for a relationship.
8. CLEAN UP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
You know that picture of you holding a red cup in your bathing suit during spring break? It’s got to go. Potential employers are going to be checking your Facebook and other social media sites during the hiring process. The last thing you want is to not get a job because you were photographed doing something inappropriate!
9. DO IT ALL
Now is not the time to be afraid of what you want. You’ve made it this far and the only thing stopping you from reaching your goals are your fears. You can do anything you set your mind too…times ticking!
10. ENJOY IT
After all is said and done, this is your last year of college. You’re not going to have the free time you have now once you sell your soul to the real world. Stay out ‘til 4 a.m., or go on a spontaneous adventure. These however many years won’t happen again!
I decided to interview Mari a recent fashion design graduate. I thought her point of views were really interesting and she had some great advice that I thought could help a lot of future/current students at FIT.
- Why did you pick fashion design? I took classes and worked at a fashion design studio in Seattle for about 6 years. I always knew I wanted to do something artistic, and I really loved how hands on fashion design was. Which made it really easy when picking out schools.
- How did you pick FIT? The teacher at my studio went to FIT. When I visited different schools, the students and teachers at FIT really inspired me and strengthened my decision to pick FIT. Being that FIT was in New York was a huge bonus too.
- Did FIT meet your expectations? For the most part it did. In the technical aspect of making clothes, I found it challenging and my skills improved tremendously. Coming from a fine arts background, I hoped that the classes would of been more creative. But for an overall education, FIT gave me great knowledge about the industry and also great connections.
- What’s next for you now? I decided that costume design is something I really enjoy and want to pursue in. So now I’m looking for jobs in costume. I’m also keeping my options open, because I love activewear, so maybe something in that direction too is something I’m considering.
- Has FIT helped you choose this new direction? Yes, I would of never thought of costume design as an industry. FIT showed me that costume design is a possible career option. It also gave me a good base to get me there in terms of skills, connections and the ability to create a concept from start to finish.
- What did you think of the Art Concentration? It was a really intense program, but something I really wanted to do. There was a lot of drawing and coming up with concepts, which I feel are really important skills to have in this industry. I loved that at the end of the program, I came out with a great portfolio, that I am really proud of and feel confident showing at interviews.
- Do you have any advice for future/current fashion design students? Take advantage of the teachers and the advice and knowledge they have. They know what they’re talking about and have great connections in the industry. Don’t take yourself too seriously, enjoy the freedom to be creative. And most importantly be confident in your ideas!
If you want to check out Mari’s work maristudio.us