With the opening last night of FIT’s second annual holiday pop-up shop, I believe that the college has established a new tradition. And given that we are also celebrating FIT’s 70th anniversary this year, this is a particularly lovely and appropriate tradition to establish. It brings together students, staff, faculty—a great curricular challenge—and philanthropy, all in the spirit of the season.
The holiday pop-up shop—designed, fabricated, and installed by third-semester students in the Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design (VPED) program—is a collaboration between FIT and The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s thrift shop. Last year, when we produced it for the first time, the shop raised an amazing $35,000 for the hospital in just five days.
The shop is located in the Pomerantz lobby and occupies no more than 600 square feet, but it is filled with a bounty of vintage luxury goodies from The Society Boutique. You’ll find many high-end designer labels on clothing, jewelry, handbags and other accessories as well as unique gift items—all at bargain prices.
Its stock (and bargains) notwithstanding, this pop-up shop is worth a visit, if only for the visuals. It is almost like performance art! The theme—Season’s Greet-inks—is a play on words on old-fashioned holiday tattoo images. And you can see them throughout—from the giant pin-up “girls” in Santa hats at the entrance to product hang-tags, shopping bags, and window displays. Temporary tattoos are on sale as well. The shop also features woodland animals—evoking a fantasy forest environment. A total of 36 VPED students submitted twelve proposals for themes to The Society Boutique team who chose Season’s Greet-inks. Once this theme was chosen, all of the students went to work to put the shop together.
The shop is staffed by FMM students in the Merchandising Society, which operates the college’s Style Shop.
As it happens, the curriculum for third semester VPED students focuses on retail and display, according to the program’s chair, Professor Craig Berger, and Professors Anne Kong and Mary Costantini, who all worked with these students throughout the process. So the pop-up shop project is a kind of hands-on culmination of their studies.
Seasons Greet-inks will be open to the public from Wednesday, December 10 through Saturday, December 13. Hours are 11am to 8pm, except on Saturday, when the shop will close at 7:30pm. All of of the proceeds will go to Memorial Sloan Kettering—so this is one time that I will join the retail choir and sing: Shop Till You Drop!