Instructor Spotlight: Eileen Karp

Eileen Karp has a broad background in fashion. After earning her BS degree in Textiles and Clothing at North Dakota State University and an AAS degree in fashion design from the Fashion Institute of Technology, her fashion design career began as a creative designer of loungewear and sportswear. She founded a business designing an exclusive maternity line for an upper east side NYC boutique; the designs were also sold to Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. Her entrepreneurial background led her to a variety of freelance and consulting opportunities for a broad range of companies. She moved into various aspects of creative design and related positions primarily in the cut & sewn knitted and woven sportswear areas. Concurrently, she began teaching as adjunct at FIT–SUNY and became a full-time professor in the Fashion Design Department in 2007. In 2008, she completed a Master’s Degree in Education from California State University East Bay. She developed a new interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science program in Technical Design at FIT that has grown steadily. In January 2014, Eileen became the Chairperson of the Fashion Design Department in FIT’s School of Art and Design.

Prof. Karp teaches:
HAP 026 Sewing for Fashion Designers
HAP 017 Introduction to Draping for Fashion Design (Level 2)

Teaching Philosophy:
In my role as teacher, I am charged to inspire my students through example and guide them to embrace learning. Lifetime learning is critically important for professional and personal growth. The practice of fashion design constantly evolves and advances through exposure, exploration, and experimentation. Heraclitus said, “The only thing that is constant is change.” To prepare my students for success in this creative field and for life, it is incumbent upon me to develop in them a strong foundation that they know how to tap when, occasionally, the creative well runs dry. I have an obligation to weave into students the ability to be adaptable, flexible and open. As an educator, I commit to encourage their ability for conceptual development with the power to problem solve through the continuous asking of “Why?” “How?” and “What If?” as they seek and discover answers.

Industry Experience/Recent Exhibitions:
Over 30 years of experience in creative design, patternmaking, fashion business, technical design at all price points and types of industry experiences.
2016/2017, showed two original works in the annual “New Views” FIT Art & Design School Faculty Exhibit.

Instructor Spotlight: Ann Marie Sclafani

Ann Marie Sclafani has been designing, making and merchandising jewelry for 15 years. She is a FIT alumna with a degree in Restoration and began teaching in 2015. Ann Marie is also the creative director of her own jewelry line Joseph B, and is a technician for the Jewelry Design Department at FIT. Her early professional career began as a technical designer and merchandiser for large-scale wholesale manufacturers. Because of her experience in both fine and costume jewelry, her work and design style is able to encompass both worlds.

Instagram: @josephbjewelry

Ann Marie teaches:
HJD019 Jewelry Design Studio I     

Teaching Philosophy:
I tell my students that just because something isn’t perfect, it doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful. Imperfections in our work always lead to discovery. Jewelry has become such a multifaceted outlet for creativity in terms materials, techniques, fit and construction, engaging students in a variety of unexpected methods becomes an adventure for all of us. I encourage them to find and bring inspiration to class so we can create something together that speaks to their own individual style.

Work by Ann Marie Sclafani:

Instructor Spotlight: Barbara Seggio


Barbara Seggio is an FIT Alum who worked in the industry as a Fashion Designer and Technical Designer. She has been teaching in the Fashion Design Department for over 25 years. Her area of expertise is apparel, and she teaches all levels of Sewing, Draping and Patternmaking. She is also the Evening/Weekend Adviser of the FD Department. Barbara has enjoyed teaching Precollege classes for 15 years and has taught FD courses in China as a visiting FIT Professor.

Prof. Seggio teaches:
HAP 017 Introduction to Draping for Fashion Design (Level 2)
HAP 025 Sewing for Fashion Designers (9 & 10 grades only)  
HAP 026 Sewing for Fashion Designers (11 & 12 grades only) 

Teaching Philosophy:
I give my students projects that encourage creativity and nurture their inane talent. I believe everyone has what it takes, all they need is patience and a guiding hand.

Prof. Seggio’s Achievements/Projects:
Barbara’s interest in Sustainable Fashion has revolutionized how Fashion Design students consider their environmental impact. Her pupils’ work has been featured at FIT’s annual Sustainability Conferences. She’s also proud to announce that she recently co-invented a nursing garment for a mother to wear while feeding her newborn baby. This product will protect the infant from accidental injury should the mother fall asleep.

Read about Prof. Seggio’s student in the article:
Emily Nieland’s Patchwork for Kids

Instructor Spotlight: Adam Straus

Adam Straus’ professional career might best be described as eclectic. He has worked as a sculptor, businessman, consultant, professor and inventor of candy and toys. In addition to inventing for the past 25 years, Adam has a Bachelors Degree of Fine Arts for metal-smithing, produced a line of award-winning, sterling silver baby spoons along with numerous other upscale gift items, worked in the special effects industry before there was CGI, and he currently teaches Packaging Design and the creative process at the Fashion Institute of Technology. He is currently developing his own inventions along with aspiring inventors to bring their ideas to market.

Since 1994 he has presented concepts to many industries with a focus on toys and candy, going to contract more than 20 times with 12 candy and 9 toy products reaching the marketplace. Two of the candy concepts received utility patents, and many of the items have been recognized with awards from the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio and Candy Buyer Magazine.

Prof. Straus teaches:
HPK 122 55A Graphic Design and Packaging Design   

Teaching Philosophy:
My class is an environment where exploration, discovery and taking risks is supported and encouraged. We speak about the design process and demystify it by breaking it down. By sharing skills and tools for creative thinking I lead students to independence and confidence in making choices as designers. They learn to resolve concepts in order to meet a challenge or need.

Industry Experience:
Invented and Licensed products to Church & Dwight, Hasbro, TF1, NSI International, Upper Deck, Irwin toys, Alex Toys, KoKo’s, Ludo, Toy Max, Candy Planet, & Jakks Pacific

Work by Prof. Straus:

Instructor Spotlight: Brian Emery

Brian Emery is an artist and educator living in Brooklyn, NY. He has been teaching in the photography department at FIT since 2004, and teaches a wide array of digital skillsets and techniques. His art practice is centered around creatively misusing cameras to manipulate representations of time and space.


Brian Emery Teaches:
HSX 114 Drone Photography


Teaching Philosophy:
The process of learning is one spent largely wandering around in darkness in hopes of finding brief moments of light. Those aha moments are rare, but gratifying. The key, however, is to learn to love the wandering.

Industry Experience/Recent Exhibitions:
Brian had a solo exhibition of prints and video work at the Romano Gallery in the Rose-Hipkins Center for the arts in Blairstown NJ in 2017, and participated in group shows at the Center for Photographic Arts in Denver Colorado, and the University Art Gallery at Central Michigan University.

In 2016 Brian was awarded a fellowship in 3D Visualization by the John D Rockefeller Jr. Library in Williamsburg, VA. And, in 2017 he received a National Parks Artist Residency at Gettysburg National Military Park.

Featured work by Brian Emery: