Instructor Spotlight: Suzanne Piazza

Suzanne Piazza’s career started in fashion buying and later shifted into product development and fashion direction. Some of the companies she has worked for are JCrew, JC Penney, and Lord & Taylor. Suzanne is a graduate of the FIT Fashion Business Program, and started teaching at FIT in 1978. She teaches a variety of classes in the Fashion Business Management department, where she has worked for over 35 years.

 

Suzanne Piazza teaches:

 

Teaching Philosophy:
I challenge my students to start thinking about a position or company they might really want to work for one day. I explain how each one of us is different and unique and it is very important to find a career doing something you really love. I share clear insight and examples from the industry and have students engage in projects that they can use in the real world. I spend a lot of time getting to know my students and encourage them to ask questions and email me at FIT in the future if they need help or guidance. Several of my past Sat Live students are now in my college classes.

 

Industry Experience:
  • Fashion Director, Product Developer and Buyer at JC Penney
  • Fashion Director at JCrew
  • Women’s Department Manager at Lord & Taylor

 

How can FIT’s Precollege Programs help you on your Advertising Journey

FIT’s Precollege Advertising and Marking Communications program prides itself on being about more than fashion. The skills learned in an adverting class are translatable into almost any type of ad-work.

Quality and persuasive writing is a fundamental skill for everyone-particularly when writing college admissions essays or cover letters for job applications.

FIT’s Precollege summer and weekend programs have a lot to offer to high school students who are passionate about Advertising and Marketing.

11-session Precollege Courses
We recommend a high school Precollege Program Live class:

4-day Precollege Workshops
We recommend a high school Precollege Workshop:

  • A Week in the Life of a Creative Director- learn how to develop and extend a brand through marketing and advertising.
  • Fashion Journalism- develop your skills by writing and editing fashion news and feature stories.
    Summer Session   Fall Session   Spring Session

1-day Creative Career Series
On Saturday, March 30th, spend the afternoon with writing strategy “guru” Barry Gold. Barry will go over his journey as an award-winning copywriter and give some pro tips to aspiring creatives.

Wherever you are on your journey, there is a FIT Precollege Program learning experience for you!

The FIT dream experience by Alexis Carey

In 2011 I decided it would be fun to do the FIT middle school summer workshop with my best friend, Sarah. I had heard about it through my mom, since she went to school at FIT and knew I was interested in fashion.

On July 11, 2011, our very first day, my mom walked Sarah and me from Penn Station to FIT, where we waited in a long line with many other kids from all over the world. I was expecting to get there and have to be super serious, since that’s the vibe I got from the orientation, but it was the opposite. Our mornings were spent in the classroom learning some of the future trends in Fashion Forecasting. In the afternoons, we took pictures around FIT and Bryant Park for landscape photography.

Being so young, I enjoyed the photography classes a little more than the Fashion Forecasting because we were active and didn’t just sit in one place for a long time. It was also fun to enjoy lunch outside and explore the FIT campus. Our first week at FIT flew by. Everyone was shy, but Sarah and I did manage to make a couple of friends on the last day whom we tried to keep in touch with. At the end of those four days, we realized how fast it went and wished that we had more time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By taking seven classes over six years (2011-2017), I learned so many new things that I would have never learned without FIT. Each year I learned not only about fashion, but also about myself.  Taking all the FIT classes has helped me decide what I want to pursue in college and in my career. After taking a few design and business classes, I decided that I really have a passion for the marketing and business side of fashion. I took my passion for the business a step further by creating my own blog, www.fashionfitnessfun.com, where I blog about some of the fashion classes I took at FIT. In 2016, I took the course, “The Week in the Life of a Merchant.” I really enjoyed experiencing stores through a merchant’s point of view, and not just as a consumer. Through this workshop, I got to form my own opinions on which brands do well and those that do not, which did not occur to me before. In Fashion Forecasting, which I took in 2017, I really enjoyed looking at the current trends and those for the future. Not only is it interesting to see what will stay the same and what will change, but it helps me integrate styles into my wardrobe and inform my blog followers!

Although there were many things I loved about taking courses at FIT that made me continue to do so for many years, the thing that was the least enjoyable in my experience was the process of signing up for each course. Sarah and I could never figure out what we did wrong, but the system would always lock us out of our accounts when it was time to sign up. It caused a lot of stress over whether we could get into the class we wanted to.

Fast forward six years to my last year taking classes, and a lot has changed. First of all, each summer I’ve basically grown up at FIT and experienced so much more than I ever thought I would through four day workshops. I’ve learned of inspirational places to go to in New York City, like Barney’s, Story, Dover Street Market, and the Meatpacking District – some of the coolest places to take pictures. There have been some incredible professors during my FIT experience! My landscape photography professor was very cool and could relate to students!  Since I took Fashion Forecasting my first year and then again six years later, it was interesting to see how I have grown during this time. I also had the same teacher, Gary Wolf, who was amazed to have the same student twice. I think it was cool to see the similarities and differences of that course from a middle school to a high school workshop. The high school workshop is more in depth about the fashion business, as opposed to the middle school class which covered the basics.

Overall, I cherish the experiences I have had at FIT throughout the years and will definitely miss the students and professors. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have been able to explore every aspect of fashion, which has helped me get to where I am today.  What I have learned at during the summers at FIT will be a part of my future endeavors.

-Alexis Carey

Final Week of the Business and Art of Cosmetics Course

We can find inspiration in just about anything.  A rose petal, inspired us to create a face tonic.  A braid inspired us to research the history of hair styles. Romantic dresses floating in the spring breeze inspired us as we analyzed perfumes. Being in the Art and Business of Cosmetics course for three weeks inspired and educated us to understand how it all begins and how it all ends in a final product ready for the consumer.

Breaking down a scent into the three levels of notes was fascinating.  I will never take a scent for granted again!  Can a scent be both freeing and mature, breezy and feminine? It certainly can.  My partner and I created an inspiration board for a perfume called Spring Breeze.

The highlight this week was our class field trip to Bluemercury. The owners graciously opened their store for us early so that we could get a sense of their marketing approach and the products that they sell.

Here are some of the products Bluemercury sells and that the owners so generously gave us as gifts.

I had to put the creative side of my brain on hold for a bit as I listened intently to their story of how Bluemercury started.  A tremendous amount of time and hard work is required to start a cosmetics business.  There is so much to learn.

My wonderful FIT experience has come to an end.  My days at FIT went by so quickly that I cannot believe it is almost August.  Every day was enlightening and educational.  The students in my class were delightful and I look forward to staying in touch with them.

– Sasha Worenklein

Introducing Precollege Blogger: Kayla

Hey, everyone! My name is Kayla Cariffe and I’m a 16-year-old book nerd, makeup addict, and theater aficionado. I’m currently going into my senior year (how did that happen? Honestly I’m still six years old) in high school. I love to participate in school activities like plays, chorus, mock trial (which is pretty cool because you get to act out a fake court case with a real judge and everything!), and speech and debate. On the off chance I’m not stuck at school until 10 o’clock (a rather common occurrence, shockingly), you can find me at home, curled up with a nice book, like Harry Potter for the millionth time, or bingeing on tv shows (my current show being How I Met Your Mother with my mom).

I am from Staten Island, New York and this tends to affect my personal view about a lot of things. For example, drivers on this island are the absolute worst but our pizza is the absolute best!

This summer, I am taking part in the Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing Precollege Class as well as the Short Film Basics Class. I am really excited to take part in these classes because of how interesting they sound. I am also quite interested to see how well I survive traveling into the city every day by myself (because as previously mentioned, I am more of a six-year-old than a sixteen-year-old).

I am also curious to experience a college campus in a way that makes me feel as if I were a college student and not just some high school student going to an open house. I am really excited to start blogging because I love to write, I love pretending I’m like famous bloggers, and interesting things always seem to happen to me so I’m excited to share my good/bad/plain weird experiences with all of you. I don’t really know where I want to go to college for sure, but I am strongly leaning towards FIT and in the future, I hope to be an honors student and to make it into the Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing Program.

That’s all I have for now. Stay tuned for more posts about my experiences at FIT, my progress in my classes, tips and tricks for current and future Precollege students, and much more!

Don’t Forget To Be Awesome!

-Kayla