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

 

Instructor Spotlight: Melissa Starke

Melissa is an artist who creates abstract paintings and sculptures. She holds a Business Administration AA, a Fine Arts BFA and is a 2020 Art Market Studies MA Candidate. She was the curator for Torche Galerie in Belmar NJ from 2012-2015. She is a three-time Community Development Block Grant recipient from the City of Yonkers, where she is director and curator for the not for profit arts organization and gallery, US+U.  In addition, she manages an artist residency and an education program onsite.

Website: www.urbanstudiounbound.org/melissa-starke

Melissa Teaches:
JSX 035 Color Theory and Application
JSX 038 Multiple Media Workshop

Teaching Philosophy:
Making art is a personal process-it can be fun, playful, meditative, serious, intuitive, contemplative and so on. You have to experiment, make things you love and things you don’t like. Both are supposed to happen and will.  It’s part of figuring out your personal aesthetic/finding your creative voice.

I believe one of the most important things to acknowledge as a teacher is that everyone interprets & processes information differently. I enjoy taking the time to get to know each student, it enables me to make teaching choices that speak to the students I have in that particular class.

Industry Experience/Recent Exhibitions:

  • Gallery Curator & Director Urban Studio Unbound (US+U Gallery) Yonkers, NY 2014-present
  • Yonkers Arts Weekend Co-Producer/Art Direction 2016-2018 in Partnership with the City of Yonkers
  • Urban Studio Advisor/Fine Arts Department FIT
  • Department Coordinator /Fine Arts Department FIT

 Artwork:

Instructor Spotlight: Kiril Hristov

Kiril Hristov is an artist and illustrator whose work has been featured in galleries around the world. He was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and developed an interest in film and art at an early age. He was accepted to The National School of Fine Arts, where he completed rigorous training and improved his technique. He continued his education at the Academy of Fine Arts. Since then, Hristov takes part in shows and individual exhibitions in Bulgaria, Greece, Algeria, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Germany, Russia, and the United States. He has a Ph.D. in Fine Art.

 

Portfolio:
https://www.behance.net/hristov_k
https://kirilhristov.myportfolio.com/
Instagram: @kirilhristov_art

Kiril Teaches the following FIT Precollege Classes:
HAR 016 Creating the Fashion Figure

Teaching Philosophy:
My goal is to help my students think creatively and experiment with a variety of styles and methodologies that help them discover their artistic selves. I want my students to be inspired by art history and artistic traditions, as well as by nature and contemporary events. My students search for connections between music, theatre, cinema, literature, architecture, and other mediums of expression. My teaching method is based on the classical principles of drawing as well as contemporary trends.

I believe that it is important to nurture students as individuals by showing them a variety of techniques. I help my students channel their talent and passion into an artistic product that demonstrates a rich art vocabulary.

Multiple demonstrations, repetitions, and collaborations are essential to my teaching practice. I always make sure that my students are informed about what is going on around them in the artistic, political, and social sense so that they are conscious of the outside world that they bring into their work.

Industry Experience/Recent Exhibitions:
Exhibition: Train Station for two- Fashion Illustration, Norwalk CT 2018
Solo Show: “Temporal Static” 151 Gallery, San Francisco 2017
Solo Show: “Selection of Drawings” Felt Factory, San Fransisco
“Work in Progress”, Sofia, Bulgaria 2016
Solo Show: Art 36 Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria 2015
Solo Show: “Run Away,” Norwalk, Connecticut 2014

Artwork by Kiril Hristov:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instructor Spotlight: Caroline Berti

Caroline has over 10 years of industry experience in Fashion Design and Costume Design. She is a graduate of FIT. Her work as a designer and creative consultant has allowed her to travel to places such as China and Europe.

 

 

 

Caroline Berti Teaches the following FIT Precollege Classes:
HSX 098: Wearable Technology: Fashion Meets Function

Teaching Philosophy:

Experimentation and learning are one and the same, and they both happen when you are creating. Each person has their own unique way of seeing things; as a professor, I try to provide students with the tools and foundation to bring that perspective to life through experimenting and being creative.

Experience and Work:

  • Designed for companies such as Victoria’s Secret Direct, Victoria’s Secret Pink, Warnaco, Richard Leeds, Karen Sabag, and private lines for Macy’s, Qvc, Belk.
  • Worked for some of the largest Costume companies in the U.S (Spirit, Rubies, Escante, Walmart) in addition to costume design in both film and theatre.
  • Special Projects include illustrations for an animated pilot for MTV Producer, and stop motion animation with Charged Productions.
  • Designing & Creative consulting for fashion technology projects with ‘INFOR LAB’ for companies such as PVH, Calvin Klein, Neue, and the Swedish Fashion Council.
  • Has also assisted in connecting FIT with technology makers such as SparkFun.

Instructor Spotlight: Nicole Truscinski


Nicole Truscinski is an archivist at a leading American fashion company and spent several years at New York Vintage, a vintage rental showroom that caters to the fashion and entertainment industries. She is a graduate of the FIT Advertising and Marketing Communications program, along with the Fashion Merchandising Management Associate’s program. She is also a graduate of the Costume Studies MA program at NYU. Fashion and costume history are her passions, and when she’s not flipping through old issues of Harper’s Bazaar or watching classic films, she can most likely be found wandering the MET or the museum at FIT.
Nicole Truscinski teaches the following FIT Precollege Classes:
JSX 019 Fashion History: Trends Through the Decades
Teaching Philosophy:
My goal is to introduce my students to the resources and opportunities available to them and to help them lay the foundation to achieve their dreams.
 
Industry Experience/Recent Exhibitions:
  • 11th Annual Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design exhibition at the FIDM Museum in Los Angeles
  • Co-curated the exhibition Performing Fashion: New York City at NYU’s 80WSE Gallery
  • Consultant on period costume design for film