Instructor Spotlight: Jennifer Bentivegna

Jennifer Bentivegna is a fashion merchandising and buying professional who spent her career in various roles at Giorgio Armani in the merchandising and e-commerce departments. She is a graduate of the FIT Fashion Merchandising Management program. She began teaching at FIT in 2014 in the Fashion Business Management department. She teaches courses in Product Development, Merchandising, and Team Development. Jennifer is currently enrolled in a master’s degree program at SUNY Empire where she plans to graduate with a Masters In Learning and Emerging Technologies.

Prof. Bentivegna teaches the following FIT Precollege Classes:

HFM 060 Fashion Forecasting: Seeing into the Future

Teaching Philosophy:
I believe in sharing my knowledge of the industry with my students. I want them to understand that the only constant in this industry is change, and it is my role as an instructor to prepare you for those constant changes. Teamwork, passion, and drive are the recipe for success in fashion, and my goal is to bring all three of those qualities to the classroom every day.

Industry Experience:

  • Director of Men’s Merchandising, Armani Exchange
  • Director of Buying/Planning,

Farewell Fashionistas!

Sunday, December 18th  was the last class of FIT’s Fall 2016 Precollege Program. Before I say goodbye to my time here and to my readers this season, I will outline what the final assignment was like.

As an 11-week course, we had a number of assignments along the way to keep us on track, to prepare us for a career in presenting our ideas to our peers, and to test our knowledge of the material we learn. Inevitably, this last class marked the final assignment: creating a fashion line for a fictional collaboration between a chosen fashion icon and retailer.

In terms of product development, this means breaking up the fashion line into the categories of fashion, core, and essentials.

For my project, I was assigned James Dean as my fashion icon, and Brooks Brothers as my retailer. Thus, my personal goal was to create a collection embodying the edgy, rebellious side of James Dean while not straying too far from the traditional, conservative Brooks Brothers image. I had to try not to alienate the target customer, while using my new fictional brand ambassador to hopefully draw in younger customers to breathe new life into the retailer. I took advantage of the common links of layering and “All-American”-ism between my icon and my brand. This collection was my result:

I also thought it would be a cute idea to create a few outfits (to present via Keynote) out of the items in my collection, using Polyvore. These are a few results of that:

So that’s the crux of my FIT chronicles! Thank you to all of my readers and supporters this season, to my professor, to the Precollege Program directors, and to the great girls in my class for making this semester an excellent and memorable one!

I can say in all honesty that this is a great course, and I would highly recommend it not only to anyone interested in fashion, but to anyone interested in evolving into their best self in the most constructive of environments. It sounds dramatic, because it is; this class and the entire experience it promotes is honestly life-changing.

I shouldn’t hope to see you at FIT’s Precollege Program next Spring- YOU should hope to see yourself here! Give yourself the gift of self-love this holiday season and sign up for class!


Learn From The Best (So You’re Not Like The Rest)

alivia-cooney Happy December, dolls!

With college applications due right around the corner, this past Sunday found many class discussions centered around the future. Even more so than the immediate future, many of my classmates were concerned about the longterm future, particularly that which would ensue following their potential acceptance into FIT for college.

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: the average FIT student is ambitious. They respect and value their creativity, but understand the need to have a solid career grounded in reality. Thus, my classmates had some insightful questions for our professor. Such intelligent questions included “How do I become a buyer?”, “Does FIT have good connections for internships?”, and “What’s the best major to enter if I wanted to start my own business?”

Luckily for me, I have an aunt who graduated from FIT to ask these kinds of questions to, and to rely on for advice on entering these related industries.

This week I decided to interview my aunt, Antonette Bivona. She graduated from FIT in 1991 with BS in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing, after first getting her Associate’s Degree in Fashion Buying and Merchandising, also at FIT. Today, she holds the prestigious title of Director of Global Marketing for Revlon Cosmetics Products Corporation.

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I wanted to ask her a few questions to find out more about her FIT experience for both my knowledge, and the knowledge of my readers, fellow Precollege students, and FIT hopefuls.

Me: What originally made you interested in FIT?

A: I’ve always been interested in fashion and beauty, and FIT is the premier school for the industry. In fact, the [Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing] program I was in was really unique because it was the first one of its kind. When I graduated, it had only been around for two years.

Me: How did FIT help you get to where you are today in your career?

A: FIT helped me get an internship at Revlon, and I was lucky enough to be offered a position there once I graduated. I’m still here today, after 25 years, largely thanks to FIT’s well-rounded education of the industry.

Me: What skills did you learn at FIT that have contributed to your success in the workplace?

A: Hard work, diligence, creativity, professionalism. FIT was excellent with giving us real world experience, bringing us straight into the industry. For example, they would take us to spend the day at different cosmetics companies’ headquarters. They’re great with nurturing their students to seamlessly make their way into the industry straight out of college. They ensure we build lasting connections through different internships.

Me: What were some of the challenges you faced along the way?

A: Due to the economic recession of the times, the fear of not getting a job was very real. The workload was intense, and the expectations were high. In my last year specifically, I had an internship, school, and a job. Nonetheless, it was a great experience.

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There you have it, FIT friends! Next time you draw some designs for your Precollege portfolio, draw inspiration from happily successful FIT alumni like my aunt, and even more well-known fashion figures like Calvin Klein and Michael Kors! Hard work and dedication, along with the tools and skills learned from such a great school as FIT, always make the experience well worth it!

– Alivia

Hallways To Runways

alivia-cooneyDecember. The angels are singing, and stars are sparkling the streets of Paris and lighting up the screens of the naughty and nice worldwide… no, I’m not talking about Santa!

It’s time for the angels to strut their stuff down the star-studded runway in the most highly publicized, commercialized time of the fashion year… it’s the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show!

Any FIT-bound fashion fiend can’t help but pay more attention to details that the average onlooker may overlook.

Your friends may watch to Keep Up With Kendall, and your brother may watch for Bella’s beauty.

No matter the motivation of the consumer, the fact is that they are consuming, and where there is a market, there is an artisan. For example, in the case of landing a job designing for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, there are skilled crafts to be crafted that most do not consider. Though many viewers focus on the models’ enviable figures and fame, there are plenty of others who see art through the models’ mirage. Many young fashionistas view Gigi’s gemstone bra and dream of a way to bring such a glimmering vision to fruition. How does one gather the skills necessary to embrace such a niche market of consumers, a market which is in high demand, yet the details and processes of which are nearly invisible to the public eye? How does one turn such an obscure yet beautiful dream into a reality?

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Strolling through the hallways of FIT each week has opened my eyes to a fascinating flora and fauna of fashion and design worlds that I always knew existed, yet never considered the depths of. A quick glance in any classroom will show me specialized equipment made to create collections galore, the results of which can be found in the display cases lining the walls of each floor and wing. This culmination of such detailed creation can be used as a great source of inspiration to keep dreaming, creating, and searching for ways to best cultivate your gifts and passions.

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Spread your angel’s wings and try a precollege class in such specialized courses as Screenprinting T-Shirts, Designing with Pattern, Comic Book Drawing, or “Sneakerology.” Later, if you’re so lucky to land a coveted seat in an FIT college class, you can consider a major in lingerie design, packaging design, textile/surface design, exhibition design, or many more inventive fields whose focused curriculums can be found exclusively at FIT.

After a long flight to Paris, Victoria’s Secret angels reach stardom by strutting the runway. Start your angelic journey of artistry today by flying to FIT’s website to sign up for precollege courses! Be the star of your life’s runway at FIT, the premier destination where all runways begin.


Fashion Institute of Thanksgiving

It’s time for Thanksgiving and all its festivities, and any fashionista knows what that means: it’s time to stuff your style down your relatives’ throats and show them that you are the Kim K of your family.

Parade around your dining room table this Thanksgiving like you’re a Macy’s balloon flying down the streets of Manhattan. As you get ready to feast this Thanksgiving, remember that style is the stuffing of the season, stringing together the holidays of the coming months like lights on a tree. As you’re scarfing down your stuffing, remember to put on a scarf!

The components of a precollege course at FIT are comparable to the components of any standard Thanksgiving dinner menu.

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The class itself would be the turkey. Whether it’s small or large, Saturday or Sunday, workshop or live, it’s bound to satisfy and serve as the focus of your life’s plate for the season.

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The weekly commute would be the mashed potatoes. Sometimes bland, sometimes seasonally flavored, always present. It’s widely accepted by all and always welcomed as the gateway to gravy and other fun ways to spice up your life.

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The lessons learned during class make up the stuffing. There’s always something different inside, and we always come back for more to keep us feeling full. It brings our meal together, and gives us a purpose to stay seated.


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The projects and assignments we’re given serve as the corn, beans, and squash of the course. Much like the three sisters, these go together and compliment each other for the greater good of the class (and the plate).


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The class discussions wash down the lessons and project presentations like a nice glass of apple cider. Serving to satisfy a sugary sweet tooth while nourishing between bites, this gives us the fuel to keep our food down and continue our confectionary conquest.

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The plethora of people we meet make up the cornucopia of cranberry sauces and seasonings galore. With enough personalities to make up a season’s harvest, we never get bored of blandness and have the desire to devour our plates clean.

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What would a class at FIT be without the fashion? Similarly to the diversity of Thanksgiving breads and rolls, which satisfy our cravings for carbs, our cravings for clothes are always satisfied. Whether it’s buttered or plain, banana or nut, poppy or sesame, it’s always fun and it’s always different. We roll with the trends each week, and we can never have just one roll!

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When we eat dinner, we challenge ourselves to find the perfect balance of stuffing our faces and saving room for dessert. Similarly, I challenge myself weekly to find a balance between spending all my money on coffee and clothes before class, and waiting to go on a new adventure after class. Whether it’s a new street or a new neighborhood, or just a new store, the inevitable adventures surrounding class serve as the dessert to bring a sweet finish to a savory Sunday. While the desserts are often impulsive and indulgent, staples like pumpkin pie have become synonymous with the holiday itself. Similarly, the adventures I’ve gone on in the city after class have become staples of my Sundays, keeping me seated in class and coming back for more each week.

Gobble down your dinner this Thanksgiving in your glamorous garb and enjoy good times galore! What’s on your plate this season? Save room for sweetness, because this is just the start of the season of style!