Carole Sloan Scholar

Nicole Alper, a student majoring in Home Products Development at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), has been named the 2016 Carole Sloan Scholar by the college. Nicole received $2,500 for achieving the highest GPA in the Home Products Development program. Stephen Pond, founder of Home Textiles Today and Furniture Today, created the endowment in honor of Carole Sloan who was a longtime editor and writer with the publications. The Home Products department is grateful for the gift which honors a student each year in pursuing their education and passion for the home.

“As a transplant from South Florida, attending school in New York was always my dream. Thanks to the Home Products Development program, I have been exposed to experiences and knowledge I didn’t know existed. Through trips to the High Point Furniture Market, the International Housewares Show, and an upcoming trip to Maison & Objet in Paris, I have been challenged and participated like an industry professional. I have interned with multiple companies and found my skill set applicable in every situation. I am honored to be the Carole Sloan scholarship recipient this year, and hope to contribute to her amazing legacy in years to come.”     Thank you!  Nicole

Congratulations Nicole!
The Home Products Development Department

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Looking for the perfect major?


Consider ~ HOME PRODUCTS ~ a unique major that explores the materials, manufacturing, merchandising and marketing of the home furnishings industry. 

The rigorous project-based curriculum addresses the contemporary realities of the home furnishings industry and cultivates critical skills in the areas of product development, integrated business strategies, and presentation. Through hands-on projects and applied research, you’ll learn to put ideas into action and develop forward-thinking approaches in the study of both the home furnishing and textile sectors. 

You benefit from a small collaborative academic environment and industry involvement. Visiting NYC showrooms and attending major trade shows, such as NY Now, NY Home Textile Market Week, High Point Market, International Home & Housewares Show, and Maison et Objet, you will gain real industry experience in fostering your career.

welcome home ~ 

The Home Products Development Department

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HP231 America at Home

“Know the history of your discipline” – Tim Gunn.

In the creative industries, inspiration is found everywhere and as the saying goes – history repeats itself. This could not be truer than in the design and development process. We are continually looking at the past and present to create the future. Mr. Gunn summed it up perfectly during a speaking engagement at FIT by saying “know the history of your discipline.” I am reminded of this with the start of each semester when I introduce one of my favorite courses HP231 America at Home.

Meeting the G6 Gen Ed Arts requirement, HP231 is a blend of history, architecture, interior design, and home products. It provides students with the opportunity to explore how the home developed throughout the 20th century; looking at its influences and trends. With the DIY movement and popularity of HGTV, the home industry is reaching a much broader and younger crowd. Knowing and understanding the history of home design not only fulfills a requirement, but allows you experience everyday objects in a new way.

Object and project based, the course incorporates the library, writing studio, and field trips to engage students in the history of the home. The curriculum is designed to build upon basic skills in research, presentation, and the development process that are a basis for many of FIT courses. And last but not least – The Chair Project. Find your inspiration, create your design and develop a model chair.

See you this fall semester – HP231 America at Home.

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Home + Housewares Galore!

McCormick Place_2016Juniors and Seniors, thirty-nine Home Products students in all, spend 2 full days exploring the International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago, Illinois earlier this month.

The students took on the role of young professionals as they walked the halls researching product categories and networking with industry professionals. From dust pans to Le Creuset, students versed themselves in the manufacturing processes and marketing of top brands.

Not all business, Prof Brogna makes sure to get in a little “Chicago culture”. A walk through the windy city, stopping at Bloomingdales and Macy’s, the Chicago River, and on to Millennium Park for group selfies at the “bean,”.

Oh, and of course a slice of Chicago deep dish pizza!

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Target: redefining home

Have you seen Target’s home department lately?

Target has upped the game once more with its lifestyle merchandising; opening up aisles to create home vignettes that make shopping at this mass-merchant a whole new experience.

TargetFitting to Target’s “expect more, pay less” brand promise, product and price are impressive. Carefully curated collections inspire your inner “design it yourself” persona at a price that fits into the most modest redecorating budget. Touching the major categories of home, Target brings “cheap chic” to the kitchen, living room, office and bedroom.

Prime location of intersecting aisles, the vignettes caught the attention of every “guest” that passed by. So welcoming,  a man decided to make full use of the furniture while his wife, or better half, filled her red cart with merchandise for a new look for the New Year.

Even if redecorating is not on your 2016 to-do list, Target’s home department is worth a visit to see how they continue to differentiate themselves from their competition.

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Fall Trends = Home Inspiration


Fall has arrived and its fashion trends dominate the windows of the major NYC retailers.  I love walking this city during this time of year; the air is crisp and the windows filled with inspiration.

“Boho Luxe” is the dominate theme in the windows of the 5th Ave Lord and Taylor. Lush fabrics, soft neutral tones, saturated color and textured layers – a season influenced by the seventies, but taken up a notch. The colors and fabrics translate perfectly  – and the name, “Boho Luxe”, lends itself to the relaxed comforts of home. Dark walls, deep stained woods, neutral furniture, pops of saturated corals, aquas and indigo, layered with heavy knits, faux furs with decorative skins and ethnic patterns over hardwoods.

The next time you go window shopping, let your imagination inspire.

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Congratulations Amanda and thanks to the IFDA for investing in the future of the industry!

IFDA Student Member Scholarship- $2,000

Amanda Foran– Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, NY

Amanda ForanAmanda realized her calling in design at an early age and followed that calling to earn her Associates Degree in Interior Design at The Fashion Institute of Technology in 2011.  After working in the industry she found her true passion was in home products.  Amanda is currently working towards a Bachelors Degree in Home Products Development at The Fashion Institute of Technology graduating in May of 2016.  She was introduced to the IFDA at a Home Products club meeting while attending FIT and was able to volunteer for several events and is now a student member.  Amanda‘s passion and drive fuels a bright future as she plans to peruse a career in product design and development while continuing an active roll in the IFDA.


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Gump’s – Keeping with Tradition

For any home enthusiast, a trip to San Francisco would not be complete without a visit to Gump’s department store.


Their website tells their story so well – why try to duplicate it……

“In 1861, the Gump brothers, Solomon and Gustav, graced San Francisco with their mirror and frame shop. Newly minted millionaires from the California Gold Rush showed an interest in the shop and the brothers expanded their collection of old world art and new world design. S & G Gump was born—and the tradition of excellence continues today. 

Our Buddha signifies change. With the beginning of a new century, the Gump brothers handed over the reigns to Solomon’s son, Alfred Livingston. Soon thereafter, the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 forced A.L., as he was known, to rebuild and restock the store. He looked to the Far East for new inspiration, sending buyers to Japan and China to find exotic rugs, porcelain, silks, bronzes and jade. Among the most prized acquisitions, a Ch’ing Dynasty gilded wood Buddha, still gazes serenely over the first floor of Gump’s. It remains the largest of its kind outside of a museum. 

By the 1920’s, San Francisco was roaring right along with the rest. Gump’s and The City had become intertwined—our store synonymous with San Francisco in its elegance, worldly style, and maverick spirit.                                                                                                                                                                                         After all, there is just one Gump’s.”

 Read the full story at: Gump’s – Our History

The Gump's_merchstore and merchandise were exquisite.

My one disappointment is that their website and catalog do not reflect the elegance of the physical store – you can only really appreciate its splendor in San Francisco.


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FITSA Awards

Kudos to our super Flea Market officers, Megan Scuderi and Molly Silsby for an outstanding year of fundraising!

2015 Fundraising Award

The Home Products Club earned the FITSA Fundraising Award for 2014/2015. The club hosted 5 flea markets through out the year to raise funds in order to attend the Highpoint Furniture Market and the Chicago International Housewares Show. With support from the other officers and club members, and partnering with local manufactures and showrooms, Megan and Molly merchandised samples and overstocks into the highly anticipated HP flea markets on campus. The officers made a great team this year – Well Done All!

2015 Club Officers

HP Club Officers:
Amy Glaun, President / Gabi Lewis, Secretary / Megan Scuderi, Flea Market / Molly Silsby, Flea Market / Megan Dobesh, Vice President / Olivia Arata, Treasurer / Sarah Hobert, Vice President

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