30 years of "Living the Dream"

Updated: Dec 7, 2017

“Living the Dream” means so many different things to different people. To me it was teaching……yes, teaching. How did I end up in fashion? It was a fluke. But after 30 years in the Fashion Industry, I am now living my dream of teaching. And where you ask? Why at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where else!

Tools of the Trade: Trimmings and Bindings a course was my first course here at FIT, but it wasn’t my last and since it is my first I will talk about that for today. Teaching is be both very daunting and exciting at the same time. Because it is an elective course and not a requirement, you know that the students enrolled are truly interested in what you have to offer them, so you need to make the class as interesting as possible. They have taken other courses in the series that relate to my class, so my goal is to build on what they have learned, but also open their eyes to the beauty they can create with a trim.

A trim that is designed by them, with their fabric and is only for them. This makes for a class that is exciting because it is the one area the designer can be truly creative without causing tremendous strains on their budgets. I love teaching this class, because when a young designer really sees the full potential of what their designs can become, it's really an amazing thing.

The main thing I want them to learn in my class, is how to properly speak to their contractors. We know the lingo and a lot of designers don't, which can put them at a disadvantage and in some cases have contractors take advantage of the designer’s lack of knowledge. So I do stress the language of production in both trims and garments. Another aspect of the business I want them learn, is how to figure goods needed to make their particular trim.

Very important in the controlling of the wastage of fabric and the controlling of their budgets. And finally, to realize they are only limited by their imagination. Again, because my class is an adult education class, the students really have free will to use that imagination. There isn't box to fit into. And isn't that what designing is truly about?

I have so much information stored up in this brain of mine, 30 years’ worth and it has been just busting to get out. What I hope they learn from me is to never give up. Each failure leads to a success.

I have always wanted to teach. Fortunately or unfortunately I was sidetracked by a little thing called the Fashion Industry. As we all know, this industry is all consuming. Once it has its claws in you, you cannot seem to escape. I've tried, believe me, but there is something about it that always drew me back in. So that being the case, and me always having this dream to teach, why not merge the two.

I have the best of both worlds. I am thoroughly entrenched in this wonderful industry and I get to do what I love in conjunction with that. I don't know if I would've gotten there if I hadn't first embarked on this journey through fashion. But I am so blessed that I did get here from there! I am full time at FIT now, teaching 4 courses in Continuing Education, facilitating our SUNY Grant programs and I am the Program Director of our Showroom at 520 8 Avenue FIT Design Entrepreneur Collaborative.

“Living the Dream”.......well I have to say I am living it as we speak! I couldn't ask for a better life than what I have now!”

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