As we crazy New Yorkers continue our everyday lives on hectic schedules, I always try to remember to always be grateful for everything I have. Of course school, internship, and work may be demanding- I honestly don't remember the last time had a full day free or to myself, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Being a student at FIT, I am living in the heart of New York City- where everything can be accessible to me. I have advantageous resources, useful connections, yet also my ability to be independent. When I say advantageous resources, I mean not only our insane amount of inside industry information from our FIT library, but the fact that the school has connections to bring in people currently working in the industry to guest speak. This afternoon, I couldn't have asked for a better day- I attended FIT's "What Makes a Good Creative Director" Panel and even got invited by the lovely Fashion Design Apparel Department to join the following guests at a luncheon:
Joe Zee- Creative Director of ELLE magazine and FIT Alumni
Andrea Linett- Creative Director of eBay Fashion and founding Creative Director of Lucky magazine, and founder of iwanttoberher.com, a website celebrating personal style
Liza Deyrmenjian- Founder and CEO of fashion networking site afingo.com
Each of the speakers talked about their career paths and how they got to their current positions. I found it interesting to hear their stories from a first person point of view. I mean, I can research all day on the internet to find out information about them- but actually hearing the speakers talk to us, responding to our questions, and voicing their opinions was extraordinary.
Joe Zee has such a vibrant personality, you can hear the enthusiasm in which he spoke about his career- although he admitted he did not have anything prepared, his story was pretty inspirational! He is an FIT alumni, and everything he talked about- from running the school newspaper, interning, and finally landing his first job at a fashion magazine, came from his advice- never take no for an answer! When someone would tell him a goal is unattainable, it only made him want to prove them wrong. I feel that is a powerful mindset, and yet a very smart mindset. It it was good to hear from an alumni's point of view since they know exactly how it feels to be a student. When Joe talked about how he used to take classes from 9am to 9:30pm to fit in full days of interning, that was exactly my day yesterday, and how it will be tomorrow. He looked for internships his first semester of school. That, I can definitely relate to and understand. Obviously, his motivation and drive has led him to great heights, having worked his way up to the Creative Director position at ELLE magazine since 2007.
I was so excited to meet Andrea Linett. First off, I have been a subscriber to Lucky magazine for the past seven years and to meet one of the co-founders of the publication was amazing. Also a fan of her books, her past experiences at Sassy magazine and Harper's Bazaar has gained her much knowledge about working in a publication. I feel that her current title as Creative Director at eBay Fashion is a smart move, considering the large impact of online shopping today.
As a business major, I can see how important it is for designers to effectively communicate with manufacturers in order to be successful. Liza Deyrmenjian is an entrepreneur- the CEO and founder of afingo.com. She took initiative when she kept getting fired from previous jobs. Starting off in having her own manufacturing company in Toronto, she continued to grow in her career and is currently teaching her own educational program and founded afingo.com, which is a social media platform to connects designer, retailers, service providers, and consumers.
Joe Zee and I at the luncheon!