The Fashion Institute of Technology is perhaps best known as a school for aspiring fashion creatives and entrepreneurs, with a campus located in the heart of Manhattan’s fashion district. But FIT offers so much more to New Yorkers, with courses and programs being offered in Brooklyn, too. FIT shows how dynamic a place for learning it can be, with a compelling range of classes for various learners at the Brooklyn Army Terminal.
For those looking to launch their very own fashion brand, FIT’s Creative Maker Certificate in Ethical Design and Local Manufacturing and the Sustainable Design Entrepreneurs 10-course program are absolute musts. The Ethical Fashion certificate supplies students with an in-depth knowledge of the history and current thinking of sustainability, with the goal of developing sustainable practices in both daily and professional lives. The Sustainable Design course load gives design entrepreneurs the tools to build a viable business based on sustainable design practices. All of this learning is vital to the industry’s survival—and the planet’s.
“The fashion industry is the world’s second largest polluter, after oil,” says Chris Helm, coordinator of FIT’s Enterprise Center. “Textiles are treated with large quantities of dyes, additives, and stabilizers, which then enter the environment through wastewater. But ethical fashion is sustainable and prioritizes environmentally friendly practices throughout production, with the ideal being a circular economy designing without waste.”
Helm also says FIT is well aware that many designers are eager to protect the environment and their workers. “They want to better understand how the apparel production process works and steps they can take to build a viable business based on sustainable design practices,” she continues.
For the business-minded student, FIT offers unique noncredit certificate programs in branding, omni-channel management, data analytics and other fashion-adjacent skills that can be utilized in countless industries. The Brand Management Strategies class features compelling instruction, where students will learn to cultivate customer emotional bonding for fashion products, with a mind toward fostering increased sales, profits and market dominance. The brand new Omni-Channel Management course provides the latest information on the cutting-edge multichannel sales approach, while Data Analytics: Retail Marketing cites theory and provides hands-on practice, teaching pupils how to utilize data analytics for in-depth customer insight and better brand performance.
These series of courses show FIT’s commitment to learning about sustainability, which carries over into the more creative side of the school’s education platform. This summer, designers, stylists, and other creatives will learn about sustainable design, as well as image consulting, event planning, publicity and much more. There’s even a course on remote piloting of drones, which are of growing importance in fashion and a growing number of industries.
“Drones are essential to commercial photography, have made their runway debut, and will play a key role in the expansion of the retail market in the coming years,” Helm says. “Roving drones can provide better security than guards or cameras—they can spot a thief, alert the authorities and give chase. They will be used for delivery, inventory control and even study consumer shopping behavior leading to better retail layout. Our course is designed to give students all the vital skills and information needed to start piloting drones safely and legally.”
Finally, FIT has a special selection of courses designed for international travelers.
“Our unique Summer in the City Intensives take place in June and July,” says Joan O. Volpe, managing coordinator of professional studies and company training at FIT. Courses include Fashion Events Planning, Fashion Styling, Image Consulting, Designing Your Own Fabric Using NYC Museum Art for Inspiration, and a three-week English as Second Language: Fashion Business summer certificate program.
“We want to attract students from all over the globe who want to visit Brooklyn!” Volpe says. “We have built-in field trips to Brooklyn neighborhoods and retailers, and they seek out cultural events like the Brooklyn Flea and 4th of July celebrations on their own.”
So New Yorkers and travelers alike can make summer sizzle with exciting courses that will help their dreams come true—at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Brooklyn Army Terminal campus.