Intimate Apparel

Melissa Aguirre

Queens, New York

Fashion has been taught in my family for generations, but I am the first to pursue it as a career. Ever since I was young, I always saw my mom making garments, and that influenced me immensely. Thanks to the technical skills I received from my mom’s side and the creativity I got from dad’s side, I have a strong foundation. I knew I wanted to be in a creative industry. I promised myself to learn all that I could so that I wouldn’t have any limitations in what I design. With all the knowledge I have received from the Intimate Apparel specialization at FIT, I feel well prepared to design beautiful creations in many aspects of the intimate apparel Industry. My designs can range from very structured to whimsical and delicate. I look forward to graduating and seeing where my journey as an intimate apparel designer will lead.

Stephanie Ali

Commack, New York

Growing up in a multicultural home, I was introduced to many customs. My father and I shared a love for his Guyanese and Indian background. After being introduced to Bollywood films, I was also influenced by their fashions. The beading and drape of beautiful fabrics sparked my love for fashion. This small beginning took me closer to my specialization in Intimate Apparel. Lingerie has inspired the world we live in for generations. It gives women a sense of elegance and comfort in a second skin. As an intimates designer, I strive to make women feel beautiful, sophisticated, and classic. FIT has provided me with specialized training and enabled me to create innovative intimate garments. I am fortunate enough to not only be a student at FIT, but a recipient of a SAIG scholarship and a participant in the Femmy Design Contest 2016. I look forward to designing in the intimate apparel industry.

Brithany Beltran

Bloomfield, New Jersey

When I was growing up, my parents always taught me to never settle for anything short of what I truly want in life. From a young age, fashion and art always inspired me, but as I got older, deciding on an enjoyable career path seemed insurmountable. Coming to FIT was an unexpected and a very spontaneous decision, but a decision I will never regret. This school has molded me into my own person and has given me the opportunity to learn what true individuality is as a designer. Challenge was something I used to fear, but now appreciate — especially as an intimate apparel student. Fashion design is a language I am truly thankful to have learned.

Jenny Lula Berntsen

Henderson, Kentucky

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision.” Ever since reading these words from Cecil Beaton at the age of 15, I have made it my mission to become a fashion designer. Studying at FIT has not only allowed me to develop my creativity but has also granted me the opportunity to be a recipient of a SAIG Scholarship and participate in the Femmy design contest in 2016. As a designer and a woman, intimate apparel challenges me to create foundations that are as playful as possible without sacrificing function, and in turn to create an environment where women can freely express themselves. The Intimate Apparel specialization has given me a strong foundation of couture techniques and the artistic skills to execute designs on a couture level. I look forward to using those skills within the fashion industry.

Diana Betances

Bronx, New York

When I was a child, my mother always advised me to follow my dreams. I knew deep in my heart that I was born to be a fashion designer. In pursuit of my dreams, I attended a specialized high school for fashion. I had the honor of attending FIT where I specialized in Intimate Apparel and my love for design grew. During my senior year at FIT, I received a very generous scholarship from the SAIG committee and had the privilege to attend the Femmy Gala where I was a finalist in the 2016 Femmy Design Contest. I learned tremendously from the Intimate Apparel program. I learned to work at an advanced level to make my designs come to life and help women feel confident and beautiful. These are skills that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I look forward to becoming an intimate apparel designer.

Maria Coleiro

Msida, Malta

Fashion has always been a love of mine, and I was fortunate to go on an exciting journey because of it. A few years ago, I left my home in the Mediterranean to take on life in America and pursue my dream of fashion design. Attending FIT has been the one of the most colorful chapters of my life. I feel honored to study with other students on an international level. It has been a great platform to compete and see how far I can push myself. The Intimate Apparel specialization resonates with me, as it gives me a sense of nostalgia and fantasy. This area of study has proven to be challenging but extremely fulfilling. I am now ready to further my journey and see where fashion will continue to take me.

Katie Eberle

Albany, New York

The first spark of inspiration that led me to design was a backstage tour of the Metropolitan Opera when I was 14. The care put into costuming, the use of small details to reveal the character’s story wordlessly, captivated me. My design style has evolved over time, but in choosing the Intimate Apparel specialization, I feel the spark has come full circle. The desire to make garments that are beautifully sewn, mindfully engineered for the body, and detailed enough to tell a story is now my reality thanks to the couture-level knowledge of fit and construction this program has given me. In my time at FIT, I have been a member of the Presidential Scholars, received a generous SAIG scholarship, worked for FIT Residential Life and the FIT Writing Studio, and have had two internships that further fueled my love for the industry. I can’t wait to see where the future takes me.

Dayra Galarza

Gainesville, Florida

My journey as a designer began when I asked God what was my purpose in life, and He said to be a light in the world of fashion. Since that moment, I have had no doubt in my heart that I’m fulfilling that purpose by studying intimate apparel at FIT, receiving excellent training and a SAIG scholarship. What makes me unique as a designer is my family heritage in fashion and arts. My grandfather was a suiting tailor and musician in Puerto Rico, and my entire family pursues music and arts such as photography and film. What defines me as a person is my passion and confidence to take risks and keep going. In my designs, I strive for unique beauty that reflects not just a woman’s curves, but a woman’s spirit as well. I am excited to see what my future in fashion will hold.

Anton Hoernfeldt

Ornskoldsvik, Sweden

When I was growing up in Sweden, I overcame a serious childhood illness. My recovery made me think of my Viking heritage and made me want to empower women by designing modern-day feminine armor that celebrates their natural beauty and strengthens their confidence. At FIT, I chose to specialize in Intimate Apparel because it is my belief that a perfect fit is the most integral feature of a garment, and I wanted to go into a program that would give me the technical skills needed to ensure this in every design. I have been trained on a couture level and as a result I have been very fortunate to receive scholarships from the Swedish Trade Federation, Vasternorrlands County Council in Sweden, and Helge Ax:son Johnsons foundation for artistic studies. I am very excited about becoming an intimate apparel designer.

Emily Katz

Stamford, Connecticut

Every woman deserves to feel comfortable in her own skin. During my senior year of high school I took several classes at FIT and was enamored with the idea of creating beautiful garments. I realized that I wanted to be part of a creative community that gives voice to women in order to express themselves. Here we are four years later, and I am still just as enamored with design today as I was then. I specialized in intimate apparel because it is the foundation of a woman’s wardrobe and enables a woman to see beauty in herself. I was awarded a SAIG scholarship and have been involved in the intimate apparel club here at FIT. I hope to one day create real change in this growing market of intimate apparel and express my vision, which combines beauty, craftsmanship, and innovative design.

Eun-chong (Grace) Kim

South Korea

When I was growing up, the experience of seeing beautiful ball gowns in the Disney movie “Cinderella” made me fall in love with dresses. That love led me to study fashion design. Studying intimate apparel at the Fashion Institute of Technology helped me bring my designs into reality and showed me a whole new world of beautiful lingerie. I find beauty in lace, crystals, and women’s curves. These elements motivate me to design. I think of myself as an artist and so it is crucial for me to create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece that gives me satisfaction. It has been my dream to be a person who can wrap women up in beautiful fabrics and make them look astonishing. It is a great honor to graduate as an FIT Intimate Apparel student and I look forward to the great opportunities that will come.

Rachel LeBlanc

Southbury, Connecticut

There were many nights when my mother and I sat nearly frozen in our basement as she first began teaching me how to sew. I doubt in those moments she understood how far these little lessons would take me. I was fortunate to attend FIT, where, in four years, I have accomplished much more than I imagined possible. I was able to study abroad in Florence, Italy, which challenged me both academically and culturally. Perhaps most importantly, it instilled in me a deep love and passion for lingerie, which led me to pursue a BFA in Intimate Apparel. The program has taught me to work at couture standards and fostered my creativity, helping me earn a SAIG Scholarship in spring 2015. I look forward to graduating so that I may begin applying my specialized skills to our esteemed industry.

Laura Leong

Cupertino, California

I have always been fascinated by the notion of creating something tangible out of an abstract idea. I am particularly drawn to intimate apparel and all its possibilities of creating luxurious, statement-making pieces with so much intricacy and attention to detail. Through the Intimate Apparel design program at FIT, I have cultivated a specialized skill set that I am excited to utilize and develop while working in the industry. Two significant moments thus far have been receiving a generous SAIG Scholarship and placing third in the 2016 Femmy design contest. I am very grateful for the support I’ve received from the Underfashion Club and the intimate apparel industry in general. I want to bring together my love and knowledge of design and the importance of social consciousness. I plan to emphasize the human interconnectedness of the global fashion industry as I start my career.

Valerie Lopez

Landing, New Jersey

Growing up, I was extremely close to my mother. She loved anything that had to do with arts and crafts. I remember helping her out with a couple of projects and that’s when I realized my love for creating things. As I got older, I started to develop my love for fashion. I made my way to FIT where I was accepted into the one-year associate program. I continued into the bachelor’s program, which has given me the opportunity to work at a couture level. I have been extremely fortunate to not only be in the Intimate Apparel program but to be a recipient of a SAIG Scholarship and the Arthur R. Rolofo Scholarship and a second-place winner in the Femmy Design Contest 2016. FIT has truly molded me into the designer I want to be in the intimate apparel industry.

Alexandra Mitchell

Glen Head, New York

My exploration of fashion design began when I took a sewing course in high school and fell in love with garment construction. I immediately signed up for summer sessions at FIT to learn from knowledgeable industry professionals. Those classes were a great opportunity to learn of the precise details that go into creating a garment, and I was then inspired to pursue fashion design as a career. Lingerie has always been an incredible source of inspiration for my designs throughout my FIT experience. The opportunity to specialize in intimate apparel felt like the stars were aligning. The knowledge I’ve gained from the Intimate Apparel specialization has prepared me for many aspects of what to expect in the industry after graduation. I look forward to seeing the evolution of my designs and experiencing where my design journey will go.

Kimberly Paley

Woodmere, New York

My childhood was filled with creative pursuits: crafting tissue-paper dresses with materials from my mom’s sewing box, writing short stories, and starting my own costume jewelry business. At age 6, I attended a light opera, The Pirates of Penzance, in FIT’s Haft Auditorium. Upon learning that students had designed the costumes, I recall thinking that FIT was the place for me. Now I am a senior, specializing and excelling in intimate apparel. This program has not only prepared me for the industry with technical skills, but has also taught me couture-level execution while incorporating my unique design perspective. I am a recipient of a SAIG Scholarship, and have had the honor of being the first-prize winner in the prestigious 2016 Femmy Design Contest. I look forward to entering the intimate apparel industry in order to fulfill my dream as a designer.

Yohely Salazar

New York, New York

Fashion design has always intrigued me, especially looking at my mother and father’s acute attention to detail when dressing. They instilled in me a love of fashion and presentation. But it was my mother’s collection of beautifully intricate stockings in particular that drove me, years later, to the Intimate Apparel program at FIT. As an Intimate Apparel student, I was blessed with the opportunity to be a SAIG scholarship recipient. The idea of creating beautiful nothings to both inspire and uplift women of all shapes and sizes is what inspires me personally. When I design honestly, I like to think that I am creating something that will add to a woman’s self-perception, giving her a beautiful secret of her own every time she gets dressed.

Alicia Scinto

Massapequa, New York

The life of a fashion designer is an adventure sparked by one’s own imagination. When I design, my journey begins with that first stroke of the pencil. I look forward to pursuing a career in intimate apparel, as I will have the opportunity to provide women with garments that make them feel good about themselves and motivate their self esteem. I know the path that I have chosen will be filled with many challenges but I feel my training at FIT will enable me to excel in the industry. Receiving a SAIG scholarship and participating in the Femmy Design Contest made me very grateful for the opportunities I have received at FIT. I feel that my dreams can become a reality with hard work and determination, and I look forward to working in the intimate apparel industry as a designer.

Samantha Simione

New Jersey

At a young age, I felt destined to be a fashion designer. Whenever I visited a store I was never satisfied with the designs and always pondered ways they could improve. I started tinkering and taught myself to sew at the age of 12. By middle school, I requested sewing lessons for my birthday. In high school, I joined anything fashion-related, including FIT pre-college classes. When I finally attended college at FIT, I discovered my keen eye for detail and all things technical. It was then that I knew I wanted to join the Intimate Apparel specialization. Intimate apparel for me is a way women can express themselves: accentuate what they want to show and conceal what they don’t. I am more than excited to become part of the intimate apparel industry and express my vision of beauty through innovative designs.

Cara Smith

Beacon, New York

Being a creative person is not always easy, but it is extremely rewarding to achieve a creative goal. There is no other feeling like it. My love for beautiful clothing and artistry led me to where I am today. My great-grandmother was a seamstress from Italy, which is part of the reason I chose to study abroad in Florence, Italy. In my travels, I became inspired by the intimate apparel in Europe. I am grateful to have gotten the opportunity to study in the intimate apparel program and perfect my craft by learning and executing couture-level techniques. I hope to take my skills and bring them into the world of theater. To bring characters to life and tell their stories through costume design would be exhilarating.

Rebecca Victor

Centreville, Virginia

My journey began when I decided to move to New York to pursue fashion design at FIT. Living in a small town, I always loved what the city has to offer and it has been my overall inspiration. Throughout my time at FIT, I have learned not only what I like to design, but what I don’t like. When it was time to decide my specialization, I had only one choice in mind: Intimate Apparel. I am very grateful to be a recipient of a SAIG Scholarship along with being a Femmy 2016 finalist. These amazing opportunities that I will now carry with me throughout my career wouldn’t have come without this specialization. Intimate Apparel presents challenges like trying to incorporate one-of-a-kind detail onto a small canvas that’s also functional. Once a challenge is accomplished, that is what makes me truly feel rewarded as a designer.

Amber Younghans

Boca Raton, Florida, and Clark, New Jersey

As a young girl, I watched my grandmother sew custom-made outfits for both me and my stuffed animals. Seeing my grandmother’s beautiful creations come to life inspired me to make my own little custom outfits for my stuffed animals out of ribbons and Velcro. This sparked my interest in pursuing a career in fashion when I got older. FIT has always been my dream school, a dream that has given me more than I have ever thought possible. Since starting at FIT I found my love for intimate apparel, and I have mastered many advanced and innovative techniques in the Intimate Apparel specialization. It is a program that goes above and beyond for the students choosing this path. I have been awarded two generous scholarships: the SAIG scholarship and the Stan Filovich scholarship donated by Josie Natori. I am so grateful, proud, and honored to become an FIT graduate.

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