I participated in Fashion Institute of Technology’s Precollege program this year. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and I cannot wait to share it with you. This post will give you information about what precollege is, the specific classes I took, how to get involved and more! Feel free to comment below if you have any questions after reading this post, I am more than happy to answer! 

1. What is precollege?

Precollege is, generally speaking, a program run by college professors at a specific college, offering classes for high school students. It gives students a way to get a feel for the campus and see if they really like it, and also it helps show students get a little sample of what their college classes will be like. Most precollege programs are run throughout the summer (like the Drexel one I am attending this July!) but since FIT is such an accessible school for a wide range of people (NJ, NY, CT) they offer programs during the school year on weekends. 

… and Specifically at FIT?

At FIT, precollege is all about giving students a sample of the fashion industry and a taste of what FIT college courses are like. Through lectures, tours, projects, field trips and more, students get a hands on experience with real FIT professors. 

My Experience: 

1. Saturday LIVE Program, Fall 2013: In Store Merchandising Techniques

This class was all about visual merchandising and branding. For our first project, we had to create a tablescape (aka a mini window display) for shoes.Our first class was an introduction to precollege, the course and fashion/ visual merchandising in general. The second class, we took a field trip to Macy’s, H&M, Victoria’s Secret and Forever 21 to get a hands on experience and examples of how visual merchandising works. The next few weeks after that were devoted to working on our project. 

My boss at work was kind enough to lend me a pair of beautiful heels she had bought for a wedding– black heels with a pearl ankle strap and a bow! My inspiration for the tablescape was New York City, and after countless sketches, I came up with the perfect layout. I made a three dimensional city skyline out of foam core (with two layers of city skylines), painted the tops of the buildings red and sprinkled glitter down the tops of the buildings. On the skyline in front, I put a quote printed on vinyl: “With the right pair of shoes, a girl can do anything”, in red to match the tops of the buildings. As for the shoes, they were sitting on top of the buildings on either side of the Empire State Building. This project was SO much fun to make. Here’s the final product!

The second, and final project that I did in my fall precollege class was a Spring 2014 Style Guide for a brand of my choice. Naturally, I chose J. Crew. Since it was November at the time, I referred to‘s runway recap of the J.Crew line and from there I noted popular trends, colors etc. I also had to style an “inspired” mannequin which encompassed some of the major trends in the presentation. Here’s the presentation & mannequin below! 

Some pictures of my friends and I throughout our fall semester: 

This was our entire class, only 6 people– perfect class size for so many hands on projects because we always got so much personal instruction from our professor. Not to mention we all became such close friends! 

2. Workshop Program, Spring 2014: Passion for Fashion Styling 

This spring, I did a workshop which is a little different than the Saturday Live classes. The workshops are full days in length (9:30 am- 4:30 pm with 12:30-1:30 for lunch) for 4 weeks. Even though the class was ultimately shorter than the Live class I did in the fall, it is exactly what I needed. I am super busy in the spring with finals, dance recital, work, etc. so it was a perfect dose of FIT without taking up as many weekends where I am busier with other things. 

Our first project was a group project styling a pair of shoes and/ or handbag.We also had to come up with an overall theme of the photoshoot. My group chose our theme to be pastels since it was the beginning of the spring season when we were doing the project. I volunteered my Kate Spade Beau Bag and my friend volunteered a pair of Michael Kors heels. For the second half of class that day, our class went on a field trip to Mood, Joey’s and a few other stores on 27th street to buy some props and accessories for our shoot. Here’s how it turned out:

For our second project, we had to pick a celebrity and style them for a day of appearances based on their profession. I chose Lauren Conrad and styled her for a press junket promoting her books, Style & Beauty. First, I created a mood board which encompassed Lauren Conrad’s style and the look I envisioned her wearing. 

Next, our “homework” was to create 2-4 outfits for our celebrities on Polyvore, which was the final part of our project. My first outfit for Lauren is a Good Morning America appearance. She is wearing a simple white button down, a super fun Marc Jacobs navy and pink plaid-ish skirt. I paired this with simple nude Tory Burch flats, a pearl necklace with a pink bow and some sunnies. 

For her evening look at an exclusive book release party, I styled Lauren wearing a Prabal Gurung top, which I actually changed on Polyvore into a crop top, and paired it with a midi skirt with a sheer stripe at the bottom. She would wear black pumps and an envelope clutch. 

We spent the morning of our last class sharing our projects, and our afternoon was spent with our final project, styling our friends! We were partnered up by our professor and brought in clothes and styled each other’s outfits and had a mini photoshoot. You can take a look at how my photoshoot turned out here

Here’s a picture of my friends and I took after our last class with our certificates! 


Overall, my experience this year at FIT was amazing. I learned so much about the fashion industry which only got me even more excited for what the future holds. I also would not trade the unforgettable friendships I made and amazing professors I had the privilege of learning from for anything! It got me one step closer to my ultimate dream of working in fashion, and I could not be more thankful and excited for that. Precollege not only taught me so many valuable lessons in fashion, but it also encouraged me to continue to follow my dreams!I recommend taking a precollege program there if you have the chance. Feel free to approach me with any questions you have about the program! 

          What are you doing to follow your dreams? Comment below!  

xoxo, Nicole

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