Throughout the semester I have found out that several of my teachers are admissions advisors. The system for acceptance at FIT for fashion design is actually quite impressive!
Had you chosen to send your application via the internet like most applicants, your portfolio will be assigned to 2 judges, one for design and one for art. There are atleast 50 judges who sign up each application period to be on the judging panel, so there is no fuss about finding THAT nasty admissions advisor who rejected you. Each judge is assigned a set amount of applications to review and grade, and then once reviewed from a design judge the application is sent to a second judge from the art department. SO, your application is reviewed TWICE… and from what I was told, each judges spend about 15 minutes on reviewing every application. That is a far cry from the 15 second flip through of standard schools!
So what are they looking for?
There is a list each judge is given of things to grade on, however every judge is impressed by different things. The most important thing I was told is your ability to follow directions. Did you follow EACH and EVERY direction just as they were explained to you. I have heard many a times that applications were thrown out on minor errors for all fairness. So make sure you label everything correctly, interperet every direction with common sense and DON’T assume you can do anything.
Second, are you teachable? They will be looking to see if you have enough strength in your application to keep from falling behind your first semester. Does your portfolio look too hastily put together or does it look like you care about it? Can you comprehend instruction easily? Is there a sense that you care about the presentation of your portfolio? Do you understand the basics of garment construction? Do you have enough of a sense of drawing that it can be improved upon? Do you even have taste in your style? Do you know what a croqui is?
For these things I would definitely recommend trying out a few patterns before beginning the application to help yourself get a sense of what a garment looks like. Try your best to find some sort of fashion sketching guide to work from. Google some sketches of current designers and try your best to get to a portfolio day before you apply.
Two points I want to make:
1. If you do not understand the basics you WILL fall behind at this school. The pace is extreme, and dropouts happen. Don’t expect anyone to sit down and teach you what a bobbin is while everyone else is beginning to drape skirts. Do yourself a favor and prepare as much as you can ahead of time so your first semester will be easy. Don’t fall behind because there is no domino effect worse than at this school. You will have a hell of a time catching up.
2. Don’t be discouraged if you get rejected. I have several students in my 25 student block who were accepted on their third try, some of the better students in my class! It may not mean anything about your talent. It may just be minor errors or lack or readiness. Try again, and if you are ever concerned about why you were rejected you can always call to find out the email of your advisors and ask.
Good luck 🙂