It Starts on 27th

By: Bria Lloyd

Attending a school as prestigious as the Fashion Institute of Technology gives students several amazing opportunities. One of my personal favorites is listening to the guest speakers that come to our school.

Over the years, FIT has invited many fashion industry icons to share their stories with us. They inspire always continue to inspire us. In the past two weeks alone, I was able to listen to Joe Zee and Essie Weingarten. Both of them happened to once be students at FIT. Hearing what they have to say assures us that miracles do  happen on 27th St.

Last week I visited our Barnes and Noble to hear the fabulous Zee speak at his book signing. That’s What Fashion Is discusses his journey in the industry and explains how even though fashion may appear to be glamorous, there’s a lot of hard work behind it.

Zee made major strides during his time at FIT by revamping our school newspaper and changing the name to W27. He is well-known for his many years as a creative director of Elle magazine. Currently, he is the Editor-in-Chief of Yahoo Style and is starring in a new TV show, FABLife.

He’s a humble, inspiring, and dedicated man who is always ready take on new challenges.


Recently, I had a chance to listen to Essie Weingarten, founder of Essie cosmetics, speak in the Katie Murphy Amphitheatre of FIT.

Her story began when she was 25. After saving up to 10,000 dollars, she took her time to find the perfect chemist to create a no-chip, longwearing nail polish. She then voyaged to Las Vegas to start getting her product out there and it history was made.  Weingarten taught us the lesson that it’s important to learn from other people and that there’s no progress without mistakes.

She’s put so much hard work into her business 24/7. From finding the perfect glass bottle to building her brand and then spending time coming up with the perfect names for her nail colors, her efforts are high.

Weingarten is truly a woman’s best friend. Today she has sold her company to L’Oreal and is moving on the next thing that comes her way. She is a charismatic, hardworking, driven and inspiring woman.

Having the chance to hear the experience of successful people in the industry is truly motivating  and incredibly helpful. With the all of the wonderful opportunities we are given at FIT, we should take full advantage of them.

These are the learning tools we will need to carry us on to our future careers. Thank you to all of the speakers that take time out our lives to share their journey with us.