They say it takes a village to raise a child, and perhaps no institution practices that creed better than the public school system. That said, we're particularly inspired by New York City's High School of Fashion Industries, and its commitment to grooming fashion's next big things. The school has had many lives—it was originally an institution where immigrants could learn the craft of pattern making and needlework, later became the home of the Fashion Institute of Technology before the college moved to 27th Street, and now is one of the top 25 high schools in the country. It provides a complete academic curriculum, including honors and AP classes across all liberal arts, math, and sciences, but also specializes in preparing students for all facets of the fashion industry, from designing and styling to marketing and business-related careers.
We are so impressed (and our 16-year old selves are slightly jealous) by the hands-on opportunities afforded to the students at this prestigious school, thanks to the devoted advisory board, of which AHAcurator Jeremy Bergstein is a member. (Watch Jeremy's accompanying audio slideshow to get a peek inside the school and read his enlightening profile by clicking on the link above.) There is the career day where students can mingle with fashion industry elite, a senior fashion show allowing students to showcase their best work, and a growing internship program where select students can get industry experience ahead of the competition.
The real spirit of the school, though, is undeniably the teachers who pour their hearts into educating and mentoring the students, and the students who pour their hearts into their work. (Meet recent grad, Kyle Lucas, in the accompanying AHAlife slideshow.) The school is comprised of some of the most talented, multicultural teens in tri-state area, all of whom go through a rigorous admission process. Unlike many New York City public schools, students from all five boroughs and New Jersey can attend, family income has no bearing on admission, and over 80 percent of the class graduates each year.
Inspired? Yeah, so are we. So let's talk about what we can do to help. The school is in need of various supplies to keep up with the pace of the fashion industry. The photography program, which partners with New York's International Center for Photography is in need of various supplies including: three digital SLR cameras, three iMac computers, three Adobe Lightroom software programs, and six iPads. Some of the school's sewing machines are Singers from the 1940's—cool and vintage, yes, but in dire need of an upgrade. The internship program is always in need of industry contacts, fashion leaders and entrepreneurs willing to extend a hand.
Help give the students of the High School of Fashion Industries the opportunity to lead the charge in the next wave of fashion and creative innovation. Click here to support the launch of the HSFI Digital Media Lab. Contact Keith Garcia to support the internship program and for other contributions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And remember, giving back is always in style.
High School of Fashion Industries
from New York City, NY