The Fashion Design Program at NassauCommunity College was introduced in 1989. A two-year AAS degree program, courses include draping, patternmaking, garment construction, fashion art, fashion history, textiles as well as liberal arts. Our students are trained in a fully equipped design lab featuring the latest fashion industry machines and equipment. Donations by textile and trim manufacturers allow students the experience of working in fabrics available in industry.
Prior to acceptance into the Fashion Design Program, the Design faculty meet with each perspective student for a portfolio review. The portfolio interview (see FAQs) is designed to determine the student’s compatibility with this area of study. Each student must demonstrate the creative talent necessary to succeed in this competitive field. This process provides the student with an introduction to the Fashion Design program and acquaints them with the curriculum. The aim of the portfolio interview is to discuss the work involved, with an emphasis on the time commitment required to successfully accomplish the requirements of the degree. Students better suited for an alternative to the Fashion Design program are advised to pursue Fashion Buying and Merchandising as a major.
To prepare students for 7th Avenue, the Fashion Design students showcase their designs at an annual fashion show. This professionally staged runway presentation highlights the designs of the fourth semester students. The fourth semester students design a line of five garments featured in the show. A select group of student designs from the first and third semesters may also be included. Held in the NCC College Center Building, the entire show from music to modeling is a collaborative effort of the students involved. Alumni, employed on Seventh Avenue at some of the industry’s top design firms attend the fashion show to network and recruit. As a way to introduce our program to area high school students, fashion and art students from Nassau and Suffolk high schools are invited to attend. A photomontage shown at the show demonstrates the Fashion Design students at work in the process of designing their garments. Each year in an effort to promote new talent, scholarships are awarded to the best Fashion Design students in the fourth semester classes. The designs are judged by fashion and art faculty and selected based on the student’s innovative approach and the effectiveness of their collections. The awards are presented for excellence in design.
As a required part of their course of study, during their final semester at the college, the student is placed in full-time six week internships. Over the past two years between 30% and 40% have been hired by those firms after completing their internships. Over the last 19 years we have had our graduates employed at some of the most prestigious firms on 7th Avenue. They include: Anne Klein, Necessary Objects, Ron Chereskin, Shoshanna, Perry Ellis, Cynthia Rowley, Anna Sui, Cynthia Steffe, Alfred Dunner, Liz Clarborne, Victoria’s Secret, Jones New York, Tracey Reese, Betsey Johnson, Sears/KMart, Macy’s and INC.
Important to a well rounded education, students are encouraged to get involved in community projects to help the world around them. In an effort to raise awareness of women’s health issues and promote National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the students design “Bras for Breast Cancer Awareness”. Each student designs and titles a bra to promote breast cancer awareness. The bras were exhibited at both the College and Roosevelt Field Mall. A number of students have chosen to raffle their Bras to benefit the American Cancer Society Research Foundation and Design Innovators Scholarship Fund. The first two years this project raised $1700.
For eleven years, students designed for “Bear Couture”. The students designed outfits for teddy bears and each bear was paired with a gift or gift certificate. The Couture bears were auctioned off at the Walt Whitman and Roosevelt Field Malls. A portion of the proceeds raised from this fundraiser were donated to the Make A Wish Foundation. During those eleven years over $40,000 was raised.
Our students have designed for Levi’s 501 Project, an off shoot of the reality show “Project Runway”. These designs were critiqued by Tim Gunn himself when he visits NCC as the fashion industry guest speaker, spring 07.
The Fashion Design Area has two student activity clubs, The Design Innovators and Museum Club. Both groups focus on student enrichment by providing special events and industry field trips that serve to develop a sense of community among the students as well as enhance of their career goals. The Design Innovators Club holds workshops and demonstrations on fabric painting, fashion beading, How To Design a Tote and sew fingerless gloves. Fundraisers include jewelry, accessories and bake sales. As part of the college wide AIDS Awareness Day at NCC our students participate with a demonstration of how to sew a panel for the Aids Quilt. The Aids Quit is displayed in the Phys Ed Complex each year. Student attended the Annual Career Day sponsored by Fashion Group International held at FIT. And visit museum exhibits and the garment industry while in New York City. Students participate in community fundraisers to support the local businesses, make professional connections and apply their talents for good causes. In the past, students have participated in The Evening of Giving Fundraiser at Roosevelt Field & Walt Whitman Malls, Holiday Ball, and The U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Drive, and Business Wardrobe Workshop/Dress for Success Clothing Drive. Additional volunteer projects include K.I.D.S. (Kids in Distressed Situations). This charity solicits new clothing for disadvantaged children. We approached them offering student designed one of a kind garments. We participated for three years and were the only design college involved.
To supplement their studies, the club has sponsored The Annual Alumni Breakfast welcoming our alumni back to NassauCommunity College as guest speakers. Our alumni are proud to discuss their fashion careers and share their success stories. And additionally, provide information on current trends and review the students’ portfolios.
In addition to enhancing their college studies, special student activities and fashion related events serve to inspire and stimulate the students’ creativity.
Draping & Design I APD-101
Draping & Design II APD-102
Draping & Design III APD-103
Design Studio APD-104
Garment Construction APD-120
Flat Pattern APD-110
Fashion Apparel Design Internship APD-142
Fashion Seminar FBM-160
Visual Merchandising FBM-109
Fashion Merchandising Internship FBM-142