I went to the fashion institute of technology for my BfA in illustration. I also got my AAS in fashion illustration. Its so strange to imagine that was real career in the olden days. My professors waffled between acring like we currently were in the 1960s and that we were all studying for a hobby degree. The truth is most of them hadent had an illustration job in so many years. Of course there are exceptions but for now im just going to mention those that get seem to stop mentioning the olden days.
In the olden days someone with drawing skills was a hot commodity. You could get hired by a department store to draw fashion illustrations 9-5 that woud be used as graphic visual merchandising and point if purchase signs. A new item eoild come in and it would be able to be photographed so you would advertise its wearability with a fashion illustration. Also all magazines and newspapers -yesteryear’s smartphones- needed what photography couldn’t do.
This golden era of illustration lasted a few years and then it ended when photographic technology got better. And tvs took over then the internet. So that is the life and death if fashion illustration, which is not available as a majot at FIT as of this year.
But I wouldn’t despair just yet and declare fash ill dead. If anything there has been a renaissance of it if you follow instagram and etsy trends. The market changed probably in a way no one could predict. Its no longer to advertise exsisting clothes or a fashion designers ideas. The illustration has been elevated to fine art for a home or a product. Of course the original fashion illustration the gibson girl was always being cut out of the newspaper and place as art on the wall.
So maybe it has come full circle now. The point is they cant tell us what to do or fence us in. School especially art school cannot predict what will sell or how to suceed in a business. And most of all they can end the program but the people still believe in fashion illustration.
Further reading :
Donna Karen my journey-parsons school of design dropout and fashion illustrator for a few months. Its interesting to relize she wasnt always so rich and famous and read about her life. The time she grew up in ny is very madmen in the first season.
Molly Crabapple drawing blood– FIT dropout illustration major. This was a rough read for me. She really bashes FIT to an extreme level. She’s a little older than me so it really may be true that they didnt catch up technologically …. but she didnt have to pay out of state nj tuition. She offers a brave outlook and has unpopular opinions on just about everything and i have to comend her for that. However she is very wealthy now and married to the rich artist with fabio hair who had kept her as a mistress, eventually divorcing his wife. She also travels to paris, turkey, london morocco and greece. There was a discordant ring in my ears when i read this book. I dont know if i hate or love it. Its a modern look on the illustration world, if your interested.