In June, FIT celebrated its fifth year at the State University of New York (SUNY) Korea while SUNY Korea itself marked its 10th anniversary. The campus, situated near Seoul in the high-tech city of Songdo, held special events to recognize the occasion and FIT administrators from New York’s main campus joined in the celebration.
The activities included an academic symposium featuring a session co-moderated by Shannon Maher, dean of the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology (in collaboration with Jon Longtin, interim dean and professor of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Stony Brook University) on the topic of “Engineering and Fashion: Collaboration and Synergistic Future of SUNY Korea”; a fashion show featuring 19 garments created by graduates of the Fashion Design AAS program in Korea; the opening of the Merchandising Society Club’s Retail Revolution store (an Experiential Learning Lab, developed by FIT’s Fashion Business Management department); a series of internal meetings with SUNY Korea students, staff, and faculty; and an external meeting with the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) commission. Professor Leonard Bess, director of FIT’s programs at SUNY Korea and chair of the International Program, also discussed research from the ongoing SUNY Korea Dye Garden project. Information about these collaborative research projects was presented within the context of unconventional and innovative problem solving.
In August 2017, FIT became the second SUNY institution to offer degree programs at SUNY Korea in Songdo (Stony Brook University was the first). SUNY is the first American university in South Korea and is also SUNY’s first global campus outside of the United States.
The FIT programs being offered in South Korea are Fashion Design and Fashion Business Management―two signature curricula of the college―leading to the Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree. (Catch the work of the 2022 Fashion Design graduates in this exhibition video.) These programs reflect the college’s historical commitment to providing industry-ready graduates for the fashion industry and its related businesses. Fashion Design is one of the earliest programs ever offered by the college; the Fashion Business Management program is the oldest and largest program of its kind in the United States, providing students a comprehensive business curriculum focused on the fashion industry.
FIT’s location in Korea makes it the college’s third location abroad along with FIT in Italy in Milan and in Florence, and extends the institution’s global reach, giving the college a footprint in Asia.