Recent alum Olivia Hannigan returned to her alma mater to speak with Huntington High School fashion and design program students about her experiences at Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan.
Ms. Hannigan graduated from high school last June after starring in Huntington’s fashion program. “Olivia came to talk to my fashion classes about her experiences as a fashion design student at FIT,” said art teacher Kim Valerio, who leads the fashion program.
The college freshman brought along examples of her FIT fashion projects to show Ms. Valerio’s classes. “My Fashion II and III students were very happy to see Olivia again,” the veteran teacher said. “As my fashion intern last year, Olivia worked with most of them, helping and inspiring them. Several students later told me how much they had missed her.”
Huntington freshman who are taking the Fashion I course were fascinated by Ms. Hannigan’s presentation, asking many questions about her college experiences. “It was a wonderful presentation for all,” Ms. Valerio said.
“One of New York City’s premier public institutions, FIT is an internationally recognized college for design, fashion, art, communications and business,” according to the college’s website. “We’re known for our rigorous, unique, and adaptable academic programming, experiential learning opportunities, academic and industry partnerships and commitment to research, innovation and entrepreneurship.”
Several Huntington High School alums are currently studying at SUNY FIT, which is located along Seventh Avenue at 27th Street in Manhattan. The college enrolls nearly 10,000 undergraduates.
Kim Valerio Profile
A graduate of Harborfields High School, Ms. Valerio obtained an undergraduate degree at Parsons School of Design in Manhattan. After working for many years in graphic arts, mostly in New York City, she returned to college and obtained a master’s degree at Long Island University/ CW Post.
Ms. Valerio completed her student teaching requirements in Huntington. She then worked as a substitute teacher in the district and in several surrounding districts. She was hired as a part-time art teacher in Huntington UFSD in 2010 and became full-time in 2015. Through the years she has worked in all eight buildings in the district.
Ms. Valerio teaches courses in creative crafts and fashion at Huntington High School and directs the student fashion shows at the annual district art show.
Huntington Fashion Design Program
The Huntington fashion program has attracted a fervent following over the years. Fashion Design and Illustration I students learn to illustrate the fashion figure and construct a garment from a pattern. Second year students explore draping on a fashion form and advanced illustration, creating a garment from their own design.
The third level “tilts” toward the business of fashion and producing a portfolio of illustrations and designs that expresses a personal style and high level of competence. Students create a fashion magazine, understand the workings of the merchandising and management side of the fashion and have hands-on experience producing the annual fashion show.
Portfolio Development is designed for students interested in studying art in college. “This is an exciting course that allows all art majors to develop a professional portfolio of their art work,” according to the Huntington High School course guide. “Quality rather than quantity is stressed, for this course can assist you in gaining acceptance into an art college. Visits from various colleges as well as professionals in diverse art careers will be arranged.”
For more information about the fashion program contact Ms. Valerio at [email protected].