Alumni Spotlight

Jane Kennedy

Jane Kennedy

Class Of 1999

Why FIT? Because FIT teaches real, hands-on skills along with the nurturing of creative ideas. And I wanted to be in NYC!

Major? Fashion Design with a specialization in Illustration

After FIT? I worked as an on-set tailor for photo shoots for magazine covers and ad campaigns before becoming a fashion illustrator.

What experiences led you to who you are today?  Lots of bouncing around. I took a break from fashion to work as a motorcycle mechanic and a metal fabricator. Also worked for a well-known fine artist, in a craft shop making theatre costumes, and doing design and patterning projects for the US Armed Forces, which is less fashion design and more engineering. I guess I know a little bit about a lot of things, but I believe it makes me a completely different person than if I had stayed on one path my entire life.

Daily routine? Walk my dogs, work, walk dogs, work, walk dogs, work. Sleep.

Any memorable event or professor you’d like to share about FIT? I cherish my experience at Polimoda in Florence Italy my second year. Also, my first year fashion illustration instructor, had a huge influence on me falling in love with illustration. She was an amazing instructor and is an incredible artist.

Where are you from? And how did this shape the person you are today? I’m from a small town in Northern California. I never felt I fit in there. From the very first day I moved to NYC I felt I had come HOME! Sounds corny, but it’s true. My parents are from Brooklyn and Jersey so maybe that’s part of the reason California never clicked for me.

If you could translate your style into a person, place or thing what would it be? Maybe Coney Island…. Fun, colorful, diverse, a little grungy, but never predictable.

What do you find that sparks creativity? Letting my mind wander. People don’t do this much nowadays, but starring out the window while on public transportation is one of my favorite times to be creative and problem solve. I get tons of ideas like this. And it’s why I don’t have a smart phone. I think it would kill my creative/ zone out time. And it messes with the ability to focus.

What three things you can’t live without? I can live without anything. I’m very adaptable. But I’m miserable without sugar, heat, and horsepower.

Future projects you are working on? I’m about to start work on illustrations for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2016. Also trying to get my online print ship open in the next couple months.

Advice to spring graduates? Work extremely hard and be humble. There’s no replacement for hard work in getting to where you want to be. And being humble sounds boring, especially when we’re told to “market yourself” on social media and “fake it till you make it”. But being honestly humble (not talking about the humble brag here) opens you up to learning and it makes people want to teach you and help you and see you succeed. 

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