One of the things I love about American culture is that people are encouraged to follow their passion as a career. Career is not merely seen as a way to generate economic resources as is the norm in many Asian cultures. Instead, one is encouraged to pursue a career that will help him/her realize his/her true potential. This is why I am empowered to pursue a career in fashion which has been my true passion since I was quite young.

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I still remember preferring to designing clothes for my Barbie dolls myself instead of buying clothing accessories at the toy stores. Even as a child, I understood that clothes are a window into one’s personality and style philosophy. My design inspirations come from almost every imaginable source whether it was a beautiful park near my house, the tall buildings in Hong Kong’s downtown area, the children TV shows, and even the animals I would see in the zoo. Thus, when I read Coco Chanel’s quote, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” I knew what she had meant to say.

Coming to New York has been one of the best decisions I have made in my life. The city inspires you and boosts your imagination and creativity like few other cities do. First of all, the city has a vibrant arts and culture scene which allows you to interact with many others who share your passion. In addition, there is no shortage of cultural experiences whether festivals, food, architecture or theater. There is a reason it is one of the fashion centers of the world and home to one of the finest fashion institutes in the form of FIT. FIT is also a major reason why I decided to attend a community college in NYC as a fine art student so that I could strengthen my foundation before transferring to FIT.

I understand academic background is not alone sufficient to prepare for the demanding curriculum at FIT, thus, I have also gained valuable experience as a retail intern at Anna Sui. In addition to being an intern at Anna Sui, I am also an e-commerce sales associate at Aritzia, a fashion boutique company. These experiences have helped me better understand the commercial side of fashion and how fashion companies are leaner and more agile now, to cope with the changes in the external environment. They have also become more responsive to their customers so that they could enhance brand loyalty in addition to being at the leading edge of fashion trends.

In an ideal world, fashion will be treated as an art, with little or no concern for commercial potential. When I talk about fashion as an art, I often visualize couture collections by brands. But in real world, fashion brands need to create practical fashion to generate financial resources so that they could ensure their long-term survival. This is why I have decided to major in Fashion Merchandising and Management so that I could help fashion brands efficiently manage their operations and help them respond to current and emerging trends in a timely fashion. The competition has been growing and fashion brands have no choice but to become leaner so that they could quickly evolve with the changes in consumers’ preferences and lifestyles. I am also suited to this position because I am an acute observer. While data can help us answer certain questions, identifying and predicting trends is not an exact science but a mixture of science and art.

I am an ideal candidate for FIT because not only I have academic background in the field of fashion but also work experiences. In addition, I will bring my unique cultural perspectives into classrooms. As a native of Hong Kong who has lived in the U.S. for quite a while, I have a strong understanding of both eastern and western cultures which will benefit my fellow students.