Featured Students and Alumni

Current Students

""Daniela Ayala is a second-year FBM student. She serves as president of the National Retail Federation Student Association (NRFSA), campus ambassador for National Retail Federation Foundation, and a member of the Merchandising Society. She is an associate buyer for the Style Shop, operated by the Merchandising Society.

One of Daniela's goals as a student is to begin building connections to learn more about buying and other areas of the fashion industry. She takes taking advantage of off-campus opportunities, such as working at events like the Manhattan Vintage Show, interning at Estheme Cashmere at Coterie, and participating in the Abercrombie and Fitch Freshman Forum. Daniela looks forward to attending the NRF Student Program and Big Show, where she will network with major companies in the retail industry.

Looking ahead, Daniela has goals of studying abroad in Florence and obtaining an internship in buying. Post-graduation, her dream is to join a large corporation such as Saks Fifth Avenue or Bloomingdale's. Her ultimate goal: to become a CEO and leader in the fashion industry. Daniela’s biggest advice for incoming students is to take advantage of all the school has to offer and to be the one to take control of your life and destiny.


""Ashley Stephenson, FBM '16, has been working as a merchant and buyer for some of the top fashion brands and retailers: Saks Fifth Avenue, Gucci, Victoria's Secret, and Macy's. She was the executive assistant and project manager to the legendary designer Dapper Dan for four years and in her current role, is an account executive at Versace managing the men's wholesale business. She has also started her own business creating personalized items for events, holidays, and gifting.

While a student, Ashley was a member and leader of BRAG FIT (Black Retail Action Group), which she says gave her a sense of community. "In most of my classes, I was the only black student. I had no idea how many other talented and creative black students also attended FIT until I sat in a BRAG club meeting," Ashley says. She served as BRAG president during her last year at FIT and says BRAG opened many doors, both before and after graduation. 

When it comes to key skills learned in the FBM program, Ashley says relationship building, professionalism, and project management are most useful in her current career. And a big career moment was assisting Dapper Dan in the design of eight custom looks for the 2019 Met Gala attendees: Bethann Hardison, 21 Savage, Omari Hardwick, Ashley Graham, Bevy Smith, Regina Hall, Karlie Kloss, and French Montana. 

You can find Ashley on Instagram: @notjustanyashley