Written by Emily J. Cappiello, Hicksville@AntonNews.com Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
Hicksville native Jae Lee recently rose to the top of his senior class at New York Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), winning the Critic Award for sportswear. But fashion wasn’t the path that Lee originally chose.
In high school, Lee excelled in art classes and thought that he wanted to go to college and major in fine arts. However, he said, it was while watching an episode of “Project Runway” that he had a revelation. “All of a sudden I was thinking that it was something I could/should do and that’s what kind of led to it,” he said. He made up his mind that he was going to apply to fashion school and enlisted the help of one of his art teachers in school to help him. “We really scrambled and put together this presentation in about two weeks, where other people, I’m sure, worked on theirs for months,” he said. Lee said that when he went to present his portfolio, he didn’t think the meeting went well at all. “Everyone was really well prepared,” he said. But, he admitted, it must have gone better than he thought, because he was accepted to FIT.
Fast forward four years and Lee began working on FIT’s Critic Award, an award that everyone in the class is eligible for. “In senior year especially, everyone is so talented. It pushes you to work harder, but it definitely makes you insecure to see the talent that surrounds you. There were moments when I questioned my designs, but my friends and my teachers were just telling me, ‘Jae, make what you make in the best way you can,’ and that’s what I did,” he said.
When he first met with the critic, he wasn’t sure that she liked his designs at all. “I was disappointed after the first meeting,” he said. “But once she saw the garments, that’s when I think she changed her view,” he said. Lee went to work making the pieces the best way that he could, often staying at school until 2 a.m. to get things done, and followed the critic’s advice when it came to refining his designs. “Fashion school is a lot of physical work and a lot of hours,” he said, “but you have to love it.”
All the hard work paid off when a friend said to him, “I want to be the first to congratulate you on your award!” Not knowing and not believing he could have won, he went to check and found out that he was, in fact, the winner of the FIT Critic Award.
“I was in shock. The shock was so, so big that I couldn’t even call my family right away,” he said. His winning design was featured on “The Future of Fashion” — FIT’s annual end-of-year runway show.
After college, Lee is looking forward to taking the summer “off” to finish his award-winning line and create a lookbook, and has dreams of moving to Europe to work in high-end fashion. However, no matter what he does, he said that the unwavering support system that surrounds him will always be a reason for him to continue to excel in his career path. “Especially in the fashion industry, having support from the people around you is really important. My parents have sacrificed a lot for me, for my dreams and aspirations, and I really can’t thank them enough. My family, friends, colleagues, and professors —without them, I honestly believe I wouldn’t be where I am today, so I definitely want to thank them for their support and guidance,” he said.
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 00:00
In today’s ever diversifying world, knowing another language can be a huge asset. Lupe Beatriz Urquizo has been teaching Spanish to children at the Hicksville Public Library for the past 14 years. The library offers these free lessons to youngsters ages five to 14 most Saturdays throughout the year.
“I believe all of us remember our good teachers and our bad teachers," said Urquizo. “There have been teachers in my life that have touched my soul. They were an inspiration to me and I want to give that same motivation to the children I teach."
Saturday, 08 March 2014 00:00
Typically Asian cuisine is not associated with dessert and pastries so I was delighted by the deliciousness of the breads and pastries I found at Canaan Bakery and Cafe in Hicksville. Savory and sweet buns, Danish and Korean pastries, cookies and very good coffee can be enjoyed at the café, which is located at the entrance of the H&Y Supermarket. This is the Nassau County outpost of the four Canaan bakeries—the other three are in Flushing.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 09:40
Hicksville’s Matthew Sloan faced off against the best young soccer players in the world recently, as he traveled to Turkey with the Olympic Developmental Program.
The Hicksville High School freshman started playing soccer when he was three and advanced his game to a more competitive level at age 10, when he was chosen to play with the Long Island Rough Riders. Sloan plays other sports and is on the boys basketball team, but says that he loves soccer because of the fast pace, and because of the coaches who have had a great influence on him throughout his training.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 09:45
The Hicksville Middle School Kickline claimed victory again recently at the Scholastic Kickline Competition held at Nassau Community College. The team competed against top kickline teams and placed second in hip hop, third in pom and third in kick. County legislator Rose Walker, an honorary Hicksville Kickline team member, supported the girls at the competition. The middle school kickline team’s season began in September, and includes dancing at football and basketball games and competing in three tourneys. Their last competition of the season was March 2 at Nassau Community College. The girls are coached by Hicksville kickline alumni Katelyn Heuser, Victoria Shannon and Laura Bueche.