It’s artistic professionals like Gabrielle King who are the critical success factor in today’s highly competitive apparel industry.
Growing up in Chatham, King had some great influences on going into fashion design.
“I am surrounded by very artistic people,” she says, “an older sister in fine arts, one brother in industrial design, another brother in architecture and my father, a computer programmer, likes to draw. Also my great Aunt Pat studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).”
After graduating from Chatham High School, King enrolled at County College of Morris (CCM) to earn her Associate in Fine Arts in design.
"In my 15-year tenure as a professor at CCM, few fashion students have measured up to Gabrielle’s level of performance in our demanding design program,” says Professor James Howard. “She is truly a one-of-a-kind talent whose creative genius warrants notice by the fashion world.”
After CCM, King was accepted into the highly competitive, three-year accelerated program in fashion design at FIT – one of the top educational programs in the apparel industry.
“Going to FIT, the program immerses you in the industry right there in New York City and you make a lot of valuable connections,” notes King.
Regarding her approach to fashion, King explains it grew out of a sense of frustration.
“When I went into stores and couldn’t find things that I would want to wear, I was inspired to make my own clothing. A logical next step was to learn how to create clothing that is ‘my signature,’” she says. “I also consider myself a ‘cool’ person – ‘cool’ means artsy, edgy. My designs must reflect that ‘cool’– something that makes people stop, look and notice.”
While at FIT and following her graduation, she has worked on building her hands-on apparel industry savvy in key design and internship roles with such firms as VAKKO and Yoanna Baraschi (New York City) and New Jersey’s J. Crew and Aritzia (both in Short Hills).
Her goal is to continue to develop as a designer and to eventually open her own store.
“I would like to work for individual clients – something like design of neat costumes for musicians. Five years and beyond, I would like to start my own retail store featuring the different designs of apparel I have created.”
Wilma A. Hurwitz is a business improvement specialist, whose business articles and public relations initiatives – including eight-plus years writing for the Daily Record – have made a bottom-line and image difference for more than 100 NJ businesses. An adjunct instructor with CCM’s Corporate and Community Programs, she also has designed courses in writing skills and workplace communications. She can be reached at 973-509-2985 or email@example.com.