April 12, 2014
The annual spring Fashion Show at EVIT is a highlight of the Fashion, Interiors and Design program.
Media contact: CeCe Todd, (480) 461-4032
From an eyewear and sports apparel company in Europe to the Dallas
corporate office for Fossil accessories, Candice Barringer’s fashion
design education at the East Valley Institute of Technology led to a
whirlwind of exciting career opportunities.
“Without my participation in the EVIT fashion program, I don't know
if I would have had all of the opportunities that I’ve had so far at
such a young age in my career,” said Barringer, who completed EVIT’s
Fashion Merchandising and Design program in 2009, interned at Phoenix
Art Museum, and worked for Oakley Inc. in Switzerland before moving to
Texas, where she manages accounts for Fossil. “Having thrived in the
EVIT program has set me apart from people aspiring to have careers in
the fashion industry.”
Since Barringer attended EVIT, the fashion and interior design
programs merged to form Fashion, Interiors and Textiles, a dynamic
program that teaches students the elements and principles of design,
fabrics and textiles, use of color and texture, retail theory, visual
merchandising, sewing and pattern making.
Fashion, Interiors and Textiles – or FIT, as the students and
teachers call it – is one of more than 30 occupational training programs
at EVIT currently enrolling for the 2014-15 school year. EVIT programs
are tuition-free for high school students, including charter and
home-schooled students, who reside in 10 East Valley school districts –
Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Higley, Fountain Hills,
Apache Junction, Queen Creek and J.O. Combs. Tuition-based programs for
adults are also offered, with financial aid available.
Instructors Kim Foulger and Kristen Johnson say FIT would appeal to
any student who is creative, thinks outside-the-box, and has an
entrepreneurial spirit. Johnson pointed out that while many high schools
offer design programs, they are not two-hour blocks of instruction each
day with the depth that EVIT provides.
“We always get some students who will say, ‘I’ve already done that,’
but then when you say, ‘show me,’ they’ve never used the correct tools,”
Students who love art may want to go into interior design, but will
discover that to get into the best design schools they have to show a
portfolio first. At EVIT, design students not only finish with a
portfolio of quality work, but also a resume and, if they choose, nine
college credits through dual enrollment at Mesa Community College. Many
EVIT design students have gone on to such renowned schools as the Pratt
Institute and LIM College in New York, FIDM Fashion Institute of Design
and Merchandising in California, and more.
“We have former students in college who say they’re so glad they went
to EVIT because they are so far ahead of everyone else,” Foulger said.
EVIT’s design students transform their skills into garments,
elaborate sets and window displays, while also raising money for an
annual field trip to New York City. At the annual Fashion Show, their
clothing collections are judged by fashion experts. This year’s Fashion
Show will be 6 p.m., April 17 at the EVIT Culinary Arts banquet hall,
1601 W. Main St., Mesa. To order tickets, call (480) 461-4141.
The FIT students are also currently designing EVIT’s new restaurant,
Bistro 13, which is scheduled to open in August. FIT is one of several
EVIT programs involved in renovating the restaurant, one of the “real
life” projects that sets the design program apart from those offered at
It’s also an example of the teamwork stressed in the program, a “soft
skill” prized by employers – and an environment in which young
“We become a family,” Johnson said. “We know the students really
well. All EVIT programs are like that … When one student goes down, they
all go down. They’re a team. They’re very committed. They grow
To register for the 2014-15 school year, visit www.evit.com and see
your high school counselor. For more information, contact enrollment
director Melissa Valenzuela at (480) 461-4153 or firstname.lastname@example.org.