Transfer Alumni Q&A: Japan to NYC

  • Claire Kano
  • Class of 2018
Claire Kano

Claire is originally from Japan. After finishing high school, she moved to the U.S. to attend Herkimer County Community College, where she received an associate degree. She then transferred to LIM and completed her bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising in 2018. Claire now works for the upscale womenswear brand Sea New York, after interning there as an LIM student.

Why did you decide to transfer to LIM?
Since I was a high school student in Japan, I always wanted to study fashion merchandising at FIT. I went to Herkimer County Community College for two years to get my associate degree, then planned to transfer to FIT. But when I was at Herkimer, I became more interested in LIM because I thought it was a better choice for getting hands-on experience in fashion and preparing to work in the industry.

How did your LIM education help prepare you for what you’re doing now?
In addition to learning about the fashion business, I also gained knowledge about textiles and developed computer skills—such as Excel, Photoshop, and Illustrator—which are very helpful for my current job! Also, it was great to have internship experiences. I was able to find out what I wanted to do for my future career while developing important workplace skills.

What were your LIM professors like?
The professors are so passionate about teaching and so knowledgeable. They also care about their students, and the small classes allow us to have strong relationships with them. They teach students things that directly relate to what we will be doing in the workplace—and I really enjoyed hearing about their experiences working in the fashion business.

What did you like best about going to college in New York City?
New York is one of the best cities to study fashion. I loved being in New York because it motivated me to work harder to make my dreams come true. In the beginning, I struggled because of the language barrier and I was overwhelmed by the schoolwork, but I overcame those challenges and really developed myself.

If you could give career advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself—and be confident!