Born and raised in Rome, Italy, Nino Via moved to New York City where he received a full scholarship to the Fashion Institute of Technology, majoring in Fashion Design. Nino has extensive experience in all areas of Fashion Design, having been assistant designer to Ralph Lauren, Giorgio di Sant'Angelo, and Ron Shamask.
Among his other accomplishments, Nino was the director of a Los Angeles modeling and talent agency, IT Models & Omar’s Men, representing such top models as Stephanie Seymour, Carré Otis, Carla Bruni, and Monica Bellucci. He also worked at The Dash Group, a celebrity endorsement agency, as a liaison between advertising agencies and celebrities.
A professional fashion photographer, Nino’s photos have been published in Harper's Bazaar, Hamptons, Downtown, Venice, and Men's Health. He has photographed celebrities Charlize Theron, Oscar de la Hoya, Gabby Reece, Monika Schnarre, John Enos, etc.
What classes do you teach?
Currently, I am teaching Collection Development. It is my favorite class because it is a capstone class and encompasses everything that the Fashion Design students have learned at FIDM. I have also taught Draping, Pattern Drafting, Portfolios.
Describe a favorite class project.
My favorite class is Collection Development. The students get to explore, develop, and express their own unique style of design.They develop a small “group” and get to create three original designs, from sketching of the ideas through the draping, pattern drafting, and sewing process, including tech packs. On the last day of class, the students verbally present their designs to the class, thus putting to use all the skills developed in the program. It is rewarding to see the progress that students make and to see them grow, mature, flourish, and become such talented artists.
Do you have a particular philosophy about teaching?
My philosophy, when it comes to design, is to have one goal: To develop your own style, your own voice, your vision. This is what distinguishes you from the next designer. It is about creating a unique and recognizable design brand, and developing a strong fan base, that eventually becomes your clientele, your faithful customer. Also, I think it’s very important to be always fully present and aware of your surroundings, your environment, and the world at large, as it influences your ideas and designs.
What do you enjoy most about teaching at FIDM?
Teaching is truly a very rewarding experience; it’s an opportunity to give back. I get to share my experience and knowledge with thousands of new fresh minds who are eager to learn and become successful designers. It also gives me the opportunity to acknowledge myself for the amount of information and skills that sometimes one takes for granted, having done it for so many years! Besides teaching, I am also a Career Advisor in the Career Center, and that is also a very rewarding experience. I get to advise and life-coach students who need that extra push, or help, and a bit of support in negotiating real life work situations in the marketplace.
Nino Via is an Outstanding Faculty Award Winner, an award given by the student body to outstanding faculty members.