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Kam Buttitta

By Meagan Russell
In Bayou Profile
Sep 7th, 2022
0 Comments
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This fall, the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City will welcome one of Monroe’s own – recent Neville High School graduate Kam Buttitta. 

PHOTOGRAPHY BY KELLY MOORE CLARK
ARTICLE BY MEREDITH MCKINNIE

Kam recognized her passion for fashion early on. A self-described creative, Kam was always enamored by aesthetics. She made clothes and furniture for her American Girl dolls as a child, leaning into the impulse to do it herself. During quarantine, Kam taught herself to sew and began making her own clothes. She derives inspiration from Pinterest and social media. Her personal style is trendy and girly, like a model off duty. She prefers neutral colors and is most comfortable in a minidress and a shoulder bag. When Kam designs, she leans into her personal style, relying on basic silhouettes and simple pieces. Even before attending Neville, Kam set her sights on fashion design school. She viewed traditional school as a means to end, a foundation from which to soar to new heights. Kam always imagined living and working in a metropolis where fashion and diversity merge.

In high school, Kam joined the cheer squad and dance team and immersed herself in art and graphic design classes. Focused on building a resume worthy of a top design school, Kam worked at the local boutique Hemline as a sales associate and stylist, mastering interpersonal skills. As a self-professed introvert, the impulse to engage strangers did not come naturally, but Kam knew the importance of fostering conversation, especially in a new place far from home. She handled social media accounts for local businesses, perfecting the art of marketing and promotion. Kam interned with Sue Sartor, a local dress designer. Job shadowing with the online brand allowed Kam to explore the digital market and its broad scope. In a digital media class at Neville during her senior year, Kam ran the school’s social media accounts and added a TikTok page for the school. All these avenues of experience solidified Kam as a worthy candidate for a top design school across the country. 

Wendy Lasuzzo, Kam’s mother, encouraged her daughter to think outside the box when choosing a career. The two share a close bond, frequenting estate sales and vintage stores. Also a creative brain, Wendy recently started selling antique and vintage jewelry. Kam’s social media expertise comes in handy, as she can help craft the business’s online image through photography and marketing. Kam keeps a keen eye on aesthetic appeal in social media posts, paired with catchy, yet brief, phrases. When marketing online, it’s important to know one’s brand and audience, cautions Kam. Venturing into different areas of the fashion business, even at the local level, provided Kam the experience to impact local commerce, a credible component to measuring one’s future success in the industry on a much broader scale. 

Working primarily behind the scenes, Kam focused on the business side of fashion. She is interested in visual media and particularly the mechanics of creating a successful business. Working with Laura at Hemline showed Kam the unique business aspects of the fashion industry which steered her toward business management. At FIT, Kam will major in fashion business management, focusing on marketing and financials. She eventually wants to create her own fashion line and knows running a business is about more than just one’s creativity. Kam shares the desire for ethically made fashion, prioritizing good quality clothes with original designs. She wants to see consumers move away from fast fashion and embrace mindfully made, sustainable clothes. Like many of her generation, Kam values thrifting as it produces less waste. She loves repurposing vintage clothes from estate sales. Kam knows that looking good and feeling confident doesn’t have to mean wreaking havoc on the environment. 

Never one to shy away from dreaming big, Kam applied to three design schools across the country – with FIT being her first choice. She composed admission essays on her experience with fashion, why she wanted to attend fashion school, and showcased her knowledge of resale apps like Depop, Thread Up, and Poshmark for more environmentally conscious shopping practices. Headed back from a senior trip to Europe, Kam received an email from FIT with the words “Congratulations.” She was stunned – not only had she been accepted, but she would be moving to New York City, a lifelong dream to live in a thriving metropolis. Born and raised in Monroe, Kam is anxious to step out of her comfort zone. She adores traveling to new places and experiencing different cultures. In big cities, fashion is more diverse, more intentional. It is easy to express oneself in a city that prides itself on diversity. Kam anticipates the friendships she will cultivate with people from all over the world – stepping well outside the box, per her parent’s advice. 

At FIT, Kam will live on the Manhattan campus in the Chelsea neighborhood, a hub of the art world. The school offers a two-year associate degree, and then students have the option of continuing in the program for a bachelors. Living in New York City, Kam hopes to pursue internships and work with New York Fashion Week and the Met Gala alongside her peers. She has already used social media to interact with her future cohort at FIT. While laser focused on the fashion path, Kam remains open-minded about where this journey may lead. She wants to dabble around with different mediums, relish in her classes, and see where her passion takes her. The fashion industry is much larger than one might imagine, and the career choices are endless. Meeting the right people and fostering those connections will be key to landing in the right place. 

With three older siblings, Kam is the last child to leave the nest. At first, Kam didn’t think she would be able to attend because of the high out-of-state tuition and New York City’s cost of living, but she has been saving up money and her parents are willing to do whatever it takes for Kam to pursue her dream.  Kam imagines becoming a stylist, or creating her own fashion line, or even opening a vintage store. The possibilities are endless, and the path is wide open. Kam appreciates all the people in her life who have guided, encouraged, and supported her throughout her journey and she is grateful for their guidance moving forward. What is so remarkable about a recent high school graduate embarking on a major life change is that she had the courage to take the first step. She didn’t just dream big, but she acted big, seeking the experience to set herself apart from the rest. Kam is a testament to small town dreams becoming big city realities if one believes it’s possible.