Jené Lupoli Luciani ’99 was not afraid to leave behind a successful television producing career of hard news stories in New York City to find personal fulfillment and national success covering the fashion industry.
“I tired of the day-to-day news with fires and police activity and tragedies and yearned for something positive,” said the Hudson, N.Y., native who had earned her broadcast communication experience covering such events as the 2000 Presidential Elections and the immediate aftermath of 9/11 for NBC Newschannel 13 in Albany, N.Y.
After six years in broadcast journalism, mostly behind the camera rather than in front of it, she joined the multi-media marketing company of fellow SUNY Cortland graduate Melissa Browne ’99, and gained access to the firm’s clients, some of the biggest corporations and fashion designers in the world.
“I learned a different side of the business, dealing with the media as a publicist and not as a journalist,” Lupoli Luciani said. She maintained her journalistic ties by freelance writing, launching her own fashion column for The Wag in 2005.
“The column became my baby, my pride and joy and everything just mushroomed from there,” she said. The magazine named Lupoli Luciani its fashion and beauty editor. She moved in front of the camera to offer fashion advice during local television station broadcasts.
Since 2006, Lupoli Luciani has become a nationally known television commentator covering the New York fashion scene and lifestyle and beauty topics, appearing on FOX, NBC, CBS, ABC and NEWS 12 affiliates, as well as national outlets like Better TV, The Daily Buzz, Style Network’s “Look for Less” and The Discovery Channel’s “Go Ahead, Make My Dinner.” She is a New York contributing editor to PinkMemo.com and her first book, The Bra Book: The Fashion Formula to Finding the Perfect Bra, is scheduled for a Dec. 1 release in bookstores nationwide by BenBella Books and lingerie and department stores by Bra Company Fashion Forms. She has served as a guest speaker at SUNY’s Fashion Institute of Technology and Westchester Community College’s Fashion Forum. In April 2008, she delivered the keynote address at SUNY Cortland’s Student Leadership Banquet.
“I had the great honor of meeting her at the banquet and decided to nominate her for Distinguished Young Alumna based on what she said about her experiences and memories about Cortland and those after she had graduated from Cortland,” wrote Gordon C. Valentine ’68, past president of the SUNY Cortland Alumni Association and a SUNY Cortland lecturer in history. “She has used the education that she acquired at Cortland to create a remarkable, rewarding and successful career representing the very best of Cortland.”
“Despite the light-heartedness of her subject matter, Jené is a committed journalist,” wrote Catherine Censor, editor-in-chief of The Westchester Wag. “She has interviewed Bette Midler, Michael Kors, Ashlee Simpson, Glenn Close, Vivica A. Fox, Sigourney Weaver, Ellen Pompeo, Joan Jett, Vanessa Williams, Cindy Crawford and Molly Sims, to name just a few famous subjects. Due to her expertise, she has become a sought-after guest speaker. I believe she is a credit to SUNY Cortland or any other institution of higher learning, for that matter.”
A 1995 graduate of Hudson (N.Y.) High School, Lupoli Luciani wrote a fashion column for her high school newspaper. Before earning a bachelor of arts in communication studies at SUNY Cortland, she helped her mother run a trendy denim boutique, trained and worked as a model and danced and sang professionally. She credits some of her post-collegiate success to the personal atmosphere of the SUNY Cortland campus and a faculty who sought to nurture minds. She recalls how as graduation approached and she worried about finding employment in her field, Distinguished Service Professor Samuel Kelley, communication studies, directed her to the internship at the NBC affiliate she would later join and work at for almost four years.
“I don’t believe I could have achieved any of this if my time at Cortland hadn’t taught me that I can be whoever I want to be, and the sky’s the limit,” Lupoli Luciani said.
Lupoli Luciani and her husband, Bill, live in White Plains, N.Y.