Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City
The Fashion Institute of Technology, generally known as FIT, is a State University of New York (SUNY) college of art, business, design, and technology connected to the fashion industry, with an urban campus located on West 27th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan , New York City. It was founded in 1944, accredited in 1957, and is ranked among the top five fashion schools in the world. It has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students.
Seventeen majors are offered through the School of Art and Design and ten through the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology leading to the A.A.S., B.F.A., or B.S. degrees. The School of Liberal Arts currently offers a BS degree in Art History and Museum Professions. The School of Graduate Studies offers seven programs leading to the Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts or Master of Professional Studies degree.
FIT is an accredited institutional member of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, and the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research.
The nine-building campus includes classrooms, television and radio studios, labs, design workshops, and multiple exhibition galleries.
The campus has a Barnes & Noble College Bookstore. The Conference Center at FIT features the John E. Reeves Great Hall, a space suitable for conferences, fashion shows, lectures, and other events. The campus also has two large theatres: the Haft Auditorium and the Katie Murphy Amphitheatre.
FIT serves over 6,500 full-time and 3,000 part-time students. Four dormitories, three of which are on-campus, serve approximately 2,300 students and offer a variety of accommodations.The George S. and Mariana Kaufman Residence Hall located at 406 West 31st Street - formerly a book bindery factory - was converted into residential apartments, to offer more housing near the campus for FIT students. The campus also has a retail food court/dining hall, a deli and a Starbucks.
The Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center offers facilities for design studies: photography studios with black-and-white darkrooms, painting rooms, a sculpture studio, a printmaking room, a graphics laboratory, display and exhibit design rooms, life-sketching rooms, and a model-making workshop. The Shirley Goodman Resource Center houses the Museum at FIT and the Library/Media Services, with references for history, sociology, technology, art, and literature; international journals and periodicals; sketchbooks and records donated by designers, manufacturers, and merchants; slides, tapes, and periodicals; and a clipping file. The Gladys Marcus Library houses books, periodicals, and nonprint materials. FIT also has many computer labs for student use. The Instructional Media Services Department provides audiovisual and TV support and an in-house TV studio. Student work is also displayed throughout the campus. Fashion shows featuring the work of graduating B.F.A. students occur each academic year.
The Design/Research Lighting Laboratory, a development facility for interior design and other academic disciplines, features 400 commercially available lighting fixtures controlled by a computer. The Annette Green/Fragrance Foundation Laboratory is an environment for the study of fragrance development.
The United College Employees of Fashion Institute of Technology/SUNY (UCE-FIT) is a wall-to-wall union of faculty and staff that was formed in 1967 to win one of the first public higher education union contracts in New York State. Since that time the Union has continued to define and protect the rights of its members.
- Amsale Aberra – fashion designer of couture bridal gowns and eveningwear
- Reem Acra<ref name="FIT Alumni" /> – fashion designer of couture bridal gowns and eveningwear
- Karen Allen – actress
- Timothy D. Bellavia – children's author and illustrator
- Fonzworth Bentley – hip-hop artist, entertainer, fashion designer
- Gessica Brooke – fashion and accessories designer
- Carolina Bucci – jewellery designer
- David Chu<ref name="FIT Alumni"/> – President, Designer and CEO of Nautica International, Inc.
- Mandy Coon – fashion designer
- Francisco Costa<ref name="FIT Alumni" /> – designer, Calvin Klein collection for women
- Angie Cruz – novelist and author
- Laura Dahl – fashion Designer
- Chloe Dao – winner of the TV series Project Runway (season 2)
- Amber Lee Ettinger – model and actress
- Nina Garcia<ref name="FIT Alumni"/> – Project Runway judge; editor-at-large, Marie-Claire magazine
- Carolina Herrera – fashion designer, President of Carolina Herrera New York
- Calvin Klein (1962)<ref name="FIT Alumni" /> – founder of Calvin Klein, Inc.
- Michael Kors – President and CEO of Michael Kors
- Nanette Lepore<ref name="FIT Alumni" /> – fashion designer and owner, Robespierre, Inc.
- Antonio Lopez – fashion illustrator
- Roxanne Lowit<ref name="FIT Alumni"/> – fashion and celebrity photographer
- Leon Max – President and CEO of Max Studios
- Angela Simmons – TV personality, fashion designer, CEO of Pastry Kicks
- Audrey Quock – model and actress
- Ralph Rucci (1980)<ref name="FIT Alumni"/> – fashion designer, Chado Ralph Rucci
- Joel Schumacher – director, producer, writer ,costume designer
- Fabrice Simon – fashion designer and artist
- Naomi Sims – model and author
- Ramona Singer – New York socialite, starred on Bravo TV series The Real Housewives of New York City
- Stephen A. Smith – sportscaster, former host of Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith
- Ivy Supersonic – hat designer
- Isabel Toledo – fashion designer
- Nathan Thomas, – winner of Bravo's TV series Top Design (season 2)
- Daniel Vosovic – runner-up of TV series Project Runway (season 2)
- Jennifer Welker – fashion designer and filmmaker
- Joe Zee – Creative Director of Elle Magazine, host of the Sundance Channel's original program All on the Line
The Museum at FIT
The Museum at FIT includes important collections of clothing, textiles, and accessories. The Museum was founded in 1967. Known then as the Design Laboratory, The Museum at FIT began presenting exhibitions in the 1970s, utilizing a collection on long-term loan from the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Over time, The Museum at FIT acquired its own collection, as well as thousands of textiles and other fashion-related material. In 1993, the Board of Trustees of FIT, noting the significance of the Design Laboratory’s collections and exhibitions, changed the institution's name to The Museum at FIT.
The Museum’s permanent collection now includes more than 50,000 garments and accessories from the 18th century to the present. Important designers such as Adrian, Balenciaga, Chanel, and Dior are represented. The collecting policy of the Museum focuses on aesthetically and historically significant clothing, accessories, textiles and visual materials, with emphasis on contemporary avant-garde fashion.
There are three galleries in the Museum. The lower level gallery is devoted to special exhibitions. The Fashion and Textile History Gallery on the main floor features a rotating selection of approximately 200 historically and artistically significant objects from the Museum’s permanent collection. Gallery FIT, also located on the main floor, is dedicated to student and faculty exhibitions.
Past exhibitions include: London Fashion, which received the first Richard Martin Award for Excellence in Costume Exhibitions from The Costume Society of America, The Corset: Fashioning the Body, and Gothic: Dark Glamour. Other special exhibitions have included Isabel Toledo: Fashion From the Inside Out, in which the inauguration day ensemble Isabel Toledo designed for Michelle Obama in 2008 was on display, and a look at sustainable fashion with Eco-Fashion: Going Green, an exhibition from 2010 examining the past two centuries of fashion’s good—and bad—environmental and ethical practices.
More than 100,000 people visit The Museum at FIT each year, attending exhibitions, lectures, and other events. Admission is free to the public.
Fashion historian Valerie Steele was named Director of the Museum in 2003.