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Director's Welcome

Spring 2013

Dear Friends,

Welcome to The Museum at FIT, one of the world’s great fashion museums. This website is designed to help you plan your next visit to the Museum, whether to see an exhibition or attend a public program.

We’re delighted to report that our big spring exhibition, Shoe Obsession, is incredibly popular and has been attracting more than 500 people a day! It features 153 of the most extreme, extravagant and extraordinary contemporary shoes you will ever see – by 50 of the world’s greatest shoe designers, including  Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, and Nicholas Kirkwood, plus high-fashion shoes by the likes of Alaia, Balenciaga, Chanel, Dior, Ferragamo, and Prada. The exhibition is on display through April 13.

Fashion and Technology  remains on view in the Fashion & Textile History Gallery until May 8. This exhibition explores the impact of emerging technologies on the nature of fashion design and production over the past 250 years and focuses on innovations that have influenced the production, materials, aesthetic, and function of fashion.

We're also thrilled to tell you about the recent Couture Council benefit luncheon which raised over $900,000 for Museum exhibitions and programs! On September 5th, Mayor Michael Bloomberg presented the Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion to Oscar de la Renta. American Express provided support for the event, as did Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomberg Philanthropies. Luncheon chairs Eleanora Kennedy and Alexandra Lebenthal, Couture Council chair Elizabeth Peek, and FIT President Dr. Joyce F. Brown were all in attendance, as were almost 600 other fashionable guests, including Anna Wintour, Sarah Jessica Parker, Barbara Walters, and Iris Apfel.

In other news, we have re-vamped our online collections. The new searchable database went live on June 28th with over 600 objects, represented by almost 1000 images. This is more than twice the number of objects previously available–with more to come every month!  Users can search, browse, collect, and share online images of women’s fashion, menswear, and accessories that date from the past 300 years.

I would also like to call your attention to this spring’s public programming. We are pleased that Bruno Frisoni, the acclaimed shoe designer for Roger Vivier, will be speaking on April 10, together with Inès de la Fressange. In relation to the Fashion and Technology exhibition, we are featuring The Technology Trap (March 6) and a special full-day Fashion and Technology Symposium (April 25) with renowned textile futurist/author Bradley Quinn as keynote speaker. Other programs include Antonio Lopez: Fashion, Art, Sex & Disco (March 12), a lecture by designer John Bartlett (April 2), a panel discussion on Asian designers preserving culture through fashion and textiles (April 18), and many curator-led exhibition tours, among others. 

Be sure not to miss  Boots: The Height of Fashion, on view from March 5 - April 6 in Gallery FIT. Organized by students of the School of Graduate Studies in collaboration with The Museum at FIT, the exhibition examines how boots emerged as a modern fashion phenomenon during the last century and evolved to become a staple of the fashionable woman’s wardrobe.

TASCHEN has published Fashion Designers A-Z: The Collection of  The Museum at FIT, featuring glorious photographs of more than 500 of the most spectacular objects from the museum’s permanent collection. I will be traveling around the country – to Dallas, Miami, and Los Angeles – to talk about this lavishly-illustrated publication. Also check out our re-vamped online collections, which now contain over 850 objects represented by almost 1200 images. New object records with images are added monthly!

We also encourage you to find out more about the Couture Council, a philanthropic membership group which supports the Museum at FIT. The Couture Council kicks off New York Fashion Week with our annual benefit luncheon. The 2013 awardee will be announced very soon, so reserve your tickets for this year’s event on September 4…

Valerie Steele, Director