Fashion Institute of Technology
- (FIT)A fashion school founded in New York City in 1944 by Mortimer C. Ritter, a tailor and educator, and Max Meyer, a retired coat and suit manufacturer and union organizer. Part of the State of New York's higher education system, SUNY, FIT was created with the help of fifteen apparel industry leaders. They formed the Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries and obtained a charter from the New York Board of Regents to form an institute of fashion and technology. The original mission of the institution was to establish a career-focused educational institution to directly serve the fashion industry. The college began with ten faculty members who were buyers for retail stores, salespeople in fabric and trimming companies, designers, patternmakers, and production people. The startup of the institution was entrepreneurial, creative, and determined to succeed. Initially a community college only, FIT now offers more than thirty majors in fashion and the related industries, awarding the AAS, BFA, BS, MA, and MPS degrees. It maintains a strong global presence with its programs and fosters relationships with Europe and Asia. Numerous successful entrants in the fashion field have graduated from FIT including Norma Kamali, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, and Ralph Rucci. It is also the home of the Museum at FIT. The museum was founded in 1967 to support the college's educational programs. Today, it is renowned worldwide for its fashion and textiles collections as well as its exceptional exhibitions and its permanent gallery. The museum has more than 50,000 garments beginning with the eighteenth century and more than 30,000 textiles and 250,000 swatches in its textile collection. In 2002, it was the recipient of the first Richard Martin Award for Excellence in Exhibition of Costume from the Costume Society of America.
Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. Francesca Sterlacci and Joanne Arbuckle.
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