All Hail The Queen, Miss FIT

By Cassandra Laper

At the Fashion Institute of Technology, we all know that we’re fabulous but some are just born with a little more sparkle than others. In order to decide the fiercest of us all, we host the duel of all fabulous duels: FIT’s Drag Pageant. The pageant took place March 20 and a new Queen of FIT was crowned with 12 inches (check out the picture of the crowned beauty, ya nastys). And for the record, no shade was thrown in the making of this article.

                

Viki Villainess won the title of Miss FIT with a number of outstanding performances. For opening number, Villainess emerged wearing a horned headdress and  fitted, black, mermaid dress. The themed wardrobe continued with her first performance as she started her solo number with a cape bearing horned shoulders, as she owned the stage to Nicki Minaj’s verse in “Monster.” Villainess has been competing for three years in drag shows and when asked about how it feels to be Miss FIT, she said, “It’s so freaking cool! I worked my butt off and I was really excited to perform. I’m just happy someone noticed!”

                

Although Villainess brought home the crown, the other girls put on one hell of a show. Runner-up, Ava Patron, had the fiercest headpiece I’ve ever witnessed. She wore a full cover, crystal headdress with a crystal spear on top. The headdress accompanied a flowing, white goddess-esque dress with a sparkling belt. Everything in the wardrobe was custom Marc Bouwer. This was Patron’s first time competing for Miss FIT.

                

Anita Biskuit and BibleGirl666 stunned the audience as well. Anita had the entire Creative Movement team shaking it for her solo performance and BibleGirl666 did Britney Spears proud. The entire experience was excellent and well worth the months of practice that went into creating this night. The audience was just as invested as the performers so the energy throughout the auditorium was fantastic the entire night. Did I forget to mention purple glow sticks were given out? One of the hosts, Scarlett Envy, was a competitor the last three years in Miss. FIT. She is the star of “Jacob’s Envy,” which the audience got a sneak peak viewing of during the pageant.

                

All in all, the night was a success night. So, let’s welcome the new Queen of FIT in our best Beyoncé voice: “Heeeeyyyyyy Miss Viki!”

“There Are Sports at FIT?”

By Ileana De Hoyos

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Yes, there are sports at FIT.

“You might have a national champion sitting next to you in your jewelry design class, but you don’t know who they are, it’s kind of a cool thing,”Director of Athletics and Recreation Department, Kerri-Ann McTiernan said.

For those of us not directly involved in the athletic department, this might be not so obvious. And guess what? We’re actually pretty good. “Our student athletes are like hidden gems here,” McTiernan added. And  they definitely deserve some recognition, as this has been a very successful year for FIT athletes.

This fall season, FIT finished with All Americans named and four teams that finished top 10 in the country. These  included Women’s Tennis (2nd), Cross Country(5th), Volleyball (7th) and Half Marathon (10th). There were swimmers that finished with all time best competing against Division I and finishing 5th in the NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association). “Two swimmers, Emily Mance and Katie VanBeek, did an unbelievable job, they set personal best records and finished in the top ten in the country in several events,” added McTiernan.

As for this Spring season, the Outdoor Track team has started with one competition down and three athletes have already qualified for nationals. The Men’s Tennis team have already clinched their first match against Kingsborough Community College and the Dance Company will be performing their spring showcase May 7 through 9.

“The term ‘student athlete’ gets overused in a lot of schools it almost gets to be cliché, but when you talk about student athletes at FIT, they are students first, and they are also a hell of an athlete.” said McTiernan.

“The athlete’s GPAs are off the charts! In more than 10 years that I’ve been here, it’s been rare that I have a student that has a GPA lower than a three, most of the teams’ GPA is usually more than a 3.5. I mean they’re the cream of the crop,” she remarked. “These athletes are out there competing in FIT colors, doing an unbelievable job in classroom as students and as athletes in pools and courts.”

For more information on the athletics department and game dates, visit http://fitnyc.edu/athletics.asp.

The Great Elegance Of The Great Depression

By Aaron Valentic

America in the 1930s – those who were alive to be witness to this decade remember it as a dark, dismal time known simply as the Great Depression. A time when the stock market crash of 1929 ruined the economic stability of the once glittering nation and millions of Americans lost their jobs and money became tighter than ever in most households. The future itself was not looking bright, nor optimistic.

Despite the gloom, the fashions of the 1930s became a shining beacon of light for those dealing with unsettling circumstances. “Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930s,” the latest exhibit at the Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology, sets out to uncover the unusual paradox of beautiful, elegant clothing during a time of economic restlessness.

The exhibition is split into five subsections covering all aspects of fashion and style in the 1930s, through displays featuring active wear, tailoring developments, formal wear, leisurewear and accessories. The era  became a time for designers to enhance design techniques and to drastically change the looks that women and men were accustomed to, in addition to adding personalized flares to their ensembles.

The exhibition houses over 80 ensembles and over 30 accessories on display for the public. Themes focused on include a push on tailored clothing, as well as the idea of escapism, in which most people wanted to escape from their everyday miseries brought on by the Great Depression. From a silk organza gown done in lace from Vionnet to a Munchen swimsuit in wool, techniques, as well as styles, have never quite been seen like this before.

Not only are the individual garments the highlight of the show, but some of the most prized items include shoes from Fred Astaire’s personal wardrobe (he had over 80 pairs), one of Katharine Hepburn’s gold embellished gowns, as well as a suit from the wardrobe of Edward VII, also known as The Duke of Windsor. The usage of celebrities in the exhibition help to showcase that the cinema, along with movie stars, helped ordinary people cope with the stresses of the day. Whether or not from the wardrobe of a celebrity, the additional pieces carefully selected for the exhibition tell a story all their own.

A time of significant rethinking, the Great Depression brought about new ways of accomplishing things in terms of business and economics, in order to help America salvage itself. In terms of the fashion, designers rethought ordinary concepts and in turn brought new and innovative ideas to give consumers. Whether a sense of imagination, escapism or simply how the garment is worn, the fashion of the 1930s helped to the pave way for many modern fashion concepts in use to this day.  “Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashion of the 1930s” runs through April 19 at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

The Great Elegance Of The Great Depression
By Aaron Valentic


 
America in the 1930s – those who were alive to be witness to this decade remember it as a dark, dismal time known simply as the Great Depression. A time when the stock market crash of 1929 ruined the economic stability of the once glittering nation and millions of Americans lost their jobs and money became tighter than ever in most households. The future itself was not looking bright, nor optimistic.

Despite the gloom, the fashions of the 1930s became a shining beacon of light for those dealing with unsettling circumstances. “Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930s,” the latest exhibit at the Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology, sets out to uncover the unusual paradox of beautiful, elegant clothing during a time of economic restlessness. 
 
The exhibition is split into five subsections covering all aspects of fashion and style in the 1930s, through displays featuring active wear, tailoring developments, formal wear, leisurewear and accessories. The era  became a time for designers to enhance design techniques and to drastically change the looks that women and men were accustomed to, in addition to adding personalized flares to their ensembles.


 
The exhibition houses over 80 ensembles and over 30 accessories on display for the public. Themes focused on include a push on tailored clothing, as well as the idea of escapism, in which most people wanted to escape from their everyday miseries brought on by the Great Depression. From a silk organza gown done in lace from Vionnet to a Munchen swimsuit in wool, techniques, as well as styles, have never quite been seen like this before.


 
Not only are the individual garments the highlight of the show, but some of the most prized items include shoes from Fred Astaire’s personal wardrobe (he had over 80 pairs), one of Katharine Hepburn’s gold embellished gowns, as well as a suit from the wardrobe of Edward VII, also known as The Duke of Windsor. The usage of celebrities in the exhibition help to showcase that the cinema, along with movie stars, helped ordinary people cope with the stresses of the day. Whether or not from the wardrobe of a celebrity, the additional pieces carefully selected for the exhibition tell a story all their own.
 
A time of significant rethinking, the Great Depression brought about new ways of accomplishing things in terms of business and economics, in order to help America salvage itself. In terms of the fashion, designers rethought ordinary concepts and in turn brought new and innovative ideas to give consumers. Whether a sense of imagination, escapism or simply how the garment is worn, the fashion of the 1930s helped to the pave way for many modern fashion concepts in use to this day.  “Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashion of the 1930s” runs through April 19 at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. High-res

Lafayette 148 Hosts Alumni Event for FIT Graduates

By Megan Venere

 

“Hi, my name is” are the four words that begin everyone’s favorite ice breaker activity. Gathered together in a large circle at a retail space in lower Manhattan, FIT graduates came together and introduced themselves and their major; although not everyone was willing to offer their graduation year. Those five minutes of introduction were an eye-opening experience for everyone in the room as they realized that although they come from different backgrounds, they all began their professional lives at the same place: the Fashion Institute of Technology.

On March 19, Lafayette 148, in partnership with the FIT Alumni Affairs, hosted a special FIT Alumni event at the Lafayette 148 downtown VIP studio. The event was hosted specifically for the 24 employees working at Lafayette 148 who are graduates of FIT. The event was part of a series being hosted by the FIT Alumni Affairs office to celebrate FIT alumni working at prestigious companies in the industry, including Estee Lauder and Ralph Lauren. Along with the alumni present for the event, President Brown, Deans Arbuckle and Frumkin also were in attendance.

 

A small presentation was given at the event, led by President Brown and Deirdre Quinn, co-founder of Lafayette 148. Quinn currently sits on the FIT Board of Trustees and has been a long time supporter of FIT. Quinn introduced the event, describing how incredible it is to be connected with FIT, and how inspiring  the college is while President Brown spoke about how all FIT graduates and their successes are a “walking advertisement” for FIT.  She then presented a short video of students and faculty sharing their experiences at FIT.

The event brought together alumni from all majors, and many of the guests did not realize how many of their co-workers came from the same alma mater. Ana Swarup, former FIT Student Association President, currently works at Lafayette 148 as an assistant to the VP of Sales and VP of Retail services. After visiting Lafayette 148 on a class tour during her senior year, Swarup was impressed by the atmosphere and energy of the company. After interning for the company post-graduation, she assumed her position. “The company is growing so much, and it’s great to be working for a company with such driven and dedicated people” Swarup stated.  Swarup also works on the Alumni Affairs team at FIT.

Deirdre Quinn was excited that Lafayette 148 was chosen to host the event and said, “It was a great opportunity for our employees who are alums of the school to hear how things have progressed at FIT since the time they attended, and to learn about training and events which are available to them now.” When asked what attracts FIT graduates to come and work at Lafayette 148, Quinn stated, “[FIT graduates’] excitement about Lafayette 148 comes down to our culture, values and work environment. Our people care about one another,  they are the heart of our organization,” she said. “Working on great product here is, of course, very exciting to them as well, but even that can lose its appeal when the culture isn’t in sync with your value.”

 

Founding Fathers of Fashion

By Sarah Fielding and Rachel Basel

In 1944, a select group of industry professionals led by Mortimer C. Ritter and Max Meyer sought to bring a greater level of education to workers in the fashion industry. They opened what was then known as The Fashion Institute of Technology and Design on the upper floors of the High School of Needle Trades, accommodating only one hundred students. Since its move in 1959 to Seventh Avenue, it has evolved into the institution it is today. But as a SUNY community college with only two majors  available back then, design and scientific management, it was still recognized as one of the most innovative schools of its kind.

The Fashion Institute of Technology comes with an impressive list of founders and original board members. Many of these names are recognizable by the buildings dedicated to them. Mortimer C. Ritter, one of the main players in rallying for the creation of the school, was the first director and president of FIT. Max Meyer, Ritter’s partner and founder of the Educational Foundation, was the first chairman as well as having  served as president for a short time. Morris Haft raised the necessary amount of funds to jumpstart FIT. He also served as chairman and was on the Board of Trustees. At the time, Union Activist David Dubinsky was the president and Isadore Nagler was the vice president of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Nagler also served on the Board of Trustees. The last two founders were Abraham Potofsky and Andrew Goodman, a vice-chairman of the Board of Trustees.

Although not founders, many other influential people including Marvin Feldman, Gladys Marcus and Shirley Goodman were also played important roles in shaping FIT. Feldman was the longest serving president of FIT, holding that position between the years of 1971 and 1992. During his time at FIT the college went through many advances:  enrollment rose from 5,000 to 12,000, many more courses became available and the number of buildings expanded from two to eight. Additionally, FIT began to offer Bachelor’s programs in 1975 and Master’s programs in 1979. Gladys Marcus originally was a professor at FIT and later became the Dean of the Liberal Arts School. She expanded the number of classes offered and initiated overseas curricula. Marvin Feldman stated, “If there is a single person whose vision and guidance have been most influential in shaping FIT., that person is Shirley Goodman.” Since the beginning, Goodman had pushed the fashion industry to open its doors to the students of FIT, offering showroom visits and lectures.

Fast-forward to the year 2014 and FIT’s list of accomplishments, impressive alumni and industry respect is widely acknowledged. The school is frequently ranked as one of the top five fashion schools in the world while still maintaining  affordable tuition for students. Today, twenty-nine unique and specialized majors, including the only toy design program in the country, make up FIT’s undergraduate program. The campus provides state of the art labs including those for the departments of  Cosmetics and Fragrance, Textiles Technology, Jewelry Design and a broadcast studio among others. FIT puts a lot of effort into giving its students every chance to get involved, not only in school, but also in New York City-based industries. Multiple student clubs and the career services and internship center give students unique opportunities available only at FIT. The school has produced many talented alumni throughout the years such as Michael Kors, who is easily recognized as one of the top designers in today’s contemporary fashion industry. In fact, Kors still makes an effort to come speak at his alma mater to help the younger generations succeed in the fashion industry. Nina Garcia is currently the creative director of Marie Claire where she has been for the past five years. Garcia is also recognizably known for her  spot on “Project Runway” as a judge, where she used to sit beside fellow alum Michael Kors. Calvin Klein is one of the more recent big names that comes to mind instantly when thinking about FIT alumni. Since his departure from the institution he has received an honorary doctorate from the school and has gone on to become a renowned classic American designer.

The Fashion Institute of Technology has always been ahead of its time. Since its founding the mission has always been to educate, prepare and connect students with the fashion industry and allow them to explore its many career options. Thanks to people such as Mortimer C. Ritter and Max Meyer, people interested in fashion have a college they can attend and receive a premier education at an affordable price.