Fashion Institute of Technology

Coordinates: 40°44′48″N 73°59′39″W / 40.74667°N 73.99417°W / 40.74667; -73.99417

Fashion Institute of Technology
Type Public
Established 1944
President Joyce F. Brown
Students 9,755
Undergraduates 9,567
Postgraduates 197
Location Manhattan, New York City,
New York
, United States
Campus Urban
Mascot Stitch the Tiger
The 27th Street campus of the Fashion Institute of Technology
The Fred P. Pomerantz Art & Design Center (near) and the Shirley Goodman Resource Center (far) straddle the 27th Street entrance to the campus.
The Marvin Feldman Center
Nagler Hall dormitory
The David Dubinsky Student Center

The Fashion Institute of Technology, generally known as FIT, is a State University of New York (SUNY) college of art, business, design, mass communication 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,[1][2] accredited in 1957,[1] and is ranked among the top five fashion schools in the world.[3][4] It has an enrollment of more than 9,567 students.[5] In 1967 FIT faculty and staff won the first higher education union contract in New York State.[6] Since that time the UCE-FIT has continued to define and protect the working conditions of its members and the practice of shared governance of the college that the contract stipulates.[7]


Seventeen majors are offered through the School of Art and Design,[8] and ten through the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology[9] leading to the A.A.S., B.F.A., or B.S. degrees. The School of Liberal Arts offers a BS degree in art history and museum professions and a BS degree in film and media.[10] The School of Graduate Studies offers seven programs leading to the Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts or Master of Professional Studies degree.[11]

In addition to the degree programs, FIT offers a wide selection of non-credit courses through the Center for Professional Studies. One of the most popular programs is the "Sew Like a Pro" series, which teaches basic through advanced sewing skills.

FIT is an accredited institutional member of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools,[12] the National Association of Schools of Art and Design,[13] and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation.[14] FIT publishes research on store branding and store positioning.[15]


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 7,578 full-time and 2,186 part-time students. [16] Four dormitories, three of which are on-campus, serve approximately 2,300 students and offer a variety of accommodations.[17] 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.[18]

Academic facilities

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 provides access to books, periodicals, DVDs and non-print materials, and houses Fashion Institute of Technology Special Collections and College Archives.[19] 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.


Well-known alumni of the school include the fashion designers Norma Kamali,[20][21] Calvin Klein,[22][23] Michael Kors (who did not complete his studies there),[24] and the film director Joel Schumacher.[25]

The Museum at FIT

The Museum at FIT
Established 1969[26]
Location Seventh Avenue at 27th Street
New York, NY 10001 (United States)
Type Design/Textile Museum[27]
Director Valerie Steele
Website Museum at FIT

The Museum at FIT, founded in 1969 as the Design Laboratory, includes collections of clothing, textiles, and accessories. It began presenting exhibitions in the 1970s, utilizing a collection on long-term loan from the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and then over time acquiring 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.[28] In 2012, the Museum was awarded accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums.

The Museum’s permanent collection now includes more than 50,000 garments and accessories from the 18th century to the present.[29] 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.[29]

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.[30]

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.[29] 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 became Director of the Museum in 2003,[29][31] and has also been named chief curator.[32]


  1. 1 2 "Our History". Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  2. "Fashion Institute Plans Advanced". The New York Times. 1944.
  3. "Fashionista Ranks the World's Top Fashion Schools". Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  4. “Global Fashion School Rankings 2015 | BoF Education | The Business of Fashion | #BoFEducation.” 2016. The Business of Fashion. Accessed January 14, 2016.
  5. "Fashion Institute of Technology (Four Year College)". Peterson's. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  6. "Our History". American Federation of Teachers. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  7. "UCE of FIT Home". Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  8. "FIT School of Art and Design". Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  9. "FIT Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology". Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  10. "School of Liberal Arts | Fashion Institute of Technology". Retrieved 2016-01-24.
  11. "FIT School of Graduate Studies". Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  12. Ltd., Info724. "Middle States Commission on Higher Education". Retrieved 2016-01-24.
  13. "Accredited Institutional Members". Retrieved 2016-01-24.
  14. "Accredited Programs | CIDA". Retrieved 2016-01-24.
  15. Chevalier, Michel (2012). Luxury Brand Management. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-118-17176-9.
  16. "Fashion Institute of Technology - Enrollment Data publisher". Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  17. FIT Residential Life Homepage Archived April 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  18. "Welcome to CampusDish at the Fashion Institute of Technology!". Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  19. "Gladys Marcus Library". Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  20. Jackson, Kenneth, ed. 1995. “Fashion Institute of Technology.” In The Encyclopedia of New York City, 392–93. Yale University Press.
  21. “Norma Kamali Fashion Designer | Norma Kamali Biography, Information, Videos, News and the Latest Runway Collections.” 2016. Accessed January 24.
  22. Noted FIT Alumni. Fashion Institute of Technology. Accessed January 3, 2010.
  23. CFDA Member Profile: Calvin Klein. Council of Fashion Designers of America.
  24. William Alden (February 4, 2014) Michael Kors Is Now a Billionaire. New York Times: Dealbook. Accessed September 2015.
  25. Joel Schumacher Biography. Yahoo! Movies.
  26. "History of the Museum" on the FIT website
  27. "About the Museum" on the FIT website
  28. Steele, Valerie, Suzy Menkes, Fred Dennis, Robert Nippoldt, N.Y.) Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, and Museum. 2012. Fashion designers: the collection of the Museum at FIT. Köln; London: Taschen.
  29. 1 2 3 4 "The Freud of Fashion". February 10, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  30. "About the Museum". Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  31. Karimzadeh, Marc (February 7, 2014). "The Couture Council to Honor Carolina Herrera". WWD. Retrieved February 7, 2014.
  32. "Valerie Steele Fashion » Biography". Retrieved 2016-03-08.
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