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Connor, May
US.20180702.024 · Person
McCardell, Claire, 1905-1958
US.20180702.050 · Person · 1905-1958

Claire McCardell was born May 24, 1905, in Frederick, Maryland. She showed an aptitude and passion for fashion from a young age, and began making her own clothes during her early adolescence. At age 18 McCardell enrolled in Hood College in Fredrick, Maryland, but she left after two years to pursue fashion illustration at the New York School of Fine and Applied Art (known today as Parsons School of Design). In 1927 McCardell transferred to the Parsons branch in Paris at the Place des Vosges. There, she gained hands-on experience with Paris couture and perfected her understanding of garment construction. When she returned to New York she worked as a model, a seamstress and as a designer for a small knit-goods company.
In 1929 McCardell began working as an assistant designer for Robert Turke, and moved with him to Townley Frocks, Inc. when Turk’s own firm disbanded. A month before the spring showing in 1931, Turk tragically drowned and McCardell was left responsible for completing the collection. She copied the latest styles from Paris and the collection sold well, although it was moderately received. For the following collection she experimented with shapes and materials in a more avant-garde style, but these were too advanced for the mainstream market, which was not yet ready for her revolution of casual clothing and sportswear. Then, in 1938 McCardell launched her famous 'Monastic Dress', a shapeless bias-cut dress that was worn with a belt to cinch the waist. It was extremely successful and widely copied by mass retailers. McCardell left Townley Frocks for a brief time and went to Hattie Carnegie (1938-1940), where she worked alongside Norman Norell. She later returned to Townley Frocks, where she spent the rest of her career.
While other designers struggled during World War II without the guidance of French designers and with the unavailability of traditional fabrics and materials, McCardell took advantage of the circumstances. She used nontraditional fabrics such as denim and wool jersey, while continuing to design clothing to meet the everyday needs of the American woman. In 1942 she designed the 'Pop-over' dress, a wrap dress that was meant to be popped-over pants, bathing suit or the bare skin. It was simple, comfortable and functional- a style that became McCardell's signature. The dress was very successful and was incorporated in different variations into every collection from then on.
During her short career McCardell collaborated with many retailers and manufacturers and received several awards and accolades for her innovative fashion. Among them were the Mademoiselle Merit Award, Coty American Fashion Critics Award, Nieman-Marcus Award, and Women's National Press Club Award. McCardell's contributions to the fashion industry include metal closures, blue-jean stitching, mix and match separates, and the influence of menswear in women's designs. Perhaps most importantly, she helped create an “American Look” that was distinct from traditional Parisian fashion. Sadly, McCardell succumbed to cancer on March 22, 1958, at age 52.

US.20180702.065 · Person · 1895-1945

Vally Wieselthier (Valerie Wielsethier) was born in 1895 in Vienna, Austria. She started studying at the Vienna School for Applied Arts in 1914, focusing on painting but later switching to the architecture class of Josef Hoffman. In 1917, she attended the ceramics workshop headed by Michael Powolny. In 1917. Wieselthier joined the newly opened ceramics workshop of the Wiener Werkstätte, working under Hoffman and artistic director Dagobert Peche. Her work is characterized by playful and humorous designs combined with the use of traditional forms and free use of materials. She also designed in other mediums, such as textiles and glass. From 1922 to 1927 she had her own workshop in Vienna. Her ceramic sculptures were represented at the 1925 “Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes” in Paris. In 1927 she returned to the Wiener Werkstätte to head its ceramics workshop. She spent 18 months in New York City between 1927 and 1928 and emigrated to the U.S. in 1932, where she created work for the Contempora Group and Sebring Pottery Company.

US.20180702.071 · Corporate body

In the 1940s, fashion and apparel industry members were faced with a dwindling number of qualified people to help them run and carry on their businesses. The next generation wanted to be doctors and lawyers?not tailors. A group of industry members, led by Mortimer C. Ritter, an educator with an interest in programs for young working people, and Max Meyer, a retired menswear manufacturer, set about organizing a school to ensure the vitality of their businesses. First, they created the Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries to promote education for the industry. The Foundation then obtained a charter from the New York State Board of Regents to establish a ?fashion institute of technology and design.? The institute opened in 1944 with 100 students, and was located on the top two floors of the High School of Needle Trades.

Soon, supporters wanted to bring greater prestige to the industry by having the institute become a college with the authority to confer degrees. Industrialists and educators decided on two majors: Design (with programs in apparel, millinery, and textiles) and Scientific Management. The curriculum also included Liberal Arts. In 1951, three years after the State University of New York had been established and state law had provided for the creation of community colleges, FIT became the second SUNY community college empowered to grant the Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree. By then, there were 400 day students and about 1,000 evening students.

FIT received accreditation in 1957, and as the curriculum and student body grew, the college moved into its first real home?a nine-story building on Seventh Avenue in the heart of the garment district?in 1959. The building had been planned for 1,200 students; by 1963, there were 4,000. During this time, the college?s curriculum was growing beyond traditional notions of fashion, to include subjects like photography and advertising and interior design.

The college wanted to further expand its curriculum by offerings bachelor?s and master?s degrees? something that ?was just not done? by a community college, according to the State University?s former chancellor. Representatives of the college and supporters in the industry and government lobbied hard to persuade legislators to allow FIT to do this. In 1975, an amendment to the Education Law of New York State permitted FIT to offer BS and BFA programs; another in 1979 authorized master?s programs.

By this time, six more buildings had been added to the campus, including two dormitories, and the Shirley Goodman Resource Center, which houses the Gladys Marcus Library and The Museum at FIT. The school continued to grow by adding state-of-the art facilities, like the Design/Lighting Research Laboratory and the Annette Green Fragrance Foundation Studio (the first of its kind on a college campus), making international programs available to students, and evolving its academic offerings

Today, the campus encompasses an entire city block, and serves more than 10,000 students. The college offers degrees in diverse subjects, such as Menswear and Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing, which are unique to the college, and Fashion Merchandising Management, Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design, and Toy Design, the first of their kind in the country (

Duncan, H.
US.20180702.089 · Person
US.20180711.037 · Corporate body
Troy, Seymour
US.20180711.041 · Person

Seymour Troy, born in the textile city of Lodz, Poland, migrated to the United States as a child in 1910. He financed his way through school by selling shoes, and by 1923 he had saved enough money to open his own small factory. For his first firm, Troy chose the name "yrto" (an anagram of his name) in order to give the brand a European sound. Eventually, Troy produced custom shoes under the name Seymour Troy Originals, as well as a ready-made collection under the name Troylings.

In 1960, the National Shoe Retail Association gave Seymour Troy the first annual “Mercury” award to honor him for 35 plus years in the business and numerous valuable contributions to the footwear field. His contributions throughout the years include the asymmetrical strap silhouette; the open sandal; the rolled top opera pump; the baby doll toe; the platform sole; the use of elasticized leathers and vinyl and Lucite in shoes; and the “Valkyrie” – a series of shoes with high-rising instep cover that outdid the classic opera pump in popularity in the 1930s.

Troy passed away in 1975.

Richard, T.
US.20180711.057 · Person
Diversity Council
US.20180718.002 · Corporate body · 2005 (date of establishment)

The Diversity Council of FIT is an advisory group, increasing diversity awareness and assisting the President and the Affirmative Action Officer in matters concerning equity, inclusion, and diversity including racial and ethnic identity, age, cultural identity, religious and spiritual identity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, physical and mental ability, nationality, social and economic status, and political and ideological perspectives.

The mission of the Council is to help FIT students, faculty and staff fulfill their personal and professional potential by creating a climate of inclusion and equality within the FIT community. The Council fosters diverse relationships and gives a voice to diversity by cultivating an inclusive learning environment.

Steiner, Stuart
US.20180711.045 · Person · 1937 (date of birth)

Steiner was the president of Genesee Community College from 1975 to 2011 and took a leave of absence, at the request of the SUNY Chancellor, to serve as the interim president of F.I.T. from 1997 to 1998. Steiner has also had an active involvement in the SUNY community college system, serving as acting director to the SUNY Chancellor for Community Colleges; member of the SUNY Task Force on Community College Code and Standards of Operations and Procedures; member of the New York State Education Commissioner's Advisory Council on Higher Education; member, director, and president of the New York State Association of Presidents of Community Colleges; board member of the Institute for Community College Development; and member of the Middle States Commission.

Office of the President
US.20180718.005 · Corporate body · 1951 (date of establishment)

Under the leadership of the President, the office supports all activities related to FIT's mission, while assisting in continual assessment of the efficacy and quality of its programs and administrative offices.

The President engages the college community in strategic and investment planning efforts to build faculty ranks, increase technology, expand the curriculum, and improve student services.

Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the President oversees a nine-member cabinet of senior administrators and manages divisional units of the college. The President also has an Extended Cabinet, comprised of the Cabinet plus all deans, associate and assistant deans, associate and assistant vice presidents, the director of the The Museum at FIT, and the internal auditor.

Dr. Joyce F. Brown is the current President of FIT; she has served since 1998. Her predecessors are, in reverse chronological order, Stuart Steiner (1997-1998), Alan F. Hershfield (1992-1997), Marvin Feldman (1971-1992), Shirley Goodman (1970-1971), Lawrence L. Jarvie (1966-1970), Samuel Dietsch (1965), Lawrence Bethel (1953-1965), again Samuel Dietsch (1953), Max Meyer (1952-1953), and Mortimer C. Ritter (1951-1952). Ritter also served as Director from 1944-1951.

US.20180726.020 · Person · 1521-1601

Cesare was a distant cousin of the famous Titian, and studied in his shop. He was a member of the branch of Vecellio descended from Giovanni Antonio. He is best known for his prints; he published illustrated books on costume, embroidery and lacemaking, and other subjects. Francesco, Cesare, Orazio and Marco were the only family members allowed to use the appellation "di Tiziano." Comment on works: ornamental

US.20180726.001 · Corporate body

The Division of Enrollment Management and Student Success (EMSS) is dedicated to offering student-focused services and co-curricular programming in support of our diverse student population. EMSS aims to collaborate with students and other members of the FIT community to create an experiential environment that complements and contributes to students’ academic learning, social growth, and professional development.
EMSS consists of student and residential life, counselling, health and disability services, orientation programming, admissions, financial aid, as well as registration and student academic records.

US.20180726.028 · Person
Parker, Bob
US.20180726.029 · Person
Myers, Jack
US.20180722.030 · Person
US.20180726.034 · Corporate body · 1944 (date of establishment)

Communications and External Relations is F.I.T.'s centralized office responsible for directing media and public relations, marketing communications, and government and community relations functions of the college.

The mission of the Division of Communications and External Relations is to position F.I.T. as an innovative, creative, and global leader in higher education. Reflecting the college’s strategic plan and brand goals, the division directs communications and external relations initiatives and collaborates with colleagues throughout the institution to support recruitment and development and promote the success of F.I.T. Responsible for media relations, print and digital communications, brand management, marketing strategy, government/community relations, and special events, the division tells the F.I.T. story to all its audiences, internal and external.

Areas of activity include: advertising, government and community relations, graphic design, internal communications, marketing strategy, media planning, media/public relations, Hue magazine, photography, publications, signage, web communications, writing, editing, and proofreading.

Phelps, Elspeth
US.20180702.042 · Person · 1876-1968

Derived from
Constance Elspeth Phelps was born in 1877 in Madeira, Portugal. She emigrated to England to work as a dressmaker and at the turn of the century was working under the court dressmaker Ada Nettleship (Augustus John's mother-in-law) in Wigmore Street. [Around] 1906 she opened her own London couture house in Albemarle Street. From here she designed gowns for Court and high society, as well as dressing the cream of London's theater stars, including Lily Elsie and Irene Castle. In 1920 she married Lionel Fox Pitt, by which name she is often referred. The fashion house continued to expand over the next two decades. In 1923 she formed an alliance with the London branch of the French fashion house Paquin; she sold the Elspeth Phelps name to them and opened a new showroom in Dover Street. The arrangement was not to end well and a very public court case ensued, with Paquin accusing Phelps of underhand dealings and Phelps suing Paquin for breach of contract. She managed to extricate herself from the arrangement and reopened her house as Elspeth Fox Pitt Ltd. in the late 1920s. The business continued to run for many years. Her London shop was bombed during the Second World War and she relocated her workrooms to Oxford. The company was closed in 1959. Phelps died on 10 March 1968.

Pilcer, Harry, 1885-1961
US.20180907-010 · Person · 1885-1961

"Harry Pilcer was born in 1885 in New York and debuted on Broadway when he was 14 years old. He was an American dancer and entertainer who spent a good deal of time in France. He was known through his partnership with Gaby Deslys, who was a well-known French actress and dancer in the early 1900s. Together, they popularized a dance named after Deslys, called The Gaby Glide. Pilcer's stage credits include Vera Violetta (1911), Stop! Look! Listen! (1915), Laissez-Les Tomber (1917) and Pins and Needles (1922). He also appeared in the films Her Triumph (1915) and Infatuation (1918). After Deslys's death in 1920, Pilcer partnered with the French dancer Mistinguett for ten years. In 1930, he began working as master of ceremonies and entertainer at French casinos owned by Francois Andre and remained a popular entertainer in France throughout the 1930s. He was a choreographer for and appeared in the film The Razor's Edge (1946). Pilcer continued to work as an entertainer until his death in 1961." Online Archive of California - Finding Aid for the Harry Pilcer collection

Mark, Mona
US.20180711.020 · Person
Connolly, Sybil
US.20180927-007 · Person · 1921-1998

Sybil Connolly (1921-1998) was an Irish fashion designer. Connolly dressed a number of famous individuals, most notably Jacqueline Kennedy, who wears a Connolly design in her official portrait. Later in her life, Connolly designed interior goods for Tiffany & Co.

US.20180927-017 · Corporate body · 1937-1984

Mirsa was a Italian knitwear company founded in 1937. The company was founded by the Marchesa Olga di Gresy , producing ready-to-wear designs sold in leading department stores.The company closed in 1984.

Morton, Digby
US.20180927-019 · Person · 1906-1983

Digby Morton was an Irish fashion designer. Morton worked as a designer at Lachasse until opening his own fashion house in 1930. Morton was a founding member of Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers, working throughout World War II and creating designs for military uniforms. After the war, Morton incorporated popular ready-to-wear pieces into his collection. In 1957, Morton closed his couture house and became Design Director of Reldan-Digby Morton, which produced ready-to-wear fashions.

Paterson, Ronald
US.20180927-023 · Person · 1917-1993

Ronald Paterson (1917-1993) was a Scottish fashion designer. Paterson opened his own couture house in 1947 after studying in both Paris and at the Piccadilly Institute of Design in London. His fashion house closed in 1968.

Stiebel, Victor, 1907-1976
US.20180927-025 · Person · 1907-1976

Victor Stiebel (1907-1976) was a British couturier. Born in South Africa, Stiebel began his career by designing theatre wardrobe at Cambridge University. In 1932, Stiebel opened his own fashion house in London. After closing his house temporarily during World War II, Stiebel returned to designing and became Chariman of the Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers. He is known for his designs for royalty, including Princess Margaret, as well as his designs for the Women's Royal Navy Service uniforms. Stiebel closed his house in 1963.

Kaish, Morton, 1927-
US.20180711.013 · Person · 1927-

Morton Kaish (1927- ) is an American artist known for his paintings, prints, and fashion illustrations. During the 1950s and 1960s, Kaish worked as a fashion illustrator for publications such as Harper's Bazaar, Esquire, and Lord & Taylor. In addition, Kaish was a Professor of Art and Design at FIT for 25 years. While teaching at FIT, Kaish developed and led a study abroad program in Florence, Italy. Kaish has also been in Art-in-residence at a number of universities in the United States. His works have been featured in many museum exhibits across the country.

Draz, Tod
US.20180702.088 · Person

Tod Draz, a superb draughtsman, created dramatic illustrations of the self-assured American type for Arnold Constable and Saks Fifth Avenue as well as for fashion magazines.

US.20181012-004 · Person · 1910 April 20-1991 February 12

"The son of a famous U.S. Senator who was a chief architect of Social Security, Robert Wagner Jr. graduated from Yale University in 1933 and received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1937. Fresh out of law school, Wagner, a lifelong Democrat, was elected to the Assembly, where he served three terms. He enlisted in the Army during World War II, achieving the rank of lieutenant colonel. Upon returning to New York City, Wagner served in different capacities under Mayor O'Dwyer, until he successfully ran for Manhattan Borough President in 1949. In 1953, Wagner ran in the Democratic primary for mayor with the backing of Tammany Hall. He beat Vincent Impellitteri by a large margin and went on to win the general election. At his inauguration, Wagner pledged to create a "government dedicated to the best interest of all people" and extolled the virtue of public service as "among the most noble challenges and among the greatest responsibilities.""

During Wagner's twelve years as mayor, several large scale projects were initiated or completed, such as the construction of the Van Wyck Expressway, the Grand Central Parkway, the Long Island Expressway, the Verrazano-Narrows and Throgs Neck Bridges, Shea Stadium, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. During Wagner's tenure the city also hosted the 1964-65 World's Fair. Wagner is credited with making gains in slum clearance and the creation of public housing. He reduced corruption in city government and expanded the police force. He appointed talented professionals to serve in his administration and greatly increased the number of minorities in civil service. Twice reelected, Wagner decided not to seek a fourth term in 1965, instead returning to private practice. He was appointed ambassador to Spain from 1968 to 1969, resigning to run unsuccessfully in the mayoral primary. In 1976, President Jimmy Carter named him US representative to the Vatican. He practiced law in New York City and also served on the City Charter Revision Commission in the 1980's. In 1989, New York University named its graduate school of public service in his honor. Wagner died of heart failure at his Manhattan home on February 12, 1991."

Baghsarian, Arsho
US.20181012-011 · Person

Arsho Baghsarian was born in Turkey to Armenian parents and immigrated to the United States in 1957, during her teen years, eager to study design. She would receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with honors in fashion design From the Pratt Institute in New York in 1962.
That same year, after she competed in a competition for best student fashion design among the top ten fashion students in the country and received the prestigious annual N.Y. Fashion Designer Celanese Award, Baghsarian briefly designed sportswear on 7th Avenue. However, a phone call from former professor Laura Tosato Busgang was the catalyst that caused the young woman, who during adolescence had cut out and laced cardboard soles with bright ribbons, to begin what would become a successful career spanning more than forty-five years in the footwear industry. The phone call concerned a position with Genesco that was designed to reinvigorate it Christian Dior, a position Baghsarian gladly accepted in 1963. Six months later the Christian Dior division of Genesco merged with I Miller, another division of Genesco. Baghsarian took over design for the new label until 1969. Before leaving the label and pursuing other projects within the footwear industry, Baghsarian received the Pellon Award, as well as won the Leather Industries of America’s American Shoe Designer Award in the women’s best footwear category in 1968.
From 1969 to 1971, Baghsarian designed for Andrew Geller’s Etcetera & Adlib lines. After she teamed up with Jerry Miller and helped design his Margaret Jerrold and Shoe Biz lines. (Jerry Miller’s grandfather founded I. Miller, which he worked for until I. Miller was bought by Genesco and he started his own line.) She credits her fifteen years at the company as having a huge influence on her career years at the company run by Jerry Miller—credits him as having huge influence on her career since Miller’s Margaret Jerrold, Shoe Strings and Shoe Biz lines had her creating footwear in factories around the world from Spain to Italy to France and even becoming the first company to make fashion sandals at a price in mainland China. Miller was so impressed by Arsho’s work he created the Arsho for Shoe Biz label. The title of the line was fitting for a designer who did not remain behind the scenes and preferred instead to present her designs at trunk shows, such as at Lord & Taylor and Bonwit Teller and be on a first-name basis with customers.
In 1986 until 2008, Baghsarian designed for Stuart Weitzman & Company. During this time she also designed a couture line under the Arsho label, however, her talent led to Weitzman awarding her the label Arsho for Stuart Weitzman. She became the first full-time designer he collaborated with on his collection, which was not limited to casual stretch shoes, thongs, sneakers, mules, clogs, fur and mouton boots, bridal shoes and evening footwear complete with with pave stones and jeweled architectural heels. Within the company, Baghsarian was able to fully express her creativity, whether displaying her affinity for whimsical designs or her taste for glamor.
In January 2008, Baghsarian retired from the footwear industry and was inducted into Footwear News Hall of Fame. She now divides her time between Manhattan and Southhampton with her husband of more than forty years, fashion photographer and sculptor Avedis Baghsarian. Despite her retirement, she admits she will never stop designing.

Fini, Leonor, 1908-1996
US.20181012-024 · Person · 1908-1996

"Leonor Fini is considered one of the most important women artists of the mid-twentieth century, along with Leonora Carrington, Frida Kahlo, Meret Oppenheim, Remedios Varo, and Dorothea Tanning – most of whom Fini knew well. Her career, which spanned some six decades, included painting, graphic design, book illustration, product design (the renowned torso-shaped perfume bottle for Schiaparelli’s Shocking), and set and costume design for theatre, ballet, opera, and film. In this compellingly readable, exhaustively researched account, author Peter Webb brings Fini’s provocative art and unconventional personal life, as well as the vibrant avant-garde world in which she revolved, vividly in life.

Born in Buenos Aires in 1907 (August 30 – January 18, 1996, Paris) to Italian and Argentine parents, Leonor grew up in Trieste, Italy, raised by her strong-willed, independent mother, Malvina. She was a virtually self-taught artist, learing anatomy directly from studying cadavers in the local morgue and absorbing composition and technique from the Old Masters through books and visits to museums.

Fini’s fledging attempts at painting in Trieste let her to Milan, where she participated in her first group exhibition in 1929, and then to Paris in 1931.
Her vivacious personality and flamboyant attire instantly garnered her a spotlight in the Parisian art world and she soon developed close relationships with the leading surrealist writers and painters, including Paul Eluard, Salvador Dali, Man Ray, and Max Ernst, who became her lover for a time. The only surrealist she could not abide because of his misogyny was André Breton. Although she repeatedly exhibited with them, she never considered herself a surrealist. The American dealer Julien Levy, very much impressed by Fini’s painting and smitten by her eccentric charms, invited her to New York in 1936, where she took part in a joint gallery exhibition with Max Ernst and met many American surrealists, including Joseph Cornell and Pavel Tchelitchew. Her work was included in MoMA’s pivotal Fantastic Art, Dada and Surrealism exhibition, along with De Chirico, Dali, Ernst, and Yves Tanguy.

In 1939 in Paris she curated an exhibition of surrealist furniture for her childhood friend Leo Castelli for the opening of his first gallery.
Introductions to her exhibition catalogues were written by De Chirico, Ernst, and Jean Cocteau.

A predominant theme of Fini’s art is the complex relationship between the sexes, primarily the interplay between the dominant female and the passive, androgynous male. In many of her most powerful works, the female takes the form of a sphinx, often with the face of the artist. Fini was also an accomplished portraitist; among her subjects were Stanislao Lepri and Constantin (Kot) Jelenski (two of her longtime lovers, with who she lived simultaneously, along with more than a dozen cats), and her friends writer Jean Genet, actresses Maria Casarès, Anna Magnani, Alida Valli, and Suzanne Flon, ballerina Margot Fonteyn, film director Luchino Visconti, artists Meret Oppenheim and Leonora Carrington, and socialites Francesca Ruspoli and Hélène Rochas.

Fini’s love of designing for stage and screen may have derived from her passion for extravagant masks, elaborate costumes, and fantastical drama. She created award-winning set designs, costumes, and posters for the Paris Opera and the Metropolitan Opera Association, George Balanchine’s Le Palais de cristal (now called Symphony in C), Anouilh’s Les Demoiselles de la nuit, Renato Castellani’s Romeo and Juliet, Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Racine’s Bérénice, Jean Genet’s The Maids and The Balcony, Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2, and John Huston’s A Walk with Love, Anjelica Huston’s first film.

Talented, glamorous, and controversial, Leonor Fini was a frequent subject of poems and photographs by many members of her circle, including Charles Henri Ford, Paul Eluard, Georges Hugnet, Erwin Blumenfeld, Dora Maar, Man Ray, Georges Platt Lynes, Lee Miller, Horst, Brassaï, Cecil Beaton, and Henri Cartier-Bresson"

Dillon, Phyllis
US.20181018-001 · Person

Phyllis Dillon is an Independent Scholar and Consulting Museum Curator. She has worked for over 35 years in the fields of costume and textile studies, and in museums as a textile conservator, curator and arts administrator. She was a textile conservator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Textile Conservation Workshop. In the 1980s-90s she was a grants officer at the New York State Council on the Arts in the Museum Program. In that position she oversaw the distribution of millions of dollars to Museum’s statewide.

For the last 20 years she has concentrated her research on the history of the Jewish role in the American garment industry and the history of ready-made clothing. She was Main Researcher and Associate Curator of the National Endowment for the Humanities funded exhibit: “A Perfect Fit: The Garment Industry and American Jewry 1860-1960 at Yeshiva University Museum in the Center for Jewish History in 2005 and co-authored the catalogue of the same name. She also had an article in a second book called A Perfect Fit published by Texas University Tech in 2012.

She was Associate Producer and Main Researcher on a documentary film called “Dressing America: Tales from the Garment Center (2014) in collaboration with Pacific Street Films . The film showed in international film festivals and was aired on PBS in 2014 and 2016.

Her latest publication is a chapter co-written with British business historian Andrew Godley about the history of the American garment industry in the book Chosen Capital: The Jewish Encounter with American Capitalism from Rutgers University Press (July 2012).

She holds a Certificate in Museum Studies and an M.A. in anthropology from New York University. She was awarded a Winston Churchill Traveling Fellowship to Great Britain in 1981 to study the differences between American and British Art Conservation Services and has lectured widely. Since 2016 she has researched and done selected oral history interviews of senior members of the Fashion Industry for the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Steele, Valerie
US.20181026-002 · Person · 1955-

Valerie Steele is director and chief curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she has personally organized more than 20 exhibitions since 1997, including The Corset: Fashioning the Body, London Fashion, Gothic: Dark Glamour, Shoe Obsession, Daphne Guinness, A Queer History of Fashion, and Dance and Fashion. She is also founder and editor in chief of Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, the first peer-reviewed, scholarly journal in Fashion Studies.

Steele combines serious scholarship (and a Yale Ph.D.) with a rare ability to communicate with general audiences. She is author or co-author of more than 20 books, including Fashion and Eroticism, Paris Fashion, Women of Fashion, Fetish: Fashion, Sex and Power, The Corset: A Cultural History, Gothic: Dark Glamour, Japan Fashion Now, The Impossible Collection Fashion, The Berg Companion to Fashion, and Fashion Designers A-Z: The Collection of The Museum at FIT, as well as contributing essays to publications, such as Fashion and Art and Impressionism, Fashion & Modernity. Her books have been translated into Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian.

As author, curator, editor, and public intellectual, Valerie Steele has been instrumental in creating the modern field of fashion studies and in raising awareness of the cultural significance of fashion. She has appeared on many television programs, including The Oprah Winfrey Show and Undressed: The Story of Fashion. Described in The Washington Post as one of fashions brainiest women and by Suzy Menkes as The Freud of Fashion, she was listed among Fashions 50 Most Powerful by the Daily News and as one of The People Shaping the Global Fashion Industry in the Business of Fashion 500 (2014).

Riley, Robert
US.20181026-009 · Person · 1911-2001

"Robert Riley, an expert on fashion design who oversaw collections and organized design shows at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Fashion Institute of Technology, died on Oct. 6 at a hospital in Hyannis, Mass. He was 90 and lived in Truro, Mass. Mr. Riley retired in 1981 after two decades as director of the design laboratory of the Fashion Institute, in Manhattan. Earlier he held posts in the design field at the Brooklyn Museum for decades. Looking back in 1981 at recent fashion history, he said ruefully, ''The social upheaval of the 50's and 60's broke the back of the fashion business so that people are no longer concerned with how they look or with what's coming out of Paris.'' Some weeks before he left the Fashion Institute, he oversaw his last costume show there, a retrospective of the work of the noted textile and fabric designer Mario Fortuny. One fashion writer wrote of Mr. Riley at the time that the exhibition reflected ''the teamwork, good planning and unerring eye that are his trademarks.''"

Traub, Marvin
US.20181109-002 · Person · 1925-2012

Born on April 14, 1925 in New York City, Marvin S. Traub was a key figure in the retail industry of the mid to late 20th century. He is best known for turning Bloomingdale's Department Store into an upmarket, fashion forward cultural center and taking it from a $65 million dollar business in 1950 to a billion dollar business in 1987. Before starting at Bloomingdale's, Traub graduated from Harvard's undergraduate college and then Harvard Business School. Traub also served in WWII and in 1948 he married his wife, Lee (n

Cooke, Gordon
US.20181109-003 · Person

Gordon Cooke was the Executive Vice President for Sales Promotion at Bloomingdale's throughout the 1980s, eventually leaving Bloomingdale's to work for Time Warner in 1992. While at Bloomingdale's, Cooke worked under Marvin S. Traub, who was in his final decade as the chief executive at the department store.

Axelrod, Norman
US.20181109-006 · Person

Norman Axelrod had been at Bloomingdale's for eleven years, and was the Senior Vice President and General Merchandise Manager at the time of this interview. Axelrod started in the summer of 1976 as a retail trainee and continued to work at Bloomingdale's into 1987, at which point he became the president and CEO of Linens 'n Things in 1988.