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Ralph Lauren interview, 1990 September 5 and 25

This interview with Ralph Lauren explores his life growing up in the Bronx and how he started his career in the fashion industry. He provides insight to his design process and the company products, which vary from clothing to furnishings and linens.

Lauren, Ralph

Eleanor Lambert interview, 1977 December 8

On December 8, 1977, Phyllis Feldkamp sat down with Eleanor Lambert to discuss Lambert’s decades-long career. Lambert reveals her first steps into the fashion industry as an art student in the midwest and how she got her start in New York City. Lambert touches on many aspects of the New York fashion industry of the mid-century, sharing tidbits about the American designers with whom she crossed paths. Lambert elucidates her involvement with helping establish The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as her varied roles in working with The New York Dress Institute, The Couture Group and Press Week, The Council of Fashion Designers of America, and The National Council of the Arts. Lambert culminates by discussing her position as coordinator of the COTY American Fashion Critics Awards and an amusing anecdote about Norman Norell, winner of the first “Winnie” award. A fashion show in Moscow, which Lambert had a hand in organizing, acted as somewhat of a dress rehearsal for, arguably, the defining moment of American fashion, the Battle of Versailles. Lambert came up with the idea as a fundraiser for Versailles palace, then in disrepair, and organized the American designers who would represent the country; this show ultimately proved to the world the talent and capability of the American fashion industry.

Feldkamp, Phyllis

Liz Claiborne interview, 1986 May

In this interview Liz Claiborne sat down with Estelle Ellis to discuss all aspects of Liz Claiborne Inc. Aware that her label represents a promise between her brand and the customer, Claiborne insists on being a part of every aspect of the design process for each label, from the initial color choices (which Claiborne stresses as being of paramount importance) to the final sample edits. Claiborne reveals the difficulties she faces when working with the menswear and childrenswear departments. In explaining why the Liz Claiborne company hires so many interns, Claiborne makes a point to explain the importance of learning on the job.

Claiborne, Liz, 1929-2007

Liz Claiborne interview, 1990 July 10 and 17

This interview with Liz Claiborne discusses her experiences as she worked her way up as a designer. She describes her past work with designers and firms such as Ben Reig, Omar Kiam, Dave Schwartz, Juniorite, and the Rhea manufacturing company. Claiborne provides insight to the growth of her own company and all of the factors that go into the production of it.

Claiborne, Liz, 1929-2007

Vera Maxwell 3-part interview

  • US NNFIT SC.FITA.3.20.4.9.1.57
  • Unità documentaria
  • 1979 February 28, March 1, and March 5th
  • Parte diAcademic Affairs records

John Touhey interviews Vera Maxwell over several days in the winter of 1979 about her childhood, her entry into and experiences in the fashion industry, as well as where she sees it going.

Maxwell, Vera

The Reminiscences of Theodore Fred Kuper, 1967 September 29 and 1969 August 15

  • US NNFIT SC.FITA.3.20.4.9.12.9
  • Unità documentaria
  • 1967 September 29 and 1969 August 15
  • Parte diAcademic Affairs records

Articles and interview of Theodore Fred Kuper about the origins of the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.), conducted by the Oral History Research Office of Columbia University in 1969. "These reminiscences of Theodore Fred Kuper refer to the creation and development of the Fashion Institute of Technology, a Community College of the City of New York under the program of the University of the State of New York, together with the creation of the Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industry. The tape recording of these recollections was started on September 29, 1967 by Lionel White, Fashion Institute, serving as recorder for Columbia University Oral History Office and continued from time to time in California by Mr. Kuper until completion on August 15, 1969." Kuper describes the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.)'s roots in the immigrant-run garment industry. He details early leaders in its development, and how, under the leadership of personalities such as Shirley Goodman, they sought support and funding to expand the institution's reputation and place in New York City.

Columbia University Center for Oral History Research

Eleanor Fried interview, 1984 November 29

Eleanor Fried, the first head of the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.)’s placement office, discusses her upbringing and the circumstances that led her to the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.) in 1947, shortly after its founding. She describes the early academic departments at the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.) and its demographics. Fried then details the institute’s successful management program and how the placement office went about developing close relationships with department stores and other employers in the Industry. Fried emphasizes the vocational maturity of many of the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.)’s two-year graduates, but explains that some students chose to go on to four-year degrees elsewhere. While the placement department was extremely successful in placing most students, it was severely understaffed; so Fried often ended up employing students to help with outreach. She explains how she stayed in contact with alumni and asked for their ongoing input regarding the school’s curriculum. Fried then describes the positive changes brought about by affirmative action, especially in regards to staffing her office. She finishes the interview by describing a book she published following her retirement as well as two she wrote while at the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.) including, “Is The Fashion Business Your Business?”

Emanuel Weintraub interview, 1985 January 24

Emanuel Weintraub, an alum of the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.), discusses his upbringing and family life in the Depression-era Bronx. He initially chose the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.) because it was free, and he received a scholarship. Weintraub briefly discusses his course work there in conjunction with work done at New York University. He graduated in 1947 with a degree in Industrial Management as part of the second graduating class of the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.). He discusses his professional start as a plant engineer at the Lily of France Corset Company and early interest in consulting work. After briefly describing his enlistment during the Korean War, Weintraub delves into the founding of his own consulting firm, Emanuel Weintraub Associates, Inc. The firm consults in three areas: industrial engineering and manufacturing, organization and organization structure, and marketing and market research. Weintraub describes his ongoing relationship with Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.) presidents such as Marvin Feldman. Then, he discusses his company?s work in-depth; how they assess companies? organizational functionality and various national studies they have done to advance the field. Finally, Weintraub discusses the growth of off-shore production and how he thinks it will negatively affect marketing and other adjacent industries in the United States.

Dean Marion Brandriss interview, 1984 December 19

This is an interview with Dean Marion Brandriss, who retired from the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.) in 1973. Brandriss explains her work as an English teacher and how she came to work at the City High School of Needle Trades where she met Mortimer Ritter. Brandriss explains how Ritter hand-picked his favorite instructors to help him build what would become the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.). She discusses touring high schools in the spring of 1944 to recruit students for the inaugural class, and offering incentives such as a weekly scholarship to all prospective students. Brandiss started at the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.) as the Director of Admissions, but elucidates the vast scope of work she and the small team were expected to take on. Brandriss describes the student body demographics, transitioning settings, and evolving admissions policies of the Institute as it continued to grow. Brandriss then explains how departments were added and goes into depth on the particular success of the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.)?s Fashion Buying and Merchandising Department. Brandriss ends the interview with a recollection of Mortimer Ritter?s insistence on the Institute?s name, saying that he wanted it to resemble that of M.I.T. in sound and flavor.

Sidney Bernstein interview, 1985 February 5

Vice President of the Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries Sidney Bernstein discusses his childhood and educational development in New York City. The launch of his successful real estate career put him in proximity to myriad furriers in the city. Eventually this led him to become more and more involved with the fur industry. He discusses the origins of the Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries and its work abroad at the Shenkar School in Israel. Bernstein initially became involved with the Fashion Institute of Technology as a real estate advisor. He describes the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.)?s rising reputation within the fashion industry and how the Institute has become an important asset, particularly for textiles. He briefly discusses scouting physical spaces to facilitate the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.)?s growth, and then explains how he came to found a scholarship for students there. He talks fondly of Thanksgivings spent with international scholarship recipients at his family home and delves a bit into his personal life. Bernstein then circles back to the fur industry and how, in many ways, it is returning to its roots as a family business. Bernstein was the longest serving member of the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.)'s Support Foundation. He passed away in 2004.

Shirley Goodman interview, 1984 February 7

This is an interview with Executive Vice President Emeritus and Executive Director of the Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries Shirley Goodman. She discusses her family history and first job in Washington D.C. This led her to a string of other opportunities including cooperating with Robert Moses to plan the 1939 World’s Fair in New York and participating in New York’s “Golden Anniversary,” in 1948. That year she was introduced to FIT; the start of a very long relationship. Goodman discusses having to learn quickly about the fashion industry, and describes the planning of FIT’s first building which was completed in 1959; with the subsequent building of their first dormitory in 1962 and second building in 1972. Goodman then delves into her activities during the Golden Anniversary, explaining vigorous twice-a-day fashion shows by Tom Lee and Eleanor Lambert at the Grand Central Palace. Goodman describes her involvement with the Moscow Expositions in both 1959 and 1967 and then goes into her personal life and family. Goodman describes how FIT started and how it has evolved over the years, including the acquisition of funding. Finally Goodman lists some of the major influences in her life.

Goodman, Shirley, 1915-1991

Norman Goodman interview, 1985 February 8

This interview is with Norman Goodman, son of one of the original Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.) founders, Abe Goodman. Norman discusses his father’s emigration from Romania and subsequent start in the garment business at age 11. Abe’s ascension in the garment business was swift, and he established A. Goodman Company in 1932. Norman describes the company’s set-up, and his father’s decision to largely employ fellow immigrants. In the 1940s, Abe introduced his son to Dr. Mortimer Ritter. Norman explains his own decision to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.) in order to manage his father’s business. He describes his time at school and the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.)’s efforts to make a name for itself via a trade show set up by Arthur Tarsius. Norman graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.) in 1948, but eventually chose to move into real estate. By the 1960s, Abe Goodman had liquidated his garment manufacturing business but continued working with others in the industry such as Mollie Parnis.

Interview of Rosalind Snyder, 1984 November 1

Rosalind Snyder, Founder Dean Emeritus 1944-1963 of FIT, discusses the Institute’s inception at the Central High School of Needle Trades, it’s founding vision, and it’s progression to a college-level institution. Snyder describes the educational trajectory that led to her initial post as Assistant Director alongside Dr. Mortimer Ritter at the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.). She describes the early demographics of students and the evolution of the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.)’s curriculum and educational policy, detailing close relationships with the fashion industry itself. Snyder discusses the spirit of collaboration and creativity in the early days of the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.), listing founding educators and innovators who helped the Institute flourish. Snyder pays particular attention to the 1950s wherein the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.) found a home on 27th street and, in 1951, was authorized as a community college; cementing its status as an academic institution of note. Snyder retired from her post in 1963, but asserts her continued belief in the permanence of the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.)’s unique vision of creative exploration.

Marvin Feldman interview, 1984 November 13 and 21

This is an interview with Marvin Feldman, the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.)’s longest-serving president, whose term ran from 1971 to 1992. The interview begins with a summary of Feldman’s military background and education, followed by his early work experience for the Ford Foundation and United States government agencies. He then explains his search for college presidencies in both the private and public sectors, and how he ended up at the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.). He describes the administration, faculty, and physical plant when he joined as president, and the Institute’s evolution from a two-year community college to an institution offering a four-year baccalaureate. Feldman then delves into the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.)’s interfacing with both the New York State government and various industry groups. He describes the hierarchy of the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.)’s administration and its management style. Feldman goes on to explain how departments grow and develop into viable courses and majors, and gives a detailed description of the Marketing program. He discusses the growth of international fashion merchandising, and then introduces two new Master’s programs. Finally, Feldman discusses the industry’s need for trained workers and how the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.) will function in the years ahead.

Jeannette Jarnow interview, 1984 November 1

This interview is with Jeannette Jarnow, the first chairperson of the Buying and Merchandising Department at the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.). Jarnow describes her professional ascent at the department store, Abraham & Straus, up to 1944; when she took a brief break due to her first pregnancy. Jarnow describes the path that led her to seek out a teaching post at the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.). Instead of offering Jarnow a professorial post, Rosalind Snyder invited her to found the Buying and Merchandising Department in 1956. Jarnow describes the challenges of starting a department including the extent of publicity efforts for the department as well as for the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.) itself, still struggling to make its name known in the Industry. As there were little to no instructional materials available, Jarnow assembled several books such as, “The Mathematics of Retail Merchandising,” and “Inside the Fashion Business,” that would come to be used by other educational institutions as well as by professional training programs. Jarnow briefly theorizes why the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.) was not as impacted by student unrest in the 1960s before launching into a depiction of the industry seminars her department held as a service to the Industry. She continues on to discuss the evolution of merchandising with the rise of chain stores, and the ways in which the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.) stays on top of industry trends. Finally Jarnow lists a host of successful alumni such as Sidney Biddle Barrow, the “Mayflower Madam,” who became famous for founding the most expensive call-girl operation in New York City.

Sally Victor scrapbook, 1933-1966

This folder contains a scrapbook that includes magazine press releases that date from 1941-1965. Also, included is a black and white photograph depicting a clothed woman wearing a Victor hat.

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