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The Museum at FIT records

  • US NNFIT SC.FITA.10
  • subgroup
  • 1948-2019

The Museum at FIT records are arranged into six (6) series; they are Administrative records, Exhibition records, Promotional material, Symposia records, Correspondence, and Fashion Culture records.

Museum at FIT

Peter Scotese interview, circa 1994-1995

Peter Scotese, the Chair of the board of trustees at FIT, joined in 1970. He discusses his appointment to the Board of Education and his advantageous textile manufacturing experience as the CEO of Spring Industries. Scotese lists board members he worked with at the start and later notes how the board has increased its reach. He describes the on-going support that the Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries provides FIT and touts the unique offerings of the school such as the Shirley Goodman Resource Center. Scotese also mentions industry support and the ways in which adjunct professors provide a contemporary vocational education to the students at FIT. He then discusses various departments and how their growth is shaped by the industry. To illustrate, he mentions Andrew Goodman and the founding of the buying and merchandising department. Scotese says that the fur industry is pushing FIT to build a program, and that he sees quite a lot of opportunity in the emergence of home fashions. Finally, Scotese explains his Horatio Alger award and pays homage to successful designers such as Emilio Pucci, Nicole Miller, Ralph Lauren, and Calvin Klein.

Poll, Carol

Ellen Goldstein interview, 1994 December 15

Ellen Goldstein, the Chair of the Accessories Design and Millinery Department, started with FIT’s Fashion Design Department as a part-time instructor. In 1981, the school received a federal grant for industries affected by imports and was able to start an accessories department. With additional support from the industry, the department has taken off. Goldstein explains her beginnings as a tapestry weaver and how she got into handbag design. She then describes the demographics of her department’s diverse student body. She discusses how both the 1-year and 2-year program are feeding the accessories industry and how FIT’s millinery program has revitalized an industry thought to be dead.

Goldstein, Ellen

Allan Hershfield interview, circa 1994-1995

Allan Hershfield, who had been the president of FIT for 2.5 years at the time of this interview, elucidates the qualities that set the school apart from other higher education institutions by explaining the school’s direction and high placement percentages. He details close relationships with the industry via advisory councils such as the Fragrance Action Council and emphasizes the economic impact of the apparel industry on the city of New York. Hershfield talks a bit about the international nature of the workforce and describes a soon-to-be FIT design incubator. He also mentions the board of trustees and describes FIT’s advantageous status as both a SUNY school and community college. Hershfield then delves into the Educational Foundation and scholarships made possible by founders such as Morris Haft. He describes the bi-partisan legislative support FIT receives, and finally, discusses student projects and a particularly underestimated alum who became an extremely successful bridal designer.

Poll, Carol

Ingrid Johnson interview, circa 1994-1995

Chair of the Textile Development and Marketing Department Ingrid Johnson discusses developments in textile studies since her start at FIT in 1981. Johnson notes that course work has evolved from a more science-oriented approach to one that favors reverse-engineering textiles to fit end-use applications. She then illustrates the end-use applications of various fibers. Johnson describes her work as a home furnishing fabric developer before being recruited by Arthur Price to join FIT, and goes on to discuss successful alumni placement at companies such as Liz Claiborne, J. Crew, and Patagonia. Johnson notes the complexity of international sourcing and product development, and then describes the invention of EcoSpun, a recycled polyester textile, patented by alumni of the program. She discusses close connections with the industry and professional organizations such as the Textile Distributors Association. Finally, she describes the demographics of FIT’s student body and how the school attracts students with its international reputation.

Johnson, Ingrid, 1951-

Mollie Parnis interview, 1982 June 2

This interview opens with Mollie Parnis talking about her latest project, a prize for three young journalists that she began in memory of her son. She then segues into the origins of her company and her early biography. She commenced her career by designing blouses after being frustrated at the quality of the designs while working in a design showroom on Madison Avenue. The Parnis-Livingston company began in a studio Seventh Avenue about five-years after Mollie Parnis and Leon Livingston married in 1930, with Mollie designing and Leon managing the business needs. After her husband died in 1960 she closed the business for three-months. Diana Vreeland convinced Mollie to stay open by putting two of her sketches in Harper’s Bazaar. The name of the business remained Parnis-Livingston until 1970 when it changed to Mollie Parnis. She now has three divisions: Mollie Parnis, Inc.; Mollie Parnis Studio; and Mollie Parnis at Home. Upon success, she began doing philanthropic work, including a grant foundation called “Mollie Parnis Dress up Your Neighborhood”; scholarships at FIT and Parsons; and the aforementioned journalistic prizes. Topics touched on include: the impersonalization of the current fashion industry; her friendship with various First Ladies, including Mamie Eisenhower, Lady Bird Johnson, and Nancy Reagan; how the changes in the industry have necessitated changes in her business-model, including the prevalence of licensing from designers in the 1980s.

Parnis, Mollie

George Simonton records

This collection is comprised of original sketches and photographs, business and promotional materials, and materials related to the fashion career of George Simonton as well as his work at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Simonton, George

Ramona Ramos papers, 1952-1953

3 folders of Ramona Ramos' school work when she was a student at FIT. Includes sketches, examples of sewing, biographies of designers, paper patterns, report on millinery history, machine skills course work, and collages.

Ramos, Ramona

Bergdorf Goodman Custom Salon sketches, 1930-1969

  • US NNFIT SC.20
  • Collectie
  • 1930s-1969

The Bergdorf Goodman Custom Salon sketches collection contains 8,976 pencil, ink, and watercolor sketches by staff artists representing clothing and millinery available in Bergdorf's custom salon. These garments were made to order either from designs purchased by special arrangement from the leading coutouriers of the day or from sketches by Bergdorf's then well known in-house designers. Representative designers include Dior, Balenciaga, Halson and Courreges. House designers include Leslie Morris, Mary Gleason, and Bernard Newman. There is a complete run from 1950 to 1969. In addition, there is a representative sampling of sketches from the 1930s and 40s.
In addition to the sketches, the collection contains preliminary manuscripts and galley proofs of Booton Herndon's book Bergdorf's on the Plaza (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1956) as well as typescripts of his interviews with and about members of the Goodman family and with and about such key members of the staff as Ethel Frankau, Odna Brandeis, and house designers Bernard Newman, Leslie Morris, and Mary Gleason.
The last series contains the original finding aid for the collection.

Bergdorf Goodman (New York, N.Y.)

The Traphagen School of Fashion collection, circa 1941

  • US NNFIT SC.363
  • Collectie
  • circa 1941

This collection contains promotional materials, photographs, stationary and a fashion show program pertaining to the Traphagen School of Fashion.

Traphagen School of Fashion

Harper's Bazaar Fashion illustrations, 1940-1942

  • US NNFIT SC.369
  • Collectie
  • 1940-1942

This collection contains fashion illustrations (mainly garments) executed for Harper's Bazaar between the years of 1940-1942 by Dagmar Freuchen-Gale, Sara Johns and Reynaldo Luza. On the back of the illustrations there are Harper's Bazaar issue numbers that the illustrations were published in.

Harper's Bazaar

Arnold Scaasi fashion sketches and swatches, 1966-1992

  • US NNFIT SC.297
  • Collectie
  • 1966-1992

This collection cotains both original and photocopied sketches by Arnold Scassi ranging from 1966-1992. Each sketch is accompanied by a fabric swatch and is separated into 21 folders by the collection season ( i.e., Boutique Fall 92) Fabric content is often noted alongside an indication of its use. For example "Printed silk dress and jacket - dress has printed silk ruffle at neckline with white guipure lace edging. Jacket has matching ruffle cuffs." Included in some folders are pricelist, order forms and handwritten notes.

Scaasi, Arnold

Stephen Burrows collection, 1969-2012

  • US NNFIT SC.332
  • Collectie
  • 1969-2012

This collection contains fashion sketches (originals and digital facsimiles), fashion photographs, and press/promotional materials documenting the career of Stephen Burrows in the fashion industry from 1969-2012. There is a gap of press materials from 1990-2000 when he left Henri Bendel to open his own business on seventh avenue. His fragrance named, Stephen B., is briefly documented in photographs, press, and a silver wave necklace solid perfume. Ephemeral materials such as personal photographs and an E.R.A ribbon are also a part of the collection.

Burrows, Stephen, 1943-

Lord & Taylor collection, 1826-2010

  • US NNFIT SC.125
  • Collectie
  • 1826-2010

This collection contains scrapbooks and company records related to the Lord and Taylor department stores, primarily focused on the original stores in New York City. The scrapbook series consists of unbound pages of newspaper and magazine clippings of Lord and Taylor stores in New York City and the greater New York Area. Company records include advertising, photographs and illustrations of Lord and Taylor buildings, company catalogs, press releases and clippings, as well as internal company histories authored by Lord and Taylor. A small subseries relates to biographical information and photographs of former Lord and Taylor president Dorothy Shaver.

Lord & Taylor

Nancy North photographs and sketches, 1973

  • US NNFIT SC.387
  • Collectie
  • 1973

This collections is comprised of seventeen (17) 18x16" black and white framed photographs by Bill Cunninham taken at the Grand Divertissement à Versailles in 1973. Persons featured in photographs include Marisa Berenson, Karen Bjornson, Alva Chinn, Dennis Christopher, Pat Cleveland, Bill Dugan, Heidi Lieberfarb, China Machado, Nancy North, Chris Royer, Ramona Saunders, and Andy Warhol. Also included in the collection are twenty-five (25) 17 x 11" original marker sketches by Halston and a program for the Grand Divertissement à Versailles.

North, Nancy

Margé Studios collection, 1919-1953

  • US NNFIT SC.147
  • Collectie
  • 1919-1953

This collection is comprised of 18 folders containing designer sketches, large fabric swatches many of which include embellishment, and press materials.

Margé, Madame, 1878-1950

Eric de Juan sketch collection, 1927-1989

  • US NNFIT SC.239
  • Collectie
  • 1927-1989

This collection consists of over 2500 sketches by designer Eric de Juan, from 1927 through 1989. The sketches include several done for Josephine Baker in 1949, as well as sketches from de Juan's two years spent as the in-house designer for the Bergdorf Goodman custom salon. Some sketches from the Bergdorf Goodman custom salon have swatches attached.

de Juan, Eric

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