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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.

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.

Lucile, Ltd. records, 1910-1925

  • US NNFIT SC.1
  • Collectie
  • 1863-1935

Collection is comprised of model photographs, sketches, photographs of sketches, show programs, some newspaper and magazine clippings with articles about or by Lucile, order forms, advertisements, and fashion plates. Garment designs include theatrical costumes, wedding gowns, day and evening wear, tea gowns, lingerie and pajamas. Bulk of the collection consists of model photographs, fashion sketches, photographs of sketches and official phototransfers. In addition there are clippings of articles from different publications written by or about Lucile, she wrote regular columns for Hearst publications. Programs for the "Model Parades" introducing lines of clothing for several years. There are some photographs of Lucile's clients, and photographs of "Rose room" interiors of Lucile. Ltd from New York and Chicago locations. Inspirational and reference materials collected by Lucile and/or her staff, mainly fashion plates and newspaper clippings from different publications. Dates range from the early 1910s to the mid 1920s. Model photographs were glued in large format (12-14"w to 16-18"h) standard, blank books to order, referred throughout this finding aid as scrapbooks; there are 12 volumes in the collection. Bulk of original drawings that are arranged according to the type of clothing are loose, drawn on a heavy weight board; sketches for 1916 and 197-18 lines were glued into scrapbooks; there are 12 volumes of original drawings and 2 volumes of photographs and phototransfers. It is possible that two types of arrangement seen throughout the collection (most of Model photographs chronologically, most of sketches by type of clothing) are due to different purpose these materials served; sketches of period gowns or theatrical costumes could have been referred to time and time again for different productions or themed social events, whereas model photographs would have documented actual creation of such a garment at a certain point in time. It is also not clear why, but some scrapbooks with model photographs are reproduced in complete entirety, using same photo session materials some fully annotated.

Duff Gordon, Lucy, Lady

Fern Mallis interview, 2019 July 10

Phyllis Dillon speaks with Fern Mallis about her career in the fashion industry. Mallis discusses her time as a young woman working in the coveted Guest Editorship position at Madamoiselle magazine, and her time living at the Barbazon Hotel for Women. She goes on to discuss her time working for the magazine as an employee in her years after college, and the other jobs she took after leaving Madamoiselle. She then describes how she learned about the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), what led up to her being hired by them, and her development of New York Fashion Week. She discusses how vastly the industry has changed due to the rise of the prevalence and influence of technology, and issues with sustainability and how detrimental the fashion industry is to the environment. She finally speaks about her time on the FIT Board.

Dillon, Phyllis

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

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

Hermes, 1973

This folder contains one 8x10 black and white photograph of a Hermes swimwear design that is labeled 1973 (hand-written on the back).

June 15-16, 1996

This folder contains a column on handbags and a color photo of Kelly bags by Hermès and black and white photocopies of photos of handbags by Mark Cross, Coach, Judith Leiber and Azzedine Alaia for Louis Vuitton.

Ruth Finley interview, 2015 June 11

Ruth Finley sat down with Phyliss Dillon and JoAnne Olian on August 6, 2015 to discuss her career and family life. Finley shares that when she was first starting out, she would call companies herself to explain her project, collating the information in a file box. The 1950s, Finley recalls, was an important period for New York fashion as individual designers were beginning to emerge; this shift is reflected in Finley’s calendar from the period. Finley reveals that New York became the first of the “Big Four” to show each season because of the efforts of Calvin Klein and Helmut Lang. The large fashion shows staged by the New York designers, according to Finley, were a result of multiple showroom accidents rather than inspiration from Paris.

Finley, Ruth, 1920-2018

Ben Gershel, 1959

This folder contains a press release about Charles Francis (president) and Robert Knox (designer) of Ben Gershel, and one 8x10 black and white photograph of a coat look from 1959.

Sketches, 1913-

The Frances Neady collection of Original Fashion Illustrations was established in 1984 to honor its namesake, an inspirational teacher of fashion illustration. The collection encompasses over a century of fashion art. Its earliest example, a watercolor by Pierre Brissaud for Gazette du Bon Ton,is dated 1913; its most recent donation is by contemporary artist Ruben Toledo. Among other stars represented in the collection are Eric (Carl Erickson), René Bouché, Dorothy Hood, George Stavrinos, and Antonio (Lopez). Donations to the collection come from artists, collectors, and industry professionals. The donated works fulfill criteria established by the Neady Collection Advisory Board, which acknowledges artists who exhibit high standards of draftsmanship and esthetic quality, demonstrate an individual approach, possess technical virtuosity, have worked for high-end magazines, stores or corporations, and have earned the admiration of their peers. The Frances Neady collection’s mission is to encourage and facilitate research by students and industry professionals in the art of fashion illustration. The collection presents a graphic record of the art’s evolution since the 1910s. In addition, it provides a vivid cultural and visual reflection of its time.

Joyce F. Brown interview, 2019 July 17

President of FIT, Dr. Joyce F. Brown is interviewed by Karen Trivette on July 17th, 2019. They discuss Dr. Brown’s upbringing and how her past senior-level positions at the City University of New York prepared her for her role as President of FIT. She continues to discuss the difference between running a college community from running a corporation, and how she has placed four strategic planning initiatives in order to provide for the whole of the school.

Trivette, Karen Jamison

FIT Talks oral history series, 2014-

FIT Talks is an oral history program of the Fashion Institute of Technology/State University of New York. It documents personal accounts and experiences of people relevant to the College and to the industries that support - and are supported by - the College’s curricula. The program incorporates the most suitable technologies for the capture and provision of content and, with the guidance of an advisory board, the strategic addition of new subjects to the collection. The collection is administered by the Special Collections and College Archives, a unit of the Gladys Marcus Library.

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