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Archivistische beschrijving
Fashion Institute of Technology-SUNY, Gladys Marcus Library, College Archives Oral history
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Jeanette Jarnow interview, 1994 December 20

Jeannette Jarnow, former Chair of the Fashion Buying and Merchandising Department (FBM), discusses the small and intimate nature of FIT when she joined in 1956. She discusses the founding of the school by Morris Haft, Virginia Pope, and a handful of fashion industry insiders. She then describes the birth of the FBM department thanks to an endowment by Bergdorf Goodman as well as close relationships with Lord & Taylor, Abraham and Strauss, and Bloomingdale's. Jarnow touches on influential people from each department store and then goes into the student demographic make-up of the 1950s. Jarnow describes the changes at FIT over her 38 year career such as the former dress code. She then describes fundraising events and field trips to wholesalers and retailers. Jarnow also remembers famous speakers coming to the school such as Yves Saint Laurent and Givenchy. She recalls that Virginia Pope used to take students to the opera and other public events to experience fashion and culture. Jarnow briefly touches on her time as Chair and describes the publication of her book, “Inside the Fashion Business.” Jarnow also emphasizes FIT’s international reach and the vast array of career options alumni have experienced. Finally, she mentions the Oral History of FIT taken by Mildred Finger which was housed in the library.

Jarnow, Jeannette

FIT Oral histories project

Launched in 1978, an oral history of the fashion industries has been maintained by the Gladys Marcus Library’s Special Collections and Archives department, amassing nearly 375 oral history holdings in various formats, to date, and growing.

In anticipation of FIT's 75th anniversary in 2019, “FIT Talks” was established and institutionalized in [2012?] to make available previously inaccessible content, and to continue to build a rich library of oral histories representative of the fashion and broader creative industries that will be of interest and available to the public at large.

Interviews already include current and former members of the FIT community as well as significant and well-known figures in the fashion industry. For example, charming dialogue about fashion between Princess Grace of Monaco and designer Vera Maxwell is now available to any researcher. Interviews provided through Ford Models, Inc. are also part of the collection.

Gladys Marcus Library