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Fashion design
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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

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-

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

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

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

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

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

Apparel Design Program, undated

Photographs of professors and students desiging clothes, working on dress forms, doing research in museums, working in the design room, learning draping, making children's clothing, working from patterns, and sketching designs.

Norman Norell, Spring 1965

  • US NNFIT SC.97
  • collection
  • 1965

This collection is comprised of materials pertraining to Norman Norell millinery designs. It contains handwritten notes that describe Halston hats. Also included are thirty-one photos of Halston hats and pen sketches of design details of hats from Spring 1965.

Norell, Norman, 1900-1972

Joseph Whitehead collection, circa 1920-1959

  • US NNFIT SC.46
  • collection
  • circa 1920-1959

This collection contains sketches, photographs and scrapbooks pertaining to the career of fashion designer Joseph Whitehead.

Whitehead, Joseph

Ted Roberts sketches, 1945-1959

  • US NNFIT SC.458
  • collection
  • 1945 - 1959

This collection is comprised of 27 original womenswear sketches by former FIT professor Ted Roberts.

Roberts, Ted

Martin Unger sketches, 1960s, bulk 1966-1967

  • US NNFIT SC.422
  • collection
  • 1960s, bulk 1966-1967

This collection is comprised of 19 folders containing sketches of womenswear by Martin Unger. Some of the sketches have fabric samples attached. There are several photocopied versions of the sketches. Multiple folders within the collection features sketches of designs by other designers. Included within the collection are press materials and a brief article about Martin Unger.

Unger, Martin

Madame Eta collection, 1933-1967

  • US NNFIT SC.400
  • collection
  • 1933-1967

This collection is comprised of press clippings, photographs, correspondence, and other materials relating to the designs of Madame Eta Hentz for "Ren-Eta" and "Eta."

Hentz, Eta, 1895-1986

Nancy North photographs and sketches, 1973

  • US NNFIT SC.387
  • collection
  • 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

Miscellaneous Subscription Services

  • US NNFIT SC.383
  • collection
  • 1930-1969

This collection contains four folders of fashion sketches accumulated as part of subscription services.

Sally Victor photographs, Spring-Fall, 1944

This folder contains black and white photographs depicting clothed women wearing Victor hats from 1944. Most photographs include typed descriptions attached and some have handwritten notes on the reverse side. Also, included are magazine and newspaper clippings.

Sally Victor photographs, Fall 1942

This folder contains black and white photographs depicting clothed women wearing Victor hats from 1942. Most photographs include typed descriptions attached and some have handwritten notes on the reverse side. Also, included are promotional materials.

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