Kim Nguyen, Hillary Swank,
Michael Kors and Anna Wintou
The Couture Council of The Museum
at the Fashion Institute of Technology rang in
Spring/Summer 2014 Fashion Week when they hosted
their annual luncheon to honor this year's recipient
of the 2013 Couture Council Award for Artistry
of Fashion, designer Michael Kors. Past winners
of the Award include: Oscar
de la Renta (2012), Valentino
Lagerfeld (2010), Dries
Van Noten (2009), Isabel
Toledo (2008), Alber
Ebaz (2007), and Ralph Rucci (2006).
The Couture Council of FIT was founded
in 2004 to support The Museum at FIT and its success
is a direct reflection of the unlimited energy
and tireless dedication of Liz Peek, chairman
of the FIT Board of Trustees, FIT director Dr.
Valerie Steele and Council Chair Yaz Hernandez.
Luncheon chairs Cammie Lightburn
and Jieun Wax welcomed
everyone and thanked them for attending and supporting
the Museum at FIT. The chairs were followed to
the podium by Dr. Valerie Steele who declared
Michael Kors to be "The most fashionable
man in New York...Every time you see one of Michael’s
advertisements, you just want to BE that woman
– so chic, so glamorous, jet-setting around
the world in her sunglasses, and in the company
of a handsome, glamorous man. So thank you Michael,
for all you do for the women of the world."
Michael Kors recently gave FIT one
million dollars to endow a scholarship to pay
for the education of a talented student who without
financial help would not be able to attend FIT.
Dr. Joyce Brown, president of FIT, thanked Kors
for his support and announced the 2013 Michael
Kors Scholarship winner, third-semester student
Kim Nguyen. The scholarship includes time studying
in Europe, which as Dr. Brown pointed out, Michael
Kors believes is immeasurably important to the
development of a successful fashion designer.
The recipient of the scholarship will also be
given an opportunity to intern at Michael Kors.
The chairman of the FIT Board of
Trustees, Liz Peek, then introduced actress Hilary
Swank, who presented the Artistry of Fashion Award
to Michael Kors. Peek told the group that Swank
had known hard times in her journey to become
an Academy Award winning actress (and fashion
icon). Swank was born in Nebraska and when she
and her mother moved to California to pursue Hillary's
dream of becoming an actress, sometimes they had
to sleep in their Oldsmobile.
Swank wore a pretty summer frock
from the Michael Kors Collection. She spoke of
her love of Kors, both for his designs and for
just being Michael Kors, her friend. And Swank
is far from alone in the Kor fandom aka the "Kordom."
Kors's designs are worn by fabulous women all
over the world including Angelina Jolie and Mrs.
When it was time for Kors to speak, he regaled
the crowd with witty tidbits about his life -
like the fact that although he attended FIT, he
never graduated and he is still a (self professed)
nightmare at the sewing machine. And how, when
he was at FIT, he loved to parade around the campus
in outrageous costumes (there is no hint of that
now; the man is sleek). And how he does not consider
himself to be a couturier. His passions is American
luxury sportswear, a global style to be worn by
women everywhere - designs that are "sexy,
luxurious and casual."
Last to the podium was the always
fun Yaz Hernandez, who wore a totally rocking
pair of white cat eye sunglasses with black lenses.
She toasted the crowd with a glass of wine - thanking
everyone for attending the luncheon and thanking
the chairs, the board and Liz Peek.
Be sure to scroll down for party
pics and more information.
Alexandra Lebenthal, Yaz
Hernandez, Fe Fendi, Eleanora Kennedy and Liz
Liz Peek, Jieun Wax, Michael
Kors, Dr. Joyce Brown,
Cammie Lightburn and Dr. Valerie Steele
Diana Taylor, Liz Peek and Yaz Hernandez
||Alexandra Richards and
||Jean Shafiroff and Ike
||Muna Rihani al Nasser
and Reem Acra
||Chiu-Ti Jansen and Liz
The Luncheon Chairs were Kamie Lightburn and
Jieun Wax. The Honorary Luncheon Chairs are Lauren
duPont, Linda Fargo, Vanessa Getty, Patti Hansen,
Iman, Karolína Kurková, Aerin Lauder,
Sandra Lee, Crystal Lourd, Alexandra Richards,
Theodora Richards, Renee Rockefeller, Jamie Tisch,
Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis, Elettra Wiedemann,
and Anna Wintour.
Guests attending the luncheon included Amsale
Aberra, Reem Acra, Marc Anthony, Iris Apfel, Nina
Arianda, Fabiola Arias, Glenda Bailey, Dennis
Basso, Cathie Black, Andrew Bolton, Hamish Bowles,
Geoffrey Bradfield, Mario Buatta, Robin Burns-McNeill,
Sharon Bush, Lisa Cashin, Kathryn Chenault, Barbara
Cirkva, Suzi Cordish, Christina Davis, John Dempsey,
Carole Divet Harting, Simon Doonan, Linda Fargo,
Fe Fendi, Amy Fine Collins, Joele Frank, Ron Frasch,
Nina Garcia, Michele Gerber Klein, Marjorie Gordon,
Jamee Gregory, Audrey Gruss, Cornelia Guest, Agnes
Gund, Sharon Handler Loeb, Patti Hansen, Amanda
Hearst, Celia Hegyi, Yaz Hernandez, Judith Hoffman,
Iman, Chiu-Ti Jansen, Kimberly Kassel, Mariana
Kaufman, Eleanora Kennedy, Coco Kopelman, Karen
LeFrak, Leonard Lauder, Alexandra Lebenthal, Larry
Leeds, Heather Leeds, Petra Levin, Kamie Lightburn,
Jaqui Lividini, Carol Mack, Julie Macklowe, Fern
Mallis, Grace Meigher, B. Michael, Gillian Miniter,
Natalie Morales, Josie Natori, Liz Peek, John
Pomerantz, Ann Rapp, Alexandra Richards, Theodora
Richards, Darcy Rigas, Muna Rihani al Nasser,
Judith Ripka, Sheryl Schwartz, Pete Scotese, Jean
Shafiroff, Nancy Shaw Michelle Smith, Martha Stewart,
Hilary Swank, Diana Taylor, Jamie Tisch, Lizzie
Tisch, Barbara Tober, Zang Toi, Stefano Tonchi,
John Truex, Kay Unger, Bronson van Wyck, Robert
Verdi, Jieun Wax, Anna Wintour, Stephanie Winston
Wolkoff, Sarah Wolfe, Whitney Wolfe and Prince
Dimitri of Yugoslavia.
Here is some information about Michael Kors,
The Couture Council Luncheon, The Couture Council
and The Museum at FIT from the press release from
Jonathan Marder + Associates:
About Michael Kors
Michael Kors is a world-renowned, award-winning
designer of luxury accessories and ready-to-wear.
His namesake company, established in 1981, produces
a range of products through his Michael Kors,
KORS Michael Kors, and MICHAEL Michael Kors labels,
including accessories, footwear, watches, jewelry,
men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, and
a full line of fragrance products. Michael Kors
stores are operated, either directly or through
licensing partners, around the world, including
New York, Beverly Hills, Chicago, London, Milan,
Paris, Munich, Istanbul, Dubai, Seoul, Tokyo,
and Hong Kong.
ABOUT THE COUTURE COUNCIL LUNCHEON:
Past recipients of the Couture Council Award
are Oscar de la Renta (2012), Valentino (2011),
Karl Lagerfeld (2010), Dries Van Noten (2009),
Isabel Toledo (2008), Alber Elbaz (2007), and
Ralph Rucci (2006). In 2008, Giorgio Armani received
a special award for Global Fashion Leadership.
ABOUT THE COUTURE COUNCIL OF THE MUSEUM AT FIT:
The Couture Council of The Museum at FIT, created
in 2004, is a membership group dedicated to supporting
The Museum at FIT, a specialized museum of fashion.
The Couture Council helps make it possible for
the museum to mount world-class exhibitions of
fashion, to acquire important objects for its
permanent collection, and to organize public programs,
such as the annual fashion symposium. The Couture
Council accomplishes these goals through membership
dues and by organizing fundraising events such
as the annual Couture Council Awards Luncheon,
which presents a chosen designer with the Couture
Council Award for Artistry of Fashion.
Members of the Couture Council receive invitations
to at least five special events a year, including
behind-the-scenes tours of the museum’s
collection and exhibitions, opening receptions,
and visits to the ateliers of fashion designers
in New York. Couture Council members are also
the first to receive notice of the annual Couture
Council Artistry of Fashion Award luncheon.
In addition, Couture Council members receive
complimentary admittance to all museum educational
programs, as well as to the annual fashion symposium,
acknowledgments in FIT's annual report, in the
exhibition galleries and brochures, and on the
FIT website and exclusive opportunities to meet
other patrons of the fashion arts.
The Couture Council of The Museum at FIT’s
board of directors includes Joele Frank, Laura
Lofaro Freeman, Ann Goldrach, Carole Divet Harting,
Yaz Hernàndez (chair), Celia Hegyi, Chiu-Ti
Jansen, Eleanora Kennedy, Michèle Gerber
Klein, Alexandra Lebenthal, Kamie Lightburn, Stephanie
Loeffler, Julie Macklowe, Barbara Malone, Elizabeth
Musmanno, Liz Peek, Nancy Raquet, Darcy Rigas,
Valerie Salembier, Peter G. Scotese, Jean Shafiroff,
Michelle Smith, Jieun Wax, and Sarah G. Wolfe.
Couture Council annual membership is $1,000 per
individual or couple, or $350 for Young Associates
(under the age of 35). Membership is tax deductible
to the extent provided by law. Please make checks
payable to the FIT Foundation. Mail checks to
The Museum at FIT, attention: Couture Council,
227 West 27th Street, Director’s Office,
Room E304, New York, NY 10001-5992.
For more about The Couture Council visit www.fitnyc.edu/couturecouncil.
ABOUT THE MUSEUM AT FIT:
The Museum at FIT is the only museum in New York
City dedicated solely to the art of fashion. Best
known for its innovative and award-winning exhibitions,
which have been described in The New York Times
as “ravishing,” the museum has a collection
of more than 50,000 garments and accessories dating
from the 18th century to the present. Like other
fashion museums, such as the Musée de la
Mode, the Mode Museum, and the Museo de la Moda,
The Museum at FIT collects, conserves, documents,
exhibits, and interprets fashion. The museum’s
mission is to advance knowledge of fashion through
exhibitions, publications, and public programs.
ABOUT THE EXHIBITIONS AT THE MUSEUM AT FIT:
Retrospective (May 22 – November 16) explores
the relationship between fashion and its own history.
Although current fashions are changing more quickly
than ever and, in the constant drive for freshness,
the past is often used as a point of reference.
Today, many designers find it important to study
both the distant and recent past as fundamental
parts of the design process. They adapt, interpret,
and attempt to modernize historical silhouettes
and details as disparate as cage crinolines and
flapper dresses. Retrospective demonstrates that
referencing the past is, in fact, a practice deeply
rooted in fashion history. Featuring more than
100 garments, accessories, and textiles from the
museum’s permanent collection, Retrospective
showcases groupings of period fashions—from
18th century to grunge—and their more recent
revivals. Included are innovative designers such
as Alexander McQueen, Zandra Rhodes, Norman Norell,
Yves Saint Laurent, Anna Sui, Nicolas Ghesquière
for Balenciaga, Walter Van Beirendonck, and artist
A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to
the Catwalk , the first museum exhibition to explore
in depth the significant contributions to fashion
made by LGBTQ (lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-queer)
individuals over the past 300 years, opens on
September 13, 2013 (and runs through January 4,
2014). The exhibition, featuring approximately
100 ensembles spanning more than a century of
fashion, also looks at the creativity and resistance
to oppression expressed by LGBTQ subcultural styles.
Organized in chronological order, it explores
the history of modern fashion through the lens
of gay and lesbian life and culture, addressing
subjects including androgyny, dandyism, idealizing
and transgressive aesthetic styles, and the influence
of subcultural and street styles, including drag,
leather, and uniforms.
The Fashion Institute of Technology, a college
of the State University of New York, has been
a leader in career education in art, design, business,
and technology for nearly 70 years. With a curriculum
that provides a singular blend of hands-on, practical
experience, classroom study, and a firm grounding
in the liberal arts, FIT offers a wide range of
outstanding programs that are affordable and relevant
to today’s rapidly changing industries.
Internationally renowned, FIT draws on its New
York City location to provide a vibrant, creative
community in which to learn. The college offers
46 majors and grants AAS, BFA, BS, MA, MFA, and
MPS degrees, preparing students for professional
success and leadership in the global marketplace.