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Couture Council of
The Museum at FIT
Annual Artistry in Fashion
Award Luncheon
September 3, 2014

Written by:
Wendy R Williams

Photo Credits:

BFA Photographs:
Joe Schildhorn

Patrick McMullan Company:
Clint Spauding

Opposite Photo:
Honoree Caroline Herrera with
Yaz Hernandez, Chairman of The Couture Council at FIT



Spring/Summer 2015 Fashion Week was launched at Lincoln Center's David Koch Theater when the Couture Council of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology hosted its annual benefit luncheon to present the 2014 Couture Council Award for Artistry in Fashion to this year's recipient, designer Carolina Herrera (carolineherera.com).

Dr. Joyce Brown (President of FIT), Dr. Valerie Steele (director of The Museum at FIT and chair of the Couture Council Advisory Board) and Yaz Hernandez (Chair of The Couture Council) all praised Ms. Herrera:

Dr. Brown: “It is our pleasure to honor Carolina Herrera today. She is a brilliant and beloved designer whose name is synonymous with elegance and grace—and whose success is an inspiration to women throughout the world.”

Dr. Steele: “Carolina Herrera exemplifies the woman of style, who is a very special kind of fashion designer. Like Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel, Carolina Herrera became famous for creating the kind of elegant, beautiful clothes that she herself wears. Mrs. Herrera is her own best model, and many women today want to look like her.”

Yaz Hernandez: “Every woman in New York wants to be like Carolina Herrera. She’s created a world in her home, in her atelier, and in her boutiques that is sophisticated perfection. As a philanthropist, she is one of the few leaders who never says no.”

Ms. Herrera was introduced by comedian Seth Myers who told the guests how Ms. Herrera designed his wife's wedding dress and how utterly beautiful Alexi looked walking down the aisle. Ms. Herrera then thanked The Couture Council, “It is an honor to be the recipient of the 2014 Couture Council Award. I have great admiration for the Museum at FIT because it is link between fashion, culture and the rich history of our industry.”

The luncheon raised just under one million dollars for The Museum at FIT.

Past winners of the Award include: Michael Kors (2013), Oscar de la Renta (2012), Valentino (2011), Karl Lagerfeld (2010), Dries Van Noten (2009), Isabel Toledo (2008), Alber Ebaz (2007), and Ralph Rucci (2006).


Anna Wintour and Oscar de la Renta

Lucy Liu and Carolina Herrera

Renee Zellweger, Seth Myers
and Alexi Ashe Myers

This year’s luncheon co-chairs were Julie Macklowe and Elizabeth Musmanno.

Honorary luncheon chairs were Maria Cristina Anzola, Amy Fine Collins, Emilia Fanjul, Carolina Herrera De Báez, Julie Koch, Alexandra Kotur, Patricia Lansing, Lucy Liu, Marigay McKee, Alexi Ashe Meyers, André Leon Talley, Lynn Wyatt, and Renée Zellweger.

Luncheon guests included Maria Cristina Anzola, Glenda Bailey, Hilaria Baldwin, Dennis Basso, Dr. Joyce F. Brown, Serena Boardman, Graydon Carter, Amy Fine Collins, Oscar and Annette de la Renta, John Dempsey, Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, Linda Fargo, Jay Fielden, Fe Fendi, Kathleen Hearst, Yaz Herna´ndez, Reinaldo Herrera, Donna Karan, Mariana Kaufman, Julia Koch, Alexandra Kotur, Steven Kolb, Kenneth Jay Lane, Patricia Lansing, Ralph Lauren, Alexandra Lebenthal, Lucy Liu, Aileen Mehle, Seth and Alexi Meyers, b Michael, Josie Natori, Liz Peek, Marc Puig, Emilie Rubinfeld, Martha Stewart, Gina Sanders, Abigail Spencer, Dr. Valerie Steele, André Leon Talley, Stefano Tonchi, Ivanka Trump, Linda Wells, Jacqueline Weld Drake, Anna Wintour, Lynn Wyatt, and Renee Zellweger.

From the press release from Jonathan Marder + Associates:


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, Anne Goldrach, Carole Divet Harting, Yaz Hernández (chair), Celia Hegyi, Chiu-Ti Jansen, Eleanora Kennedy, Miche`le Gerber Klein, Alexandra Lebenthal (president), Kamie Lightburn, Stephanie Loeffler, Julie Macklowe, Barbara Malone, Elizabeth Musmanno, Liz Peek, Darcy Rigas, Valerie Salembier, Peter G. Scotese, Jean Shafiroff, Nancy Raquet Shaw, 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.


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 Muse´e 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.


Exposed: A History of Lingerie (Through November 3, 2014) examines intimate apparel from the 18th century to the present, featuring over 70 of the most delicate, luxurious, and beautifully crafted objects from the museum’s permanent collection. Each piece illustrates key developments in fashion, such as changes in silhouette, shifting ideals of propriety, and advancements in technology.

Dance & Fashion (September 13, 2014-January 3, 2015) explores the relationship between two great embodied art forms: dance and fashion. Dance has utilized a wide variety of costume, including contemporary fashions, to identify different characters, but there are also certain iconic styles, which represent a dance more abstractly. Tutus and pointe shoes, for example, are integral to the image and movements of the ballerina, just as leotards and tights are associated with the modern dancer.

Traditionally, dance costumes were created by dancers (such as Martha Graham), artists (such as Léon Bakst), and costume designers (such as Karinska). But in recent years, fashion designers have increasingly been invited to create dance costumes. For example, Yves Saint Laurent and Valentino designed for the ballet and Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons provided costumes for Merce Cunningham. Fashion designers have also been inspired by the dance. Christian Dior loved the tutus of Romantic ballerinas, while the shoe designer Christian Louboutin has transformed pointe shows into fetishistic high heels. The focus of this exhibition, organized by Dr. Valerie Steele, is on ballet and modern dance, but other dance forms, such as tango, flamenco, and stepping are featured.


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. Visit fitnyc.edu.


Carolina Herrera (www.carolinaherrera.com) is an international fashion house recognized for timeless elegance and refinement. Founded in 1981 by Carolina Herrera, the eponymous label produces numerous collections consisting of ready-to-wear and accessories for women, men, and children, as well as bridal and fragrances available in 105 countries at 15,000 points of distribution, including 122 CH Carolina Herrera and three Carolina Herrera New York retail locations. The collections reflect an effortless sophistication inherent in the iconic style of founder Carolina Herrera. Follow www.facebook.com/carolinaherrerany and @houseofherrera on Instagram for the latest news from inside the house.













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