The Ten Biggest Stories of 2017

With nearly 50 academic programs, the Fashion Institute of Technology is a treasure trove of stories. Students challenge the predictable by inventing new ways to see the world and creating innovative solutions. To look back on the past year and choose the ten biggest stories is no simple task, but below, we present those that exemplify innovation, epitomize our students’ industrious spirit, and characterize the FIT of the future.

FIT at SUNY Korea

FIT launched its third international location, at SUNY Korea in Songdo. Two signature curricula of the college―Fashion Business Management and Fashion Design―are now offered at the state-of-the-art Incheon Global Campus, located near Seoul. The first cohort started in August, and once these students earn their AAS degrees, they may head to New York or Milan to complete their bachelor’s degrees. Watch the video below to catch a glimpse of what campus life is like and learn how this exciting development came to be.

FIT at Brooklyn Army Terminal

As some students began their FIT education in Korea, others jumped on the subway and headed to Brooklyn. This year, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city will transform large, underutilized buildings in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, into a hub for fashion and film—and FIT will be a part of it. While the city works to overhaul Sunset Park’s Bush Terminal for this purpose, the college already launched its programs at Brooklyn Army Terminal. Through FIT’s Center for Continuing and Professional Studies, students across the East River can learn Local Manufacturing Fundamentals and earn a Creative Maker Certificate of Achievement in Ethical Design.

A Warm Welcome for New Students

The college welcomed its newest class of innovators, creators, and disruptors. In the next few years, these students will challenge themselves to dream big, work incredibly hard, and achieve great things. But when their welcome packets arrived, they were simply excited to share their overwhelming joy.

MFA in Fashion Design

Play. Focus. Edit. Conclude. These four steps define FIT’s new Master of Fine Arts degree in Fashion Design. Launched this past fall in the School of Graduate Students, this two-year, full-time program is founded on the steady development of an original concept proposed by each student. As students pursue the degree, they explore their individual design concepts in the context of history, theory, philosophy, and practice within a structured and richly mentored environment. In the video below, President Joyce F. Brown discusses this exciting new program with its creator and chair, Jonathan Kyle Farmer.

FIT Excels in College Rankings

Top of the heap! From graduate earning potential to campus safety, this year’s college rankings celebrated the Fashion Institute of Technology. Click here to see how FIT shined around the country and world. 


The Future of Fashion

Once again, celebrities, designers, fashion industry insiders, and the media flocked to West 27th Street for the college’s annual runway show, the Future of Fashion. Designs from five specializations―knitwear, sportswear, intimate apparel, special occasion, and children’s wear―displayed the uncommon and thoughtful creativity that defines FIT students. Missed the show? Watch it below and enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the entire event here. 


Don’t consider FIT a big football school? Think again. The National Football League and FIT challenged 25 students minoring in Creative Technology to reimagine the 32 NFL team identities. The four winning students, who dubbed themselves Team Quicksnap, deconstructed and then rebuilt the team logos, creating striking patterns of imaginative lines and shapes. Merchandise featuring these designs is now available, so if you’re looking for a last minute holiday gift, stop by

Expanding Sustainability Through Biodesign

Last year, FIT’s Team Algiknit won the first-ever Biodesign Challenge by developing a new fabric out of algae and fungi. Since then, this groundbreaking, sustainable textile garnered further praise when National Geographic awarded its inventors $25,000 to help continue their work. They weren’t the only FIT students pushing the limits of sustainability and fashion. Team #GROWAPAIR literally “grew” a pair of baby shoes from microbial cellulose, mycelium, and pineapple.

A Special Rennovation 

FIT Special Collections and College Archives unveiled its $3.6 million renovation, a project that will help preserve and protect approximately 6,000 linear feet of rare and fragile fashion, retail, and related materials. The renovation, funded by FIT, New York State, and the New York City Council, raises the college’s profile in the scholarly community and makes these materials available to the creative industries and the public. “I see this as a step toward realizing FIT’s strategic goal of becoming known for research and innovation,” said Karen Trivette, head of Special Collections. “We’re providing endless points of discovery.”

The Honorees 

Every year, the college and the Museum at FIT honor industry leaders for pushing the boundaries of design, business, and innovation.

During FIT’s 72nd annual commencement exercises, LL Cool  J, the pioneering hip-hop artist, actor, and author received the President’s Award for Creative Excellence, and Essie Weingarten, an alumna and the founder of Essie Cosmetics, accepted a State University of New York honorary degree.

This year’s FIT Gala honored Terry J. Lundgren — who stepped down the following day from his role as Macy’s CEO and president — and raised $4.5 million, which was split evenly between FIT and the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing at the University of Arizona.

Lastly, The Couture Council of The Museum at FIT honored Thom Browne with the 2017 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion during their annual luncheon. “This man brings joy,” said Whoopi Goldberg, who presented the award. “He brings innovation. He brings the idea that you must be an individual and that you must stand for something…I am here because you inspire.”