Annual FIT Gala Raises $1.7 Million

FIT and the FIT Foundation honored Dennis Basso, John and Laura Pomerantz, and QVC at FIT’s annual gala on Monday, May 9, 2016. The event raised $1.7 million to benefit the FIT Educational Development Fund, which provides scholarships to FIT’s most promising students and helps the college cultivate the next generation of creative leaders.

Fashion designer and FIT alumnus Dennis Basso was honored with the Designer of the Year Award for his outstanding creative vision and exceptional 30-year career in the industry. John and Laura Pomerantz were honored with the Patrons of the Year Award for their decades long dedication to FIT by nurturing student creativity and opportunity. Global video and e-commerce retailer QVC was honored with the Retailer of the Year Award for its pioneering efforts in providing a platform for designers and entrepreneurs to showcase their brands to millions of consumers.

Notable attendees at the gala included: Nicky Hilton, Paris Hilton, Hilary Rhoda and Sean Avery, Ivana Trump, Carol Alt, June Ambrose, Jill Martin, Deborah Norville, Amsale Aberra, Adrienne Vittadini, Pamela Baxter, Joy Herfel Cronin, Yaz Hernández, Jane Hertzmark Hudis,  Elizabeth Peek, and Jay and Patty Baker.

FIT president Dr. Joyce F. Brown presented Dennis Basso with the Designer of the Year Award; William Dillard II, chairman and CEO, Dillard’s, presented John and Laura Pomerantz with the Patrons of the Year Award; and Jill Martin, television personality QVC Creative Director, G.I.L.I., presented the Retailer of the Year Award to QVC, which was accepted by President and CEO Mike George.

QVC announced a new scholarship fund that will provide seven scholarships a year of $5,000 each for four years to FIT students who come from the countries in which QVC operates (U.S., Japan, Germany, UK, Italy, France, and China). QVC has fostered the growth of some of today’s most successful brands.  Because they believe in the transformative power of education and in the talent that is nurtured at FIT, they have established this scholarship.

“Public educational institutions, such as FIT, are not allowed, by law, to provide financial assistance to international students,” Dr. Brown said during the event. “So this scholarship program from QVC will offer great opportunity for students from German or Japan or Italy or China or the UK who want to come to FIT.  And they do want to come.”

FIT President Dr. Joyce Brown and honoree Dennis Basso
FIT President Dr. Joyce Brown and honoree Dennis Basso

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