The Future of Fashion Seen From 2017

Featured image by: Joe Carrotta, Photography ’17

If you missed the Future of Fashion show or want to see it again, head to

For the graduating Fashion Design BFA students whose looks went down the runway in the Future of Fashion show on Monday, May 8, the evening was the culmination of years of hard work — and a semester working on their capsule collections. For the celebrities, designers, fashion industry insiders, and media in attendance — as well as the more than 5,000 who participated by watching live online — it was a glimpse into fashion’s future.

The Future of Fashion featured designs from FIT’s five specializations: knitwear, sportswear, intimate apparel, special occasion, and children’s wear.  Throughout the spring semester, some of the industry’s leading designers mentored the students as they created their final collections. Designers are assigned to student groups according to specialization. At the end of the semester, each designer selects the most outstanding garment created by a student in their group and gives them a Critic Award.

The Future of Fashion’s Critic Award Winners

This year’s critics were Morgan Curtis of Morgan Lane (intimate apparel), Peter Do of Derek Lam (sportswear), Chris Gelinas of Chris Gelinas (sportswear), Flora Gill of Ohne Titel (knitwear), Sander Lak of Sies Marjan (sportswear), Victoria Lambourne of Elizabeth and James (knitwear), Erin Rechner of WGSN (children’s Wear), Karen Sabag of the Karen Sabag Couture bridal boutique (special occasion), Sophie Theallet of Sophie Theallet (sportswear), and Isabella Tonchi of Isabella Tonchi (sportswear).

Once the students’ collections were complete, five accomplished fashion industry professionals judged their designs to determine which garments would earn a coveted spot on the Future of Fashion runway. This year’s judges were Ken Downing (fashion director and senior vice president of Neiman Marcus), Kemal Harris (celebrity stylist), Nicole Phelps (Vogue Runway), Diana Tsui (senior market editor at New York magazine’s The Cut), and Lilliana Vazquez (contributor for NBC’s TODAY Show).

Notable attendees at the show included Dennis Basso, Fern Mallis, Ken Downing, Shaun Ross, Ty Hunter, Claire Sulmers, Nicole Phelps, Randy Fenoli, Kemal Harris, Ruth Finley, Stefan Larsson, Sophie Theallet, Dr. Joyce F. Brown, Liz Peek, Karen Sabag, Ruthie Davis, and more.

This year, FIT introduced the Optimity Advisor’s FIT FOF app, which allowed guests, including buyers, designers, and fashion industry executives, to engage with student designers in real time. The app featured detailed profiles on each designer, and users could “like” garments and store the information for later. The app featured judge and critic profiles and allowed users to conduct live chat sessions.

The runway show is supported by a $2 million multi-year gift from FIT alumnus Calvin Klein through the Calvin Klein Family Foundation, as well as the company he founded, Calvin Klein, Inc. The show was also made possible with support from Optimity Advisors and Chico’s FAS, Inc.

Featured and below photos by FIT student Joe Carrotta, Photography ’17

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