FIT’s Top 10 Stories of 2020

This past year has been challenging, frightening, and inspiring, sometimes all at the same time. Our most-read articles of the year speak to these unprecedented times, with an uplifting story about alumni working to provide masks to hospitals coming in at number one.

On the other hand, despite our community working and studying remotely, much of the year unfolded as usual: students won major awards and scholarships, faculty continued to devote themselves to teaching and research, and alumni found innovative ways to advance their careers.

Here’s hoping our school, our city, our state, our country, and our world all reach a sense of normalcy in 2021.

1. FIT Alumni and SUNY Rising to the Call

When the pandemic first hit and personal protective equipment was scarce, a pair of alumni started Sew4Lives, a New York–based nonprofit to sew medical-grade PPE for hospitals. They made a significant impact at a pivotal moment in our nation’s history.

Image from movie poster for 1963 film Cleopatra starring Elizabeth Taylor

2. Fashion History Timeline

Justine De Young, assistant professor of History of Art, created a scholarly web resource that chronicles fashion history from ancient times to the present. Hundreds of students from 42 majors created content that has already been referenced by fashion historians. In a feature on the new Hue website, we examined five diverse entries.

3. Fashionista Names FIT Among the World’s Top Fashion Schools

Yet again, FIT earned a spot in this important ranking of global design programs. For more rankings, check out this roundup.

Seven images of clothing and accessories on models4. FIT Kicks Off Design Entrepreneurs 2020

Over the past decade, the FIT Design Entrepreneurs program helped more than 200 companies grow their businesses. In 2020, the program concluded. The kickoff announcement became one of the top stories on Newsroom this year. A retrospective story about the impact of the program didn’t quite make the list—but it provides testimonials from distinguished alumni of the program.

5. FIT Takes Five Spots in Met Museum Competition

Fashion Design students excelled in this year’s Costume Institute competition, themed after the blockbuster exhibition About Time: Fashion and Duration. The assignment was to “create one design expressive of fashion as an acutely accurate and especially sensitive timepiece” and “generate temporal associations that conflate the past, present, and future in one ensemble.”

deco style drawing of a woman's head with jewelry radiating from it6. The Evolution of Fashion Through Illustration

This spring, FIT’s renowned Special Collections and College Archives brought selections from its Frances Neady Collection of fashion illustrations to the Society of Illustrators for a seminal exhibition. The exhibition has ended, but you can still take in our slide show of sumptuous highlights.

Elisabeth Moss and Alexis Bledel in The Handmaid's Tale7. An FIT Guide to Binge-Watching

At the start of the year, no one could have guessed just how much time they’d be spending at home, and in the first months of the pandemic, Americans watched a record amount of TV. Given that numerous alumni are established in costume design, producing, acting, and other essential parts of the TV biz, we listed some of the shows they worked on.

8. Three FIT Students Awarded Gucci Changemaker Scholarships

To help increase diversity in the fashion industry, Gucci launched a major scholarship program that provides funding and mentorship to 20 fashion design students of color per year. FIT students won three in the first year.

9. FIT and Yellowbrick Launch Gaming and Esports Online Education Program

As part of an expansive effort to create programming for diverse, nontraditional learners, FIT collaborated with online education provider Yellowbrick to debut a gaming and esports certificate.

10. How Will the Pandemic Change the Fashion Business?

This story from the new Hue website brought in faculty and alumni experts to address the big question on everyone’s minds since COVID-19 triggered a global shutdown. Will the fashion industry survive?

Editors’ Choice: Girl Scouts Enlists FIT Fashion Design Students for Uniform Redesign and New Apparel Collection

The Girl Scouts uniform was in need of an update. FIT’s DTech Lab partnered with the Girl Scouts of the USA and brought together FIT students to design looks that would appeal to today’s kids. The makeover made national news.

Girl Scouts Uniform

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