FIT in the News – February 26, 2021

The Division of Communications and External Relations is pleased to share FIT in the News, which reports selected highlights of news stories about the college and/or that quote the college’s experts. These stories will be accessible for at least seven days by clicking on the links below.

Art Smith Memorial Scholarship
The Art Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund, named in honor of the influential mid-century modernist New York City-based Black jewelry designer, has been funded by a group of 50 jewelry industry brands. The $50,000 endowed scholarship will create ongoing scholarships and mentorships to support Black students attending the school’s Jewelry Design program.

Stella Jean
Valerie Steele, director and chief curator, The Museum at FIT on designer Stella Jean, who was interviewed for the Fashion Culture talk Stella Jean in Conversation with Valerie Steele: “When a few years ago we did an exhibition on Black fashion designers, which was an international show Stella was in, we were very shocked to realize that on, something ridiculous, like 1% of the designers who were featured were Black.”

Associated Press

Ann Lowe and Zelda Valdes
Elizabeth Way, assistant curator of costume, MFIT, on Black fashion designers Ann Lowe and Zelda Valdes: “[They] took the skills passed down to them from their mothers and families and turned those skills into creative businesses — no easy feat for Black women during the early-to-mid 20th century.”

Hats in Black Culture
Way also gave historical context on hats in the Black community: “Hats are a big part of maintaining that look of dignity that really claimed personhood for Black people.”


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