Undoubtedly, the future of fashion is a topic endlessly discussed in fashion’s frenetic orbit. With the revolving door of designers swiveling at lightspeed, the industry increases the pace at which it scours the globe for Sartorialists and vestiary visionaries. And what place is better to look than the core of American fashion (AKA New York City)?
FIT’s Future of Fashion returns this year, showcasing diverse works from students graduating from its Fashion Design BFA program in four categories: knitwear, sportswear, intimate apparel, and special occasion. The name of the game this year is personal stories. Themes at play include but are not limited to sustainability, gender fluidity, and size inclusivity—all very characteristic of the current zeitgeist. Hosted by model, body positivity activist, and Maxim’s Sexiest Woman of 2023, Ashley Graham, it seems FIT has a spectacular of empowerment in store for its gala’s latest edition.
That’s not the only star the iconic institute has set in the Future of Fashion’s sky. In a constellation of fashion A-listers, the event commemorates Victor Glemaud and Karlie Kloss. Glemaud, a FIT alumnus, will be recognized as the Outstanding Alumni Honoree, while Kloss will be commemorated as a Fashion Icon Honoree. While the star-studded honorees are sure to dazzle, the event ultimately seeks to aid the FIT Foundation in helping nurture fashion’s next generation of innovators hailing from its campus by developing new initiatives, facilitating programs, and providing scholarships.
Macy’s is no stranger to the Future of Fashion as its design team’s mentoring of finalists has interwoven it in FIT’s fabric. The namesake retailer will again support the Future of Fashion through two programs under Mission Every One, its social purpose platform. One program, Macy’s X FIT Every Body Collection capsule, aims to spotlight one student’s look that best appeals to a broad scope of shapes and sizes. This lucky student will have their winning look sold at the iconic Macy’s in Herald Square this fall and display their photo, biography, and signature hashtag with the look. All the while, the internationally famed retailer will present three Bold Representation Awards to select students. One dubbed Best Use of Sustainable Materials will celebrate the look that most stylishly balances eco-conscious practices and design audacity. There’s also the Best Culturally Inspired Look which will highlight the most captivating design that encapsulates its designer’s cultural/ethnic heritage. And who could forget the Best Gender-Neutral Look? As the name suggests, the award will commemorate a student’s blurring of gender boundaries.
The winning looks selected by Macy’s and a panel of judges will make their way down the runway at the Future of Fashion show with an audience of industry leaders, prominent media figures, designers, influencers, and alumni. The panel includes Design Director of INC ready-to-wear Hollis Daniels, IMG’s Director of Global Designer Relations and Development Noah Kozlowski, Fern Mallis LLC’s President Fern Mallis, Vogue’s Features Editor Lilah Ramzi, Macy’s Design Director of Special Projects and Collaborations Catherine Treff, and Elle’s Fashion Director Alex White.
As things pick up speed, students will be mentored by internationally renowned fashion designers. Mentors will announce a group of 11 Critic Award winners. These 11 designers will be recognized for their merits during the fashion show. Critics are categorized into the four concentrations competing in the FIT’s fashion show. Co-Founder and Creative Director of Jonathan Cohen, Founder and Designer of Marshall Columbia, Creative Director and Founder of Sergio Hudson, Sally LaPointe of LaPointe, and Co-Founder and Creative Director of Nicole Miller will mentor those in Sportswear.
Likewise, Co-Founder and Designer Georgina Chapman of Marchesa, Founder and Designer of Naeem Khan, and Founder and Designer Ralph Rucci of his eponymous brand will offer their expertise to those in the Special Occasion concentration. Knitwear features Knitwear Designer of Oscar de la Renta Daija Simpson and Senior Design Director of Knitwear and Jersey of Coach Stacey Tester. At the same time, the Founder and CEO of Fleur du Mal, Jennifer Zuccarini, will mentor those in the Intimate Apparel concentration. Previous Critic Award winners include fashion sensation Peter Do, who has since been nominated for the CFDA awards. Who will it be next?
Mark your calendars. FIT’s annual Future of Fashion runway show is scheduled to take place at FIT’s campus on May 10th at 7 pm ET.
Tickets and sponsorships can be purchased at FIT’s official site.