Features

A SUIT-ABLE SOLUTION
How wedding-gown expert Jill Andrews, Fabric Styling ’89, Fashion Buying and Merchandising ’87, helped design new Ebola protective gear

Clothes are rarely a matter of life or death, but in the case of Ebola, they can be. The virus, which causes profuse bleeding, is so contagious and lethal that more than 300 health care workers have died of the disease in the past year. Medical personnel wear hazmat suits to prevent contact with patients’…

WATER WORLD
The jaw-dropping underwater photography of Assistant Professor Keith Ellenbogen helps preserve marine wildlife

Keith Ellenbogen’s extraordinary images, featuring endangered animals and plants in marine settings, help the viewer feel connected to the world beneath the sea and to fragile ecosystems worth saving. “I try to show there’s a social, environmental, or conservation angle in photography,” says Ellenbogen, an assistant professor of Photography at FIT. “You begin to care;…

BUYER BEWARE
An assistant curator of Faking It, a show at The Museum at FIT, on how to spot a counterfeit Chanel bag

When Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel designed her “2.55” purse, she created an icon. A very desirable icon. Like a lot of high-end designer merchandise, the bag became a target for imitators and forgers; copies are probably for sale on Canal Street at this very moment. The counterfeit industry nets $600 billion annually, according to independent news…

A FINE FOUNDATION
Laurie Troske Van Brunt, Fashion Buying and Merchandising ’79, is brand president of Soma Intimates

As brand president of Soma, Laurie Troske Van Brunt, Fashion Buying and Merchandising ’79, crafts strategy for this intimates powerhouse. Laurie Van Brunt remembers passing a Dallas store window several years ago and spotting a picture of a model seated atop a washing machine, holding a bra. The idea was a “wash-and-go bra,” but Van…

SOUND JUDGMENT:
Talk to Grammy Award winner Michele McGonigle, Advertising and Marketing Communications ’99, and you’ll never hear an audiobook the same way again

Not long ago, filmmaker and political activist Michael Moore came to Hachette Audio in midtown Manhattan to record his book Here Comes Trouble. He thought the seat in the studio wasn’t comfortable—at any rate, not as comfortable as his own writing chair. So Michele McGonigle ’99, a director of audio production and executive producer for…

HER AIM IS TRUE:
Half a century after opening her own firm, Babette Wiener Pinsky, Apparel Design ’62, stays faithful to her vision

  The story of the fashion label Babette is remarkable: Babette Wiener Pinsky started the company in 1968 to create funky-yet-wearable clothes. Forty-six years later, she’s still designing, and you don’t have to squint to see the sophisticated, modernist style in her fashions. The $11 million concern has 100 employees and eight stores nationally, plus…

ON POINT:
From pointe shoes to Halston, a show at The Museum at FIT explores how dance and fashion have influenced each other

Dance fever has swept the fashion world. Not one, but four high-fashion designers will debut costumes for new works at the New York City Ballet’s fall gala, including the elegant Carolina Herrera and the quirky young Brit Mary Katrantzou. (Thom Browne, known for his playful deconstructions of all-American prep, and Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton round…

SELLING POINTS:
FIT sets the curve with a new conference about omni-retailing, a strategy that blends the in-store and online experience

“The way customers define service has changed,” Pete Nordstrom, executive vice president and president of merchandising of Nordstrom, said at FIT’s First Annual Symposium on Omni Retailing on April 3. “They used to want a high-touch experience. Now they value speed and convenience. We let them buy what they want when they want it.” Omni-retailing—providing…

MASTERPIECE THEATER:
To Preserve and Protect

At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sarah Scaturro, Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice ’10, confronts the “inherent vice” in Charles James’s clothes Visitors to Charles James: Beyond Fashion at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute have been bowled over by gorgeousness and glamour. The New York Times says this “outstanding” exhibition,…