Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Michael Kors To Be Honored With 2013 Couture Council Award. @tfnow

Michael Kors and the Couture Council Board at a private Pre-Fall Presentation at his store on Madison Avenue
(Credit/ Jonathan Ziegler)

The Couture Council of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology will honor Michael Kors with its 2013 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at a benefit luncheon at the David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, New York City. As has become the tradition, this luncheon heralds the arrival of  Fall Fashion Week.

This is what the tables at the 2012 luncheon looked like (Credit Nick Hunt/ Pmc). 

The luncheon chairs are Kamie Lightburn and Jieun Wax.

“We are thrilled that Michael Kors is this year’s recipient of the Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion,” said FIT President Joyce F. Brown. “With his extraordinary talent, Michael – who got his start at FIT – has built an international brand that embodies the very essence of contemporary American design. This is a well-deserved recognition of his accomplishments.”

Dr. Valerie Steele, director of The Museum at FIT, said, “Michael Kors has been nominated repeatedly by members of the Couture Council Advisory Committee. The committee’s mandate is to not only look at the previous year’s accomplishments, but at a lifetime of contributions to fashion.” The committee consists of a prestigious international group of journalists, retailers, and curators, including Glenda Bailey, Hamish Bowles, Ken Downing, Linda Fargo, Nicole Fischelis, Akiko Fukai, Pamela Golbin, and Suzy Menkes.  

In the museum’s new book, Fashion Designers, A-Z: The Collection of The Museum at FIT, published by Taschen, Michael Kors states, “I think to be empathetic is the greatest gift you can have as a designer. Hopefully, people will look at me and say, ‘He really loved women.’” To this, Dr. Steele adds, “Certainly, women really love Michael.”  

Michael Kors, who attended FIT, recently endowed the Michael Kors Scholarship at FIT with a $1,000,000 gift to establish a major award for a Fashion Design student. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a student who demonstrates exceptional talent in Fashion Design but whose educational endeavors are limited by financial constraints. All costs associated with a bachelor’s degree program at FIT, including tuition, housing, and books, will be covered. The scholarship also provides mentorship and the opportunity to intern at Michael Kors.

“This wonderful endowment reflects Michael’s characteristic thoughtfulness, sense of purpose, and spirit of generosity,” said Dr. Brown.  “He is creating an incomparable opportunity for the talented students who come to the college—as he did—to fulfill their dreams.  We are deeply grateful.”

“I attended FIT in the late 1970s, and the school provided a totally comprehensive curriculum for fashion design that is unparalleled,” said Kors. “Since my days there, it has evolved and become even stronger. It makes me so excited to see the potential talent that has been helped by this school, and I look forward to seeing that continue.”

Michael Kors is a world-renowned, award-winning designer of luxury accessories and ready-to-wear. His namesake company, established in 1981, produces a range of products through his Michael Kors, KORS Michael Kors, and MICHAEL Michael Kors labels, including accessories, footwear, watches, jewelry, men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, and a full line of fragrance products.  Michael Kors stores are operated, either directly or through licensing partners, around the world, including New York, Beverly Hills, Chicago, London, Milan, Paris, Munich, Istanbul, Dubai, Seoul, Tokyo, and Hong Kong.

ABOUT THE COUTURE COUNCIL LUNCHEON:  The Couture Council Luncheon will begin with cocktails on the David H. Koch Theater terrace, which overlooks the Fashion Week tents. Guests will then be ushered into the theater’s promenade for a three-course luncheon.

Past recipients of the Couture Council Award are Oscar de la Renta (2012), Valentino (2011), Karl Lagerfeld (2010), Dries Van Noten (2009), Isabel Toledo( 2008), Alber Elbaz (2007), and Ralph Rucci (2006).  In 2008, Giorgio Armani received a special award for Global Fashion Leadership.

Tickets for The Couture Council luncheon honoring Michael Kors are priced as follows:

Fashion Icon Table at $50,000 - Top seating for table of ten and listing in the invitation as Philanthropist. Haute Couture Table at $25,000  - Premium seating for table of ten and listing in the invitation as Benefactor.
Couture Table at $15,000  - Superior seating for table of ten and listing in the invitation as Patron. Fashionista Table at $10,000  - One table of ten and listing in the invitation as Vice Chair.
Haute Couture Ticket at $2,500 - Listing in the invitation as Luncheon Committee.
Couture Ticket at $1,500      -  Listing in the invitation.

To purchase luncheon tickets, please contact Vicki Guranowski at 212 217.4105, fax 212 594.9206, or email   

The Couture Council of The Museum at FIT, created in 2004, is a membership group dedicated to supporting The Museum at FIT, a specialized museum of fashion.  The Couture Council helps make it possible for the museum to mount world-class exhibitions of fashion, to acquire important objects for its permanent collection, and to organize public programs, such as the annual fashion symposium.  The Couture Council accomplishes these goals through membership dues and by organizing fundraising events such as the annual Couture Council Awards Luncheon, which presents a chosen designer with the Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion.

Members of the Couture Council receive invitations to at least five special events a year, including behind-the-scenes tours of the museum’s collection and exhibitions, opening receptions, and visits to the ateliers of fashion designers in New York. Couture Council members are also the first to receive notice of the annual Couture Council Artistry of Fashion Award luncheon.

In addition, Couture Council members receive complimentary admittance to all museum educational programs, as well as to the annual fashion symposium, acknowledgments in FIT's annual report, in the exhibition galleries and brochures, and on the FIT website and exclusive opportunities to meet other patrons of the fashion arts.

The Couture Council of The Museum at FIT’s board of directors includes Yaz Hernàndez (chair), Alexandra Lebenthal (president), Joele Frank (secretary), Laura Lofaro Freeman (treasurer),  Ann Goldrach, Carole Divet Harting, Celia Hegyi, Chiu-Ti Jansen, Eleanora Kennedy, Michèle Gerber Klein, Carole Kamie Lightburn, Julie Macklowe,  Barbara Malone, Elizabeth Musmanno,  Elizabeth T. Peek, Nancy Raquet, Darcy Rigas, Valerie Salembier, Peter G. Scotese, Jean Shafiroff, Michelle Smith, Jieun Wax, and Sarah G. Wolfe.    

Couture Council annual membership is $1,000 per individual or couple, or $350 for Young Associates (under the age of 35). Membership is tax deductible to the extent provided by law. Please make checks payable to the FIT Foundation. Mail checks to The Museum at FIT, attention: Couture Council, 227 West 27th Street, Director's Office, Room E304, New York, NY 10001-5992.

For more about The Couture Council visit

The Museum at FIT is the only museum in New York City dedicated solely to the art of fashion. Best known for its innovative and award-winning exhibitions, which have been described in The New York Times as “ravishing,” the museum has a collection of more than 50,000 garments and accessories dating from the 18th century to the present.  Like other fashion museums, such as the Musée de la Mode, the Mode Museum, and the Museo de la Moda, The Museum at FIT collects, conserves, documents, exhibits, and interprets fashion. The museum’s mission is to advance knowledge of fashion through exhibitions, publications, and public programs.  

Fashion and Technology (through May 8, 2013) examines how, throughout history, fashion has engaged with technological advancement and been altered by it. Fashion’s dynamic relationship with technology has both expanded its aesthetic vocabulary and streamlined its means of production.  With objects dating from the 18th century to present day, the goal of this exhibition is to analyze the impact of technologies on the nature of fashion and its design, and to question whether these developments push the industry forward or ultimately set it back.

Shoe Obsession (through April 13, 2013) examines our culture’s ever-growing fascination with extravagant and fashionable shoes. In fact, designer shoes have overtaken “It” bags as the most coveted fashion accessories. In response, shoe departments in major department stores have undergone significant expansions, and the “great designer shoe wars” have escalated. Shoes by established designers such as Manolo Blahnik and Christian Louboutin continue to be bestsellers, while the number of rising stars within the footwear industry is multiplying. Over the past decade, heels have reached new heights – as have prices. High-heeled shoes – the fashion shoes of the 21st century – have become so tall that even a 4-inch heel is considered “low.”

Shoe Obsession features approximately 150 examples of contemporary footwear, highlighting the extreme, lavish, and imaginative styles that have made shoes central to fashion. The exhibition includes work by prominent footwear labels such as Manolo Blahnik, Salvatore Ferragamo, Christian Louboutin, and Roger Vivier, as well as shoes from influential design houses, including Azzedine Alaïa, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, and Prada. Avant-garde designers such as Kei Kagami and Noritaka Tatehana – who have made some of the most extreme shoes of the 21st century – further underscore the exceptional creativity of contemporary shoe design.

Retrospective (May 22 – November 16) explores the relationship between fashion and its own history. Although current fashions are changing more quickly than ever, in the constant drive for freshness, the past is often used as a point of reference. Today, many designers find it important to study both the distant and recent past as fundamental parts of the design process. They adapt, interpret, and attempt to modernize historical silhouettes and details as disparate as cage crinolines and flapper dresses. However, it is not only the distant past that is being mined for ideas. For example, there is only a short time lapse between “grunge” of the 1990s and its return in a number of recent fashion collections.  

While undeniably prevalent now, this is not merely a contemporary phenomenon. Retrospective demonstrates that referencing the past is, in fact, a practice deeply rooted in fashion history.  

Featuring more than 100 garments, accessories, and textiles from the museum’s permanent collection, Retrospective showcases groupings of period fashions—from 18th century to grunge—and their more recent revivals. Included are innovative designers such as Alexander McQueen, Zandra Rhodes, Norman Norell, Yves Saint Laurent, Anna Sui, Nicolas Ghesquière for Balenciaga, Walter Van Beirendonck, and artist Cat Chow.

ABOUT FIT:  The Fashion Institute of Technology, a college of the State University of New York, has been a leader in career education in art, design, business, and technology for nearly 70 years. With a curriculum that provides a singular blend of hands-on, practical experience, classroom study, and a firm grounding in the liberal arts, FIT offers a wide range of outstanding programs that are affordable and relevant to today’s rapidly changing industries. Internationally renowned, FIT draws on its New York City location to provide a vibrant, creative community in which to learn. The college offers 46 majors and grants AAS, BFA, BS, MA, MFA, and MPS degrees, preparing students for professional success and leadership in the global marketplace. Visit

Source: Press Release courtesy