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The Museum at FIT (MFIT) Receives Highest National Recognition Afforded Museums

April 28, 2022 GMT
FIT Logo (PRNewsfoto/Fashion Institute of Technology)
FIT Logo (PRNewsfoto/Fashion Institute of Technology)
FIT Logo (PRNewsfoto/Fashion Institute of Technology)
FIT Logo (PRNewsfoto/Fashion Institute of Technology)
FIT Logo (PRNewsfoto/Fashion Institute of Technology)

Awarded Reaccreditation by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM)

NEW YORK, April 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The Museum at FIT (MFIT) has been reaccredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest national standard of recognition afforded museums in the United States. This certifies that MFIT meets the most stringent standards of excellence, following a strenuous review process that AAM member museums undergo every 10 years to maintain their accredited status. MFIT was accredited for the first time in 2012.

Of the nation’s estimated 35,000 museums, approximately 3 percent are currently accredited. Twenty of the nearly 150 museums located in New York City share this honor, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art.

Led for the past 25 years by Valerie Steele, director and chief curator, MFIT is the only specialized fashion museum in New York City. Established in 1969 as The Design Laboratory at FIT, it was renamed The Museum at FIT in 1994. From the beginning, MFIT has served multiple audiences, including students, designers, and members of the public.

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MFIT is recognized worldwide for its innovative and award-winning exhibitions and public programs, and its permanent collection of more than 50,000 garments and accessories dating from the 18th century to the present. The mission of MFIT is to promote original research, creative thinking, and lifelong learning through exhibitions and public programs that educate and inspire diverse and inclusive audiences. Dr. Steele, who has personally organized more than 25 exhibitions at MFIT, was recognized by the National Arts Club this month with its 2022 Medal of Honor for Achievement in Fashion, becoming the first fashion historian to receive the honor. As author, curator, editor, and public intellectual, Dr. Steele has been instrumental in creating the modern field of Fashion Studies and in advancing recognition of the cultural significance of fashion.

“This reaccreditation—which signifies excellence, accountability and high professional standards–is a coveted designation that makes me–and the college–very proud,” said FIT President Joyce F. Brown. “I offer congratulations to Dr. Valerie Steele and to the entire staff for their achievement.”

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“I am delighted that the AAM recognized MFIT’s ‘outstanding reputation,’ ‘rigorous scholarship,’ and ‘thought leadership,” said Valerie Steele. “The AAM peer reviewers reported that FIT ‘faculty members from a variety of disciplines… [described] how the museum advanced their scholarly pursuits and the experiential learning of their students.’ This is a real tribute to the museum’s talented and hardworking professional staff.”

MFIT is free and open to the public. In 2022, MFIT was ranked among the top five best free museums in the United States by readers of USA Today. For additional information, visit fitnyc.edu/museum.

On View at The Museum at FIT:

Head to Toe, on view through May 8, explores more than two hundred years of women’s dress from 1800 through the early twenty-first century. Curated by Elizabeth Way and Melissa Marra-Alvarez, the exhibition focuses on the role that accessories play within the total ensemble, as well as the messages that they communicate about social and cultural values.

Opening Soon at The Museum at FIT:

Dior + Balenciaga: The Kings of Couture and Their Legacies, opens June 1 and curated by Patricia Mears, features iconic fashions by the two most important couturiers of the mid-twentieth century – Christian Dior and Cristobal Balenciaga. With objects drawn solely from MFIT’s permanent collection, this exhibition is the first to juxtapose the work of these legendary designers, side-by-side. It is believed that both couturiers led the restoration of France’s profitable fashion industry following the devastation of two world wars and a crippling economic depression. This curatorial exploration and re-evaluation of these kings of couture also includes an array of designs by subsequent creative directors of the firms they founded such as Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Demna Gvesalia, and Maria Grazia Chiuri (Dior, 2016 - present).

SHOES: Anatomy, Identity, Magic, September 1-December 31, 2022, will feature approximately 400 of the 4,000 pairs of shoes in the permanent collection at MFIT. This major exhibition, curated by Valerie Steele and Colleen Hill, explores how shoe design is related to human anatomy and physiology, the importance of shoes as markers of identity (“Shoe are you?”), and the widespread belief in the “magical” power of shoes. Other highlights include a vignette devoted to shoe shopping, a history of high heels (17th century to the present), a section on sneakers, and a lexicon of designer shoes.

Fresh, Fly, and Fabulous: Fifty Years of Hip Hop Style, February 8 - April 23, 2022, curated by Professor Elena Romero and Elizabeth Way, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the birth of hip hop by examining the roots and history of hip hop fashion from its inception to the present. This exhibition will explore themes such as the transition of hip hop from the ’hood to the runway, luxury and designer influence, the impact of hip hop celebrities on the fashion industry, and the growth of hip hop style as an international phenomenon.

About The Museum at FIT (MFIT)
The Museum at FIT (MFIT) is the only museum in New York City dedicated solely to the art of fashion. Its mission is to promote original research, creative thinking, and lifelong learning through exhibitions and public programs that educate and inspire diverse and inclusive audiences Best known for its innovative and award-winning exhibitions, the museum has a permanent collection of more than 50,000 garments and accessories dating from the 18th century to the present. MFIT is a recently reaccredited member of the American Alliance of Museums. Visit fitnyc.edu/museum.

The museum is part of the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), a State University of New York college that has been an internationally recognized leader in career education in design, fashion, business, and technology for more than 75 years. Providing an uncommon blend of practical experience and theory on a foundation of arts and sciences, FIT offers a wide range of affordable programs that foster innovation, collaboration, and a global perspective. FIT draws on its New York City location to provide a vibrant, creative environment for learning, exploration, and research. The college offers nearly 50 degree programs and grants AAS, BFA, BS, MA, MFA, and MPS degrees, preparing students for professional success and leadership in the creative economy. Visit fitnyc.edu.

About the American Alliance of Museums
The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. Representing more than 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community. For more information, visit www.aam-us.org.

Steven Bibb
Press Associate
steven_bibb@fitnyc.edu

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SOURCE The Museum at FIT