FIT’s nine-building campus is located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, an area filled with galleries, shops, cafes, museums, restaurants, and theaters catering to New York’s eclectic cultural scene. The campus comprises numerous computer labs, design and production studios, athletic facilities, the Gladys Marcus Library, and The Museum at FIT, which houses one of the world’s most important collections of costume and textiles. FIT has four residence halls—three on campus and one close by on West 31st Street—offering single-, double-, triple-, and quad-occupancy rooms and apartments.
SHIRLEY GOODMAN RESOURCE CENTER
SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES
The school is primarily located on the third, fourth, and sixth floors of the Shirley Goodman Resource Center. Graduate Studies facilities located in the Goodman Center include:
- meeting facilities for student use;
- a fully equipped conservation laboratory;
- a multipurpose laboratory for conservation projects and the dressing of mannequins;
- specialized storage facilities for costume and textile materials;
- a graduate student library reading room with computers, reference materials, and copies of past classes’ qualifying papers;
- specialized wireless classrooms, model stands, easels, and drafting tables.
The graduate programs also use the special facilities and collections of the Gladys Marcus Library and The Museum at FIT to enrich their offerings.
GLADYS MARCUS LIBRARY
Located on the fourth, fifth, and sixth floors of the Shirley Goodman Resource Center, the library provides a collection of more than 300,000 print, non-print, and digital resources. The newspaper and periodical collection includes over 500 current subscriptions, with a specialization in international design and trade publications, and the Digital Library contains more than 90 searchable databases hosted by FIT, the New York State Library, and SUNYConnect. Most of these databases are available remotely, via login, 24 hours a day. The library also offers specialized resources supporting the college’s educational offerings, such as clipping files, fashion and trend forecasting services, runway show DVDs, and sketch collections.
The library’s fourth floor contains a library instruction classroom, Research and Instructional Services, and Special Collections. The fifth floor serves as the principal book collection of the library, and also houses a graduate reading room, a Mac lab, PC workstations, and a scanning center. The sixth floor holds designer and fashion files, forecasting services, “look books,” microfilm, the newspaper and periodical collection, and a “smart” classroom for information literacy instruction. Mac and PC computer workstations, printers, scanners, and self-service copiers are located throughout the library.
Special Collections houses rare books and materials, including all titles in the library’s collection that predate 1860, and selected titles dating from 1860 to the present, singled out for their aesthetic qualities, fragile condition, rarity, or value. Special Collections covers such subjects as architecture, art, decoration and ornament, dressmaking, fashion, interior decoration, regional costume, tailoring, textile design, the textile industry, and textile science. It also includes archives, original fashion sketches, photographs, portfolios of plates, and scrapbooks containing biographical material on designers and companies. Special Collections is accessible by appointment only, including evenings and weekends.
Some highlights of Special Collections include:
- corporate and personal archives, including B.H. Wragge, Inc., David Dubinsky, Esquire, and an FIT historical collection;
- Fashion for America!, which includes reproductions of 4,500 original fashion sketches, representing more than 50 designers and houses;
- periodicals such as Gazette du Bon Ton (1912-25), Harper’s Bazaar (1867-1939), Les Idées Nouvelles de la Mode (1922-32), and Vogue (1916-39);
- sketches by/from Bergdorf Goodman, Berley Studio, Cardinal Fashion Studios, Davidow, Lady Duff-Gordon (known as Lucile, c.1908-19), the Frances Neady Fashion Illustrations Collection, Sophie Gimbel, Bill and Hazel Haire, Joseph Love, Inc., Muriel King (c.1932-45, including costumes designed for Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, and Margaret Sullavan), Harriet Meserole, Max Meyer, Frederick Milton, Florence Schatken, and Whittingham and Humphreys (1888-1914);
- WPA scrapbooks of picture sources.
THE MUSEUM AT FIT
The Museum at FIT is a specialized fashion museum, dedicated to advancing knowledge of fashion through exhibitions, publications, and public programs. To achieve its mission, the museum collects, conserves, documents, exhibits, and interprets fashion. Founded in 1969, the museum was installed in the current building in 1974, and exhibitions began to be presented in 1975. Its permanent collection now encompasses some 50,000 garments and accessories from the 18th century to the present. Important designers such as Adrian, Balenciaga, Chanel, and Dior are represented. The collecting policy of the museum focuses on aesthetically and historically significant “directional” clothing, accessories, textiles, and visual materials, with an emphasis on contemporary avant-garde fashion. A fully equipped conservation laboratory assures specialized care and preservation of the collection, as well as innovative methods of presentation. A photographic studio provides documentation of the collection, as does the collections management database. Hundreds of specialized classes and tours utilize the museum’s collection every year, as do many designers and scholars.
The museum is best known for its innovative and award-winning exhibitions, such as Dance and Fashion, Daphne Guinness, Ivy Style, Shoe Obsession, and Yves Saint Laurent + Halston: Fashioning the 70's. Major exhibitions are presented in the Special Exhibitions Gallery on the lower level. In addition, every six months, a new selection of objects from the permanent collection is put on display in the Fashion and Textile History Gallery, the only such venue in the United States. Each exhibition in this gallery surveys approximately 250 years of fashion by focusing on topics such as fashion and politics, eco-fashion, and seduction. The museum’s third exhibition venue, Gallery FIT, is devoted to student and faculty shows, including an annual collaboration between the museum and FIT’s MA program in Fashion and Textile Studies. Every year, approximately 100,000 visitors come to the museum, which is free and open to the public Tuesday through Friday, noon to 8 pm, and Saturdays from 10 am to 5 pm.
The museum’s Fashion Culture program presents numerous lectures, conversations, tours, and other events. In addition, it presents an annual Fashion Symposium, which brings together internationally known scholars, curators, and fashion professionals.
DAVID DUBINSKY STUDENT CENTER
Throughout the eight-story David Dubinsky Student Center are lounges, a game room, the student radio station, the Style Shop (the student boutique on the first floor), student government and club offices, arts and crafts studios, a comprehensive health center, the Lari and Barbara Stanton Fitness Center, the counseling center, and an outdoor sitting area. Financial Aid Services, Educational Opportunity Programs, and Disability Support Services/FIT-ABLE offices are also located here. In addition, the student center houses 50,000 square feet of laboratories and studios, including the Annette Green Fragrance Foundation Studio, a professionally equipped fragrance lab that is the only one of its kind on a U.S. college campus, and provides an environment for fragrance development. The 17,000-square-foot, street-level dining hall features a variety of food stations and a wide range of menu options, as well as a full-service Starbucks. The 8,000-square-foot Barnes & Noble at FIT bookstore is located on the lower level. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the full range of services and activities offered by the Department of Student Life, located on the seventh floor.
FRED P. POMERANTZ ART AND DESIGN CENTER
The Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center houses photography studios and darkrooms, painting and printmaking rooms, a sculpture studio, a graphics laboratory, and a model-making workshop. Specially equipped studios provide creative work areas for students in the fine and applied arts. The graphics laboratory, Print/FX Graphics Lab, provides a controlled and calibrated computer environment in which students can prepare digital files for printed output. The laboratory includes high-resolution, large-format printers to accommodate photography, presentation graphics, overlays and specialty graphics, banners, posters, displays, fine art, textile proofs, and CAD prints. The laboratory is also equipped with slide duplication, scanning, wire bending, and laminating capabilities. On the first floor is the 277-seat Katie Murphy Amphitheatre, used for both student presentations and industry events.
MARVIN FELDMAN CENTER AND THE BUSINESS AND LIBERAL ARTS CENTER
These two buildings house academic and specialized classrooms, laboratories, design studios, and the 775-seat Morris W. and Fannie B. Haft Auditorium.
These buildings also house the academic and administrative offices for the School of Art and Design, the School of Liberal Arts, and the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology. The Feldman Center is home to the Registration Center, the Registrar, Admissions, the Academic Advisement Center, the Writing Studio, and the Office of International Student Services.
PETER G. SCOTESE COMPUTER-AIDED DESIGN AND COMMUNICATIONS CENTER
Students have access to Mac and PC labs with specialized peripheral equipment. Software applications include Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, GoLive, and Acrobat). In addition, internet access and web applications are supported by Macromedia Studio MX (Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks, Freehand, and Cold Fusion), Macromedia Director, and Shockwave Studio. Proprietary software from such industry leaders as Gerber (AccuMark) and Lectra (U4ia, Modaris, PrimaVision, Kaledo) is used by students, in addition to NedGraphics Fashion Studio, Colour Matters, and Pointcarré. AutoCAD, Final Cut Studio Pro, Rhino, Solidworks, 3D Studio Max, and others. Open labs are available to support instruction on these systems and programs. The Peter G. Scotese Center is also open to industry members for computer training and industry-specific workshops.
The state-of-the-art facilities in this center allow art and design students to explore technology and its use in the design of textiles, toys, interiors, fashion, advertising, graphics, and packaging, as well as photography and computer graphics. Various computer laboratories are used for liberal arts coursework in English, educational skills, science, social sciences, and mathematics. Students also use these labs for the study of textile development, patternmaking, and marker making.
DESIGN/RESEARCH LIGHTING LABORATORY
This educational and professional development facility provides the opportunity to study lighting design through experimentation and firsthand observation using a computer-programmable light-control system. Students in the graduate school’s Exhibition Design and Sustainable Interior Environments programs use this facility, along with several undergraduate majors.
FABRICS AND FINDINGS LABORATORY
A facility of the School of Art and Design, this laboratory replicates the resources and current methods used by professional fashion designers. It provides students with a hands-on experience of the same techniques used by working designers to create fashion collections. Lab materials are updated seasonally.
CONFERENCE CENTER AT FIT
The Conference Center at FIT, home to the Center for Continuing and Professional Studies, features state-of-the-art conference and training rooms for industry seminars and workshops. The Conference Center also houses the John E. Reeves Great Hall, a nearly 6,400-square-foot venue for fashion shows, lectures, exhibitions, trade shows, and other events.