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Distributed: June 17, 2015

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New York, Jun 17, 2015 (Global Fashion Wire) - The Fashion Institute of Technology and the FIT Foundation ( held their annual gala, hosted by actress Debi Mazar on Monday night at Cipriani 42nd Street. This has long been considered to be one of the city's most important fashion business events, the proceeds of which benefit the Educational Development Fund and go to develop new programs, new initiatives, and scholarship funds to aid the school's star students in need. (As usual, well over one million dollars was raised).

The sit down dinner was preceded by cocktails at 7PM, during which time guests could sip Bellini's, snack on mini lamb chops and caviar on toast, and take in the creative student designed installations which were planted throughout. Included was a Warhol inspired 'Marilyn' homage, and a matching pair of sculptures placed in the entry hall, which not only greeted, but congratulated this year's two stellar honorees: Saks Fifth Avenue and Edwin A. Goodman, co-founder of Milestone Venture Partners. Each year, the gala pays tribute to outstanding leaders in his or her fields who are recognized for their commitment to supporting the "future leaders of the fashion and creative industries".

Among the 600 guests (current leaders in the fashion and creative industries): Linda Fargo (a 2014 honoree), Lisa Perry, John and Laura Pomerantz, Stefano Tonchi, Nanette Lepore, Dr. Joyce Brown, Dr. Valerie Steele, Jacqui Lividini, Amsale Aberra, Nanette Lepore, Saks Fifth Avenue's Marc Metrick, Coco and Arie Kopelman, Rebecca Minkoff, Jane Hudis, Jean Shafiroff, John Demsey, Jennifer Creel, Adrienne Vittadini, Josie Natori, Barbara and Donald Tober, Dennis Basso (several women, including Yaz Hernandez and Liz Peek were wearing his designs), Fern Mallis, and Jeffrey Banks.

Speaking of the latter two, I couldn't help but ask the two successful authors, what they had in the works. Fern, (fresh off the recent release of "Fashion Lives: Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis") did not rule out a follow up to her well received book (nor did she rule out a book on another subject). Jeffrey, who has co-authored three fashion books with Doria de la Chapelle for Rizzoli, and who is seemingly never without a project, admitted that he indeed has a book in the works, but would only say that the subject is a male fashion designer who is no longer with us.

And speaking of menswear, Jeffrey who won two Coty Awards for Outstanding Menswear and Men's Furs, received the Cutty Sark U.S. Menswear Designer of the Year Award for his Extraordinary Contribution to Men's Fashion, an Earnie Award for Boyswear, and the Pratt Award for Design Excellence, minced no words when it came to the menswear spring 2016 collections which are currently under way in London. "Ridiculous, especially when you factor in the current economic climate" is pretty much how he summed up many of the overly tricky and theatrical designs which have been coming down the runway.

But given America's sportswear roots which Jeffrey knows a thing or two about since he worked as a design assistant to both Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein prior to launching his own name label in 1977, he is hopeful that the upcoming New York Fashion Week: Men's (July 13 – 16), will be filled with the kind of great looking and wearable clothes we are known for.

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