SPARC welcomes all researchers, FIT graduate and undergraduate students, class visits, and group tours to our reading room. We are committed to providing access to our collections, and we are here to assist you.
Access to Special Collections is by appointment only. To schedule an appointment contact us at email@example.com or call (212) 217-4385. Please contact us at least 24 hours before you would like to conduct your research. In the event you need to cancel or delay your appointment we ask that you inform us as soon as possible.
Below are some don'ts of Special Collections a la Mr. Bean. Enjoy!
Max Meyer and A. Beller & Co.: Interpreting a Hidden History of NYC's Garment District takes an in-depth look at the work of the fashion industry leader and one of FIT’s founders and its first president. Meyer (1876–1953) was a principal of Abraham Beller & Company, a New York City–based women’s cloak and suit manufacturer, in business from 1890 to 1931. Through licensing agreements with Paris couture houses, Beller & Co. recreated their designs for an American clientele. This exhibition showcases the close ties of the fashion industry to FIT through the lens of donations from various industry players who helped in great measure and over decades to build FIT's Gladys Marcus Library’s Special Collections and College Archives.
Meyer generously donated the nearly 9,000 fashion sketches of the Beller company to the library in the 1950s. The illustrations are sublime watercolor and ink depictions of Paris couture created circa 1914–29 from many of the well-known fashion design houses such as Chanel, Poiret, Molyneux, Lanvin, Worth, Paquin, and many more.
The exhibition consists of more than 200 sketches, curated by Special Collections’ staff. Also on view are 14 historical/period garments from the School of Graduate Studies’ Fashion and Textile Studies garment study collection. These pieces, curated and conserved by graduate students under the supervision of Professor Denyse Montegut, are paired with Beller sketches that mirror the spirit of the garments’ styles and history.
The Oral History Project of the Fashion Industries contains over 300 interviews by prominent 20th-century fashion industry insiders. In-depth interviews with individuals in every segment of the fashion business create a broad historical record that is drawn directly from the knowledgeable, informal, and often colorful verbalization of its practitioners. The Oral History project is a unique record of facts, ways and means, points of view, practice, and personality that could be preserved in no other way.
The Oral History Project of the Fashion Industries began informally in 1977 and was officially funded by a grant from the Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries beginning in 1981. The project was guided by an industry advisory committee chaired by Mrs. William Randolph Hearst, Jr.
Linked below are videos and transcripts of a select few of the interviews in our Oral History Collection. Please visit our YouTube page to view some of the videos uploaded online, and visit the Oral History Collection LibGuide page for more information.
This recording starts with a discussion between Maxwell and Kelly as they reminisce about their times together. John Touhey then interviews Princess Kelly.
Phyllis Dillon interviews David Wolfe, trend forecaster and Creative Director of the Doneger Group for 27 years.
In this interview, Rebecca Arnold, Lecturer in the History of Dress and Textiles at The Courtauld Institute of Art, interviews Gavrik Losey about his mother, American fashion designer Elizabeth Hawes.
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