The annual Opening Number, now long established on the social calendars is The Couture Council of The Museum at FIT (MFIT) presented by NORDSTROM. Its date for years has marked the “official” opening of Fashion Week in New York.
This event raises funds for the Museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology). It is New York’s only museum dedicated exclusively to the art of fashion. The funds raised will go toward developing exhibitions, programming, and symposia, all of which are free and open to the public.
At this year’s luncheon, which was held at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, they honored Gabriela Hearst with its 2023 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion. Ms. Hearst is creative director of her namesake fashion brand Gabriela Hearst and French luxury fashion house Chloé, during their annual fundraising luncheon in New York City.
The award was presented by former tennis superstar Maria Sharapova and chef Daniel Humm. The luncheon was co-chaired by Lara Meiland-Shaw, board chair of the Couture Council, and Melissa Mafrige Mithoff, vice chair of the Couture Council. There is also the FIT Student Award this year it was Stella Hobart, was presented with The Museum.
Dr. Valerie Steele Director and Chief Curator of MFIT welcomed guests. FIT President Dr. Joyce F. Brown who presides over one of the most exciting and successful schools in New York, thanked everyone for coming and supporting the museum, and introduced Nordstrom Inc.’s Chief Stores Officer Jamie Nordstrom addressed the room.
Both Valerie Steele and Dr. Brown together and separately have made FIT a destination in its field(s) both academic and historically.
Among those attending the luncheon: Candace Bushnell, Martha Stewart, Alina Cho, Ana Cruz Kayne, Wawa Gatheru, Audrey Gruss, Yaz Hernandez, Bethann Hardison, Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Eleanora Kennedy, Julie Macklowe, Fern Mallis, Nicole Miller, Johanna Ortiz, Liz Peek, Kara Ross, Hal Rubenstein, Ramona Singer, Rickie De Sole, Dana Thomas and Ali Wentworth.