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The Couture Council

The Couture Council of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology honored Thom Browne with its 2017 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion on Wednesday, September 6, 2017, at a luncheon at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City. Learn more about Thom Browne.


The Couture Council is an elite membership group that supports The Museum at FIT, a specialized museum of fashion. The Couture Council helps make it possible for the museum to mount world-class exhibitions of fashion, to build and conserve its extraordinary permanent collection, and to organize free public programs that serve FIT’s 10,000 students as well as the general public.

The Couture Council, working in conjunction with the museum, organizes activities and events to raise the institution’s profile and provide financial support for the museum’s initiatives. The most important of these events is the Couture Council’s annual award’s ceremony. Designers who have received the Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion include Karl Lagerfeld, Valentino, and the late Oscar de la Renta.
Illustration by: Thom Browne
Illustration by: Thom Browne
See photos of Couture Council events on Flickr.

Join the Couture Council:

A Couture Council Membership is $1000 per individual or couple, or $350 for Young Associates (under the age of 35). You can join or renew online via our secure website using your credit card, or if you prefer to pay by check you may download a membership form.


Members of the Couture Council receive invitations to exclusive events and private viewings, such as visits to designers’ ateliers, and they are invited to all of the museum’s opening receptions and special programs.  Membership in the Couture Council is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  The Couture Council is credited as a sponsor for all exhibitions.

Board of Directors

Kamie Lightburn
Julie Macklowe
Carole Divet Harting
Joele Frank

Past Chairman

 Yaz Hernández
  Liz Peek

Board Members

 Angela Dotson
 Violet Gross
 Audrey Gruss
 Celia Hegyi
 Sharon Jacob
 Eleanora Kennedy
 Lisa Klein
 Michèle Gerber Klein
 Stephanie Loeffler 
 Julie Macklowe
 Lara Meiland-Shaw
 Melissa Mithoff
 Elizabeth Musmanno
 Laura Nicklas
 Amelia Ogunlesi
 Karen Phillips
 Kathy Prounis
 Kathy Reilly
 Darcy Rigas
 Lois Robbins
 Peter G. Scotese
Jean Shafiroff
Sutton Stracke


Valerie Steele, Director MFIT


Couture Council MEMBERS september 2017

Mona Aboelnaga
Gwendolyn Adolph
Tom Ajamie
William and Elisabeth Armstrong
Juliet Arrieta
Anne Baker
Virginia N. Barbato
Jane L. Bradbury
Noreen Buckfire
Alyson Cafiero
Liza-Mae Carlin
Maroulla Carr
Deborah Chatman
Anne Clairmont
Edward Carlton Clark-Ayers
Suzanne and Robert Chute
Lisa Clyde
Robyn & Tony Coles
Alston Daigh
Kendra Daniel
Christina R. Davis
Marisol Deluna
Wendy Dietze
Natalie Diggins
Jacqueline Weld Drake

Karen Eckhoff
Michele Emanuele
Darice Fadeyi
Marcy Feldman
Anne Gallo
Barbara Georgescu
Annette Green
Victoria Guranowski
Susan Gutfreund
Andrea Hagan
Danielle Hankin
Dr. Evelyn Blose Holman
Sharon Coplan Hurowitz
Caroline Howard Hyman
Carter Johnston
Robyn Joseph
Claire Simier Karsevar
Erica Kasel
Ron Keenan
Liliane Kelly
Gordon Kendall
Karen Klopp
Katherine Kung
Theresa Lawton
Laura Layfer
Jessie Leavitt
Susan Leavitt
Robin Lefcourt
Brenda Levin
Carole Lewis
Shirley Madhere-Weil
Lisa Malitz
Meredith Marks
Jacqueline Martin
Paolo Martorano
Iva Mills
Satoko Miyake
Adrienne Montes
Charlotte Moss
Hallie Nath (Taketa)
Susan Niblo
Yoichiro Okumura
Barbara J. Parsky
Cristiane Peixoto
John Pomerantz
Rosemary Ponzo
Leticia Presutti
Bambi Putnam
Kerri Quigley
Nicole Salmasi

David Christopher Salvatore
Pam B. Schafler
Polly Scott
Rhonda Sheakley
Randall Ian Stempler
Debbie Stevenson
Sabrina Stewart
Jordan Stofko
Martha Suarez
Kelly Sullivan
Sarah Sulzberger Perpich
Nora Tezanos
Barbara Tober
Rebecca Vanyo
Sara Voigt
Andrew Warren
Ashley Weaver
Carol Weisman
Graham Wetzbanger
Sarah Wolfe
Pamala Wright
Yliana Yepez


Highlights from Previous Special Events
  • Invitation to the annual Couture Council Artistry of Fashion benefit luncheon. Past awardees: Ralph Rucci (2006), Alber Elbaz of Lanvin (2007), Isabel Toledo (2008), Dries Van Noten (2009), Karl Lagerfeld (2010), Valentino (2011), Oscar de la Renta (2012), Michael Kors (2013), Carolina Herrera (2014), Manolo Blahnik (2015), and Albert Kriemler (2016).
  • Private visits to the ateliers of fashion designers such as Isabel Toledo and her husband, fashion illustrator Ruben Toledo, Ralph Rucci, Zac Posen, Angel Sanchez, Chadwick Bell, Prabal Gurung, J. Mendel, Francisco Costa of Calvin Klein, Reem Acra, Bibhu Mohapatra, Lafayette 148 and NYC Ballet Costume Shop.
  • Store events with Calvin Klein, Verdura, Tiffany, Reed Krakoff, the FD Gallery, and Mish New York.
  • Lectures with Michael Kors, Zac Posen and Ruben and Isabel Toledo at the Doubles Club.
  • Cocktails and Conversation with Peter Copping of Oscar de la Renta at the Core Club.
  • Cocktails and Conversation with designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler and Dr. Valerie Steele, Director, The Museum at FIT at the Proenza Schouler Boutique.
  • Tea and Conversation with renowned hat designer Patricia Underwood.
  • NYC Ballet Costume Shop Tour.
  • Cocktails and Couture with Bibhu Mohapatra at the Core Club.
  • Cartier Mansion Tour.
  • Cocktails and Conversation with Jason Wu.
Proenza Schouler with Valerie Steele
Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for The Museum at FIT