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The Couture Council of The Museum at FIT Elects Four New Members to Board of Directors

Cheri Fein, executive director of Public and Media Relations
212 217.4700 or [email protected]

The Couture Council of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, a membership group dedicated to supporting the museum, has elected four new members to its board of directors.

Julie Macklowe is an American investor and founder of vbeaut, a luxury, travel-friendly skincare line. Ms. Macklowe in involved with a variety of organizations, including New Yorkers for Children and The Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She is a founding advisory board member for Fashion Week at Lincoln Center.

Elizabeth Musmanno is founder of The Musmanno Group and president of the Fragrance Foundation. Ms. Musmanno brings more than 20 years of experience as a senior communications and marketing executive in the fashion, beauty, and consumer goods industries. Ms. Musmanno has held positions at Christian Dior Couture, Vera Wang, and Unilever Cosmetics International.

Valerie Salembier recently founded The Salembier Group, a consulting agency in New York. A former publisher at the Hearst Corporation, she has served as senior vice president and publisher of Town & Country magazine and, for many years, publisher of Harpers Bazaar.

Michelle Smith, an FIT alumna, is a designer and owner of Milly by Michelle Smith. Milly defines youthful, luxurious style through timeless silhouettes, iconic prints, luxurious fabrics, and attention to detail. The brand includes ready-to-wear, accessories, jewelry, and children's clothing. The collection is carried at specialty and department stores and has its own flagship boutique on Madison Avenue.

We are thrilled to have such prominent figures in fashion join our board, says Liz Peek, chair of the nominating committee of the Couture Council. These women have shaped our industry tremendously. Bringing their experience and passion to our group is paramount.

The officers of the Couture Councils board of directors are Yaz Hernndez, chair; Alexandra Lebenthal, president; Joele Frank, secretary; and Laura Lofaro Freeman, treasurer. The new board members join Anne Goldrach, Carole Divet Harting, Celia Hegyi, Chiu-Ti Jansen, Eleanora Kennedy, Michle Gerber Klein, Kamie Lightburn, Charlotte Moss, Nancy Raquet, Darcy Rigas, Peter G. Scotese, Jean Shafiroff, Jieun Wax, and Sarah G. Wolfe.

The Couture Council of The Museum at FIT, created in 2004, is an integral part of The Museum at FIT, a specialized museum of fashion. This membership group helps make it possible for the museum to mount world-class exhibitions of fashion, acquire important objects for its permanent collection, and organize public programs, such as the museums annual fashion symposium. The Couture Council accomplishes these goals through membership dues and by organizing fundraising events such as the annual Couture Council Awards Luncheon, which presents a designer with the Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion.

Membership affords exclusive opportunities to meet other patrons of the fashion arts. The Councils special events and benefits include behind-the-scenes tours of the museums collections and exhibitions, opening receptions and luncheons, and visits to the ateliers of fashion designers in New York. In addition, Couture Council members receive complimentary admittance to all museum educational programs, including the annual fashion symposium, and acknowledgments in FIT's annual report, in the exhibition galleries and brochures, and on the FIT website. For more about the Couture Council of The Museum at FIT, visit fitnyc.edu/couturecouncil.

The Museum at FIT, which is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is the only museum in New York City dedicated solely to the art of fashion. Best known for its innovative and award-winning exhibitions, which The New York Times has described as ravishing, the museum has a collection of more than 50,000 garments and accessories dating from the 18th century to the present. Like other fashion museums, such as the Muse de la Mode, the Mode Museum, and the Museo de la Moda, The Museum at FIT collects, conserves, documents, exhibits, and interprets fashion. The museums mission is to advance knowledge of fashion through exhibitions, publications, and public programs.

Admission to The Museum at FIT is free and open to the public. Museum hours are Tuesday-Friday, noon-8 pm, and Saturday, 10 am-5 pm. The museum is closed Sunday, Monday, and legal holidays.

The Museum at FIT is part of the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), a State University of New York (SUNY) college of art, design, business, and technology that has been at the crossroads of commerce and creativity for nearly 70 years. With programs that blend hands-on practice, a strong grounding in theory, and a broad-based liberal arts foundation, FIT offers career education in more than 45 areas, and grants associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees. FIT provides students with a complete college experience at an affordable cost, a vibrant campus life in New York City, and industry-relevant preparation for rewarding careers.