In July 2012, The Museum at FIT (MFIT) achieved accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition possible for a museum. The accrediting commission found that the museum not only meets the National Standards and Best Practices for a U.S. Museum, but also has one of the most important collections of its type and is a good steward of its resources held in the public trust and committed to a philosophy of continual institutional growth."
The Museum at FIT (MFIT) was reaccredited in 2022 by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest national standard of recognition afforded museums in the United States. This certifies that MFIT meets the most stringent standards of excellence, following a strenuous review process that AAM member museums undergo every 10 years to maintain their accredited status.
Of the nation's estimated 35,000 museums, approximately 3 percent are currently accredited.
Twenty of the nearly 150 museums located in New York City share this honor, including
Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art.
Led for the past 25 years by Dr. Valerie Steele, director and chief curator, MFIT is the only specialized fashion museum in New York City. Established in 1969 as The Design Laboratory at FIT, it was renamed The Museum at FIT in 1994. From the beginning, MFIT has served multiple audiences, including students, designers, and members of the public.
MFIT is recognized worldwide for its innovative and award-winning exhibitions and
public programs, and its permanent collection of more than 50,000 garments and accessories
dating from the 18th century to the present. The mission of MFIT is to promote original
research, creative thinking, and lifelong learning through exhibitions and public
programs that educate and inspire diverse and inclusive audiences. Dr. Steele has
personally organized more than 25 exhibitions at MFIT and was recently recognized
by the National Arts Club with its 2022 Medal of Honor for Achievement in Fashion, becoming the first fashion
historian to receive the honor. As author, curator, editor, and public intellectual,
Dr. Steele has been instrumental in creating the modern field of fashion studies and
in advancing recognition of the cultural significance of fashion.
"This reaccreditation—which signifies excellence, accountability, and high professional standards—is a coveted designation that makes me—and the college—very proud," said FIT President Joyce F. Brown. "I offer congratulations to Dr. Valerie Steele and to the entire staff for their achievement."
"I am delighted that the AAM recognized MFIT's 'outstanding reputation,' 'rigorous
and 'thought leadership,'" said Dr. Steele. "The AAM peer reviewers reported that FIT 'faculty
members from a variety of disciplines … [described] how the museum advanced their scholarly
pursuits and the experiential learning of their students.' This is a real tribute to the museum's
talented and hardworking professional staff."