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The Couture Council

The Couture Council of The Museum at FIT honored Akris Creative Director Albert Kriemler with its 2016 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion on Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at an award luncheon at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City. Learn more. The Couture Council Awards Luncheon kicked off New York Fashion Week. Join in this year’s celebration by using and following #CoutureCouncil across social media.


The Couture Council is a membership group dedicated to supporting 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 acquire important objects for its permanent collection, and to organize public programs, such as the annual fashion symposium.  The Couture Council accomplishes these goals through collecting membership dues and by organizing fundraising events such as the annual Couture Council Awards Luncheon, which presents a chosen designer with the Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion.
Sketch Albert Kriemler
Illustration by: Albert Kriemler
See photos of Couture Council events on Flickr.

Join the Couture Council:

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

A Couture Council Annual Membership is $1,000 per individual or couple, or $350 for Young Associates (under the age of 35). Membership is tax deductible to the extent provided by law. Please make checks payable to the Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries. Mail checks to FIT Foundation, attention: Couture Council, Seventh Avenue at 27th Street, Director's Office, Room E304, New York City 10001-5992.


Members of the Couture Council receive invitations to at least five special events a year, including behind-the-scenes tours of the Museum's collection and exhibitions, opening receptions, and visits to the ateliers of fashion designers in New York. Couture Council members are also the first to receive notice of the annual Couture Council Awards Ceremony and benefit luncheon.

In addition, you will receive the following special membership benefits:
  • Complementary admittance for two to all paid Museum educational programs, including the annual fashion symposium
  • Acknowledgments in FIT's annual report, in the exhibition galleries and brochures, and on the FIT website
  • Exclusive opportunities to meet other patrons of the fashion arts

Board of Directors

Yaz Hernández
Kamie Lightburn
Carole Divet Harting
Joele Frank

Board Members

 Angela Dotson
 Anne Goldrach
 Violet Gross
 Audrey Gruss
 Celia Hegyi
 Sharon Jacob
 Eleanora Kennedy
 Lisa Klein
 Michèle Gerber Klein
 Stephanie Loeffler 
 Julie Macklowe
 Melissa Mithoff
 Elizabeth Musmanno
 Laura Nicklas
 Amelia Ogunlesi
 Liz Peek
 Karen Phillips
 Kathy Prounis
 Kathy Reilly
 Darcy Rigas
 Lois Robbins
 Jean Shafiroff


Valerie Steele, Director MFIT


Couture Council MEMBERS March 2017

Mona Aboelnaga
Tom Ajamie
Juliet Arrieta
Anne Baker
Virginia N. Barbato
Jane L. Bradbur
Noreen Buckfire
Alyson Cafiero
Liza-Mae Carlin
Maroulla Carr
Deborah Chatman
Anne Clairmont
Edward Carlton Clark-Ayers
Suzanne and Robert Chute
Lisa Clyde
Alston Daigh
Christina R. Davis
Caroline Dean
Marisol Deluna
Wendy Dietze
Natalie Diggins
Jacqueline Weld Drake
Karen Eckhoff
Anne Gallo
Barbara Georgescu
Victoria Guranowski
Susan Gutfreund
Gerald Haberkom
Andrea Hagan
Douglas Hand
Danielle Hankin
Dr. Evelyn Blose Holman
Sharon Coplan Hurowitz
Caroline Howard Hyman
Carter Johnston
Erica Kasel
Mariana Kaufman
Ron Keenan
Liliane Kelly
Gordon Kendall
Karen Klopp
Katherine Kung
Theresa Lawton
Laura Layfer
Jessie Leavitt
Susan Leavitt
Alexandra Lebenthal
George Ledes
Robin Lefcourt
Brenda Levin
Lisa Malitz
Meredith Marks
Satoko Miyake
Adrienne Montes
Charlotte Moss
Hallie Nath (Taketa)
Susan Niblo
Maggie Norris
Yoichiro Okumura
Barbara J. Parsky
Cristiane Peixoto
Susan Pernick
Betsy Perry
Lisa Perry
Karen Phillips
Maria Elena Pombo
John Pomerantz
Rosemary Ponzo
Leticia Presutti
Bambi Putnam
Kerri Quigley
David Christopher Salvatore
Pam B. Schafler
Rhonda Sheakley
Randall Ian Stempler
Debbie Stevenson
Sabrina Stewart
Jordan Stofko
Kelly Sullivan
Sarah Sulzberger Perpich
Nora Tezanos
Barbara Tober
Rebecca Vanyo
Sara Voigt
Carol Weisman
Sarah & Whitney 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), and Manolo Blahnik (2015).
  • 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.
Proenza Schouler with Valerie Steele
Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for The Museum at FIT