Jessica Chastain and Karolina Kurkova: the Fashion Institute of Technology Gala


Last week the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and the FIT Foundation honored three longtime supporters; playwright George Kaufman, Kay Krill of AnnTaylor, and Stefano Tonchi, the editor of W magazine. The institute’s annual gala was held at Cipriani on 42nd Street in New York City.

Tony Bennett, a longtime family friend of Kaufman’s, presented the playwright with his award. The multiple Academy Award-nominee actress Jessica Chastain (in head-to-toe Lanvin) presented Tonchi his award. Meanwhile, supermodel Karolina Kurkova (who wore a custom silk jersey dress from LOFT designer Austyn Zung) was on hand to present Krill with her award. In her acceptance, Krill stated: “I am passionate about empowering and helping the next generation to realize their dreams.” She then made the surprise announcement that ANN INC. has committed to endow a full year scholarship that will be awarded annually to a student with a passion for designing fashion for women.” The gala featured a video installation titled Orbit Art Work by Jennifer Steinkamp.

Among the 500 guests who joined Chastain and Kurkova were some of the industry’s leading designers, including Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz, Calvin Klein’s Francisco Costa and Italo Zucchelli, Pucci’s Peter Dundas, Rag & Bone’s David Neville, Nanette Lepore, J. Mendel, Reem Acra, Isabel and Ruben Toledo, Jeffrey Banks, Dennis Basso, Maria Cornejo, Stan Herman, Lisa Perry and Ralph Rucci. The designers were joined by models Joan Smalls and Crystal Renn, Vogue’s Hamish Bowles, Moda Operandi’s Lauren Santo Domingo, Fern Mallis, photographer Henry Buhl, CNN correspondant Alina Cho, poet Christina Davis, artist Anh Duong, playwright Carol Mack, Iris Cantor, Steven Kolb, Arie Kopelman and his wife Coco, real estate developer Richard LeFrak and his wife Karen, Jaqui Lividini, Julie Macklowe, Wilbur Ross, Jack and Susan Rudin, Jean Shafiroff and Topsy Taylor.

The gala’s chairs were also on hand at the event, from Pamela Baxter (President and CEO of LVMH Perfumes and Cosmetics), Joy Herfel Cronin (Group President of Menswear and Children’s wear at Ralph Lauren), Julie Greiner (Chief Merchandise Planning Officer at Macy’s), Yaz Hernandez (trustee of FIT), Jane Hertzmark Hudis (Global Brand President at Estée Lauder) and Liz Peek (trustee of FIT). Some of the top graduates from FIT’s Fashion Design Class of 2013 were also invited, and wore their final project collections. Thaiana Cruz(children’s wear), Sijeo Kim (knitwear), Jae Lee (sportswear), Carly Rosenbrook (sportswear), and Trung Vu (special occasion) received Critics Awards.

The FIT annual gala benefits the FIT Educational Development Fund, which provides scholarship, technology, and student services support, among other priorities.

Photo credit: Owen Hoffman/PMC.