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FIT collaborates with MFIT to present ‘Asian Americans in New York Fashion: Design, Labour, Innovation’

By Andrea Byrne

28 Feb 2022

Fashion

The Fashion Institute of Technology’s (FIT) School of Graduate Studies has collaborated with The Museum at FIT (MFIT) to present the exhibition entitled ‘Asian Americans in New York Fashion: Design, Labor, Innovation’ from 2 to 27 March 2022.

The exhibition was organised by FIT’s fashion and textile graduate students to celebrate the Asian American community through a display of garments, photographs, textiles and video footage, and to provide recognition for Asian Americans in the fashion industry.

Divided into two sections, the first section concentrates on fashion production, labour, and the use of materials in the design process from the 1980s to the 2010s and the second section focuses on design narratives from the 1950s to the present day.

To start the exhibition, an illustration by Ruben Toledo entitled ‘The Tug of War Continues...,’ was displayed, featuring the following designers: Anna Sui, Vivienne Tam, and Zang To.

Designer: Yeohlee Teng

Credit: The Museum at FIT

Fashion designer Yeohlee Teng’s fall 1991 jacket ponders the invisible labour that Asian American garment workers supply to the fashion industry as Teng provides not only her label for this piece, she also includes the seamstress’ name “Sue”.

Designer: Mary Ping

Credit: The Museum at FIT

Next, the exhibition wishes to show the significance of textiles in the design process. Fashion Designer Mary Ping created a canvas bag using various materials and techniques to present minimalism and sustainability, according to a statement.

Designer: Gemma Kahng

Credit: The Museum at FIT

The exhibition concludes with a section that displays the role of Asian American designers’ roles in the fashion industry. Fashion designer Gemma Kahng created a jacket for a broader audience.

There will also be a virtual panel entitled ‘Asian Americans in New York Fashion: A Conversation with Mary Ping and Christina Moon’ to go alongside the exhibition on 10 March to discuss the impact of Asian Americans on the New York fashion industry.

Photo credit: Fashion Institute of Technology Museum

Exhibition
Fashion Institute of Technology
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