It is the intention of certain members of the Intimate Apparel Industry to raise funds and expend energy to safeguard the present and future health of said industry by:
- Primarily supporting education of new talent
- Secondarily by attracting this talent to careers in Intimate Apparel
- Thirdly to act as a good citizen in the local community within which the industry exists
To accomplish these goals these members have formed the Underfashion Club, Inc
Executive Vice President
Fashion Institute of Technology
Chantelle Lingerie, Inc.
Norma Reinhardt Mascarotti
As a fundraising event, the Femmy Gala serves a dual purpose: creating a venue for business and social interchange, and generating the monies that enable us to fulfill our charitable mission. We are proud of the extensive scholarship support that is given each year to intimate apparel students at the Fashion Institute of Technology, fashion merchandising students at LIM College, and graduating seniors from the High School of Art & Design in New York City, and the Design and Architecture Senior High (DASH) School in Miami. In addition, this year we look forward to providing scholarship support for graduates of the High School of Fashion Industries, design and merchandising students at Parsons The New School For Design, and the continuing education of our own members.
There are three dedicated scholarship funds that have been established by generous contributors, with monies distributed each year to the best and brightest of intimate apparel students: The Mary Krug Memorial Scholarship Fund, the Intimate Apparel Council Scholarship Fund and, most recently, the John Bowman Memorial Scholarship Fund.
At the time of her death in 2013, Mary Krug was Vice President and Division Merchandise Manager of Neiman Marcus Stores, and she left a great legacy in the countless buyers, assistant buyers and vendors that she trained and educated over the years. Established in 2014 by a group of industry executives, the Mary Krug Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a fashion merchandising student at LIM College.
For many years, the Intimate Apparel Council was the organization responsible for setting the Intimate Apparel market dates in the United States. In 2015, the remaining officers of the IAC “passed the baton” to the Underfashion Club and we are honored to have been chosen to provide this most important service to the industry going forward. The IAC also gifted the Underfashion Club with over $75,000 to aid our mission of education and service in support of intimate apparel worldwide.
John Bowman, who died in March of 2016 after fighting a courageous battle with brain cancer, was a pioneer in the Intimate Apparel Industry.He dedicated 27 years to the initial launch and success of Wacoal America and, later in his career, was a partner at Dana-co LLC working with the Natori brand. He shared his years of experience and expertise with numerous individuals and companies across the globe. This year, I am pleased to announce the establishment of the John Bowman Memorial Scholarship Fund, made possible through the generous contributions of John’s industry friends. The Underfashion Club is honored to have been chosen to administer the Fund, which will keep John’s memory alive by providing much needed financial support to the most deserving of intimate apparel students.
As part of our emphasis on the students who are our future, the Femmy Gala is hosting, for the 14th consecutive year, a design contest featuring garments designed by students from the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Fashion Design program. This is a major undertaking for all involved and I particularly want to acknowledge the efforts of SAIG Co-Chairs, Suzanne Beck and Clelia Parisi, and FIT Faculty Liaison Karen Rippy.
Special thanks to design contest sponsors Clover Group International, Regina Miracle International and Stretchline Holdings for providing the cash awards that will be presented to tonight’s contestants; to Eurovet and Curvexpo for providing roundtrip airfare, accommodations and complimentary admission to this July’s Interfiliere Paris/Salon International de la Lingerie for the 1st prize winner of the contest and; to Francesca Spinetta and Intima Magazine for featuring the top 3 winning designs in the August issue of Best of Intima.
The Femmy Gala takes months of advance planning. Sincere congratulations and thanks to Femmy Co-Chairs, Karen Bromley and Ann Deal and the entire Femmy committee, for their enthusiasm and hard work.
For 59 years, the strength of the Underfashion Club has been the dedicated volunteers who work to make a difference in our industry and offer our members benefits that will enhance their knowledge, and their opportunity for advancement. Our newly re-designed Web Site, www.underfashionclub.org is about to launch with a wealth of information and guidance, including members forum, career opportunities, calendar of industry events and enhanced membership directory. Our Blog, “Insider,” shines a spotlight on industry leaders and topics and provides trend direction! Our Programs inform and educate members and industry associates, and our Members-Only get-togethers provide fun opportunities to mix and mingle.
As I look back over the last four years of my presidency, I am struck by the dedication and time spent by my fellow officers and directors to fulfill our commitment to “Education today for a better industry tomorrow,” and I would like to take this opportunity to say “thank you” to them, and all the members who have contributed to the success of the Underfashion Club, Inc.
Victor H. Vega
Established in 1958 as the Corset and Brassiere Women’s Club, Inc., in 1963 the group was re-invented as the Underfashion Club — a not–for–profit, intimate apparel industry organization dedicated to education. We support new talent with scholarships and internships and we offer seminars, panel discussions, and networking opportunities to industry professionals.
Today, the Underfashion Club members work in all facets of the intimate apparel industry: foundations, daywear, sleepwear, robes, and loungewear. Our membership represents all areas of the industry: retailers, manufacturers, textile mills, fiber producers, and trim suppliers. Our members hold positions in all departments: management, marketing, merchandising, sales, design, education, and human resources.
Our annual Femmy Gala, a premier event in the intimate apparel industry, recognizes and celebrates the achievements of intimate apparel industry leaders worldwide. Honorees are chosen from all sectors of the business and have included Designers Donna Karan and Josie Natori, retailers Neiman Marcus and Victoria’s Secret, manufacturers Carole Hochman Design Group and Maidenform, and industry notables Eileen West and Elle Macpherson.
Proceeds from the Femmy Gala are distributed by our SAIG Committee (Scholarships, Awards, Internships, and Grants) to deserving students who pursue college–level intimate apparel related courses. The Fashion Institute of Technology and the High School of Fashion Industries in New York City are our primary beneficiaries.
Additionally, we have established a chair at the Fashion Institute of Technology to make sure that graduates entering the world of the intimate apparel industry are fully qualified.