UNDERFASHION CLUB’S Q & A WITH KAREN CURINTON RIPPY

KAREN CURINTON RIPPY

Recently, the UNDERFASHION CLUB spoke with Karen Curinton Rippy of both PARSONS SCHOOL OF DESIGN and the FASHION INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY. We wanted to give our readers some insight into this talented Intimate Apparel teacher who is enabling her students to follow their passion for lingerie. Not only is Karen an Assistant Professor at PARSONS and Adjunct Assistant Professor at FIT, the Club is most familiar with her as Faculty Liaison for the Intimate Apparel Design contest showcasing the work of gifted FIT students at the annual FEMMY GALA.

Additionally, Karen teaches Lingerie Fundamentals at PARSONS where several Club members had the opportunity to meet the students and see their work. The May 17 design contest and members-only event featuring the work of PARSONS students can be seen on the UFC website.

 

UFC – TELL US ABOUT YOUR EARLY YEARS.

KR My mother and father saw that I could sketch at a young age, and they sought out after school art classes for training. I attended the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and, in my junior year, selected an Illustration major. My teacher /counselor introduced me to WOMENS WEAR DAILY, a fantastic publication highlighting the fashion Industry. I thought it was magical and I knew at that time I wanted to be involved in Fashion Design. In my senior year I applied to The Fashion Institute of Technology! I attended FIT for 4 years and in my 3rd year took a Lingerie class. I was so impressed with the classification, design, fabric variety and an exquisite element called LACE, I wanted to pursue Intimate Apparel as a career. Once I graduated from FIT I began interning and working at BILL TICE. Additional companies I worked for over the years are N. Edelson and Sons, Gilead Lingerie, Dutchess Lingerie, AJ Schneierson, Martha Colon Lingerie, and Jack Murphy Loungewear.

UFC – HOW DID YOUR PARENTS INFLUENCE YOU?

KR – My parents always supported my career. In my early years, they attended my art exhibitions and sat at all of my fashion shows. Prior to getting a sewing machine I was sewing complete garments with needle and thread. My parents saw the dedication and time-consuming completion to my garments and bought me my first sewing machine (SINGER GENIE 1972,) which I still have. I’m grateful to my parents for their guidance, love and being so supportive.

UFC – YOU ARE IN THE UNIQUE POSITION OF BEING A PROFESSOR AT BOTH FIT AND PARSONS. TELL US ABOUT EACH SCHOOL AND HOW THEY DIFFER.

KR – I have been blessed to teach at two top Fashion Colleges. Both schools have wonderful studios, curriculum, resources, contests and opportunities for internships that prepare students for a career in the fashion or fashion related industries. Both have great campuses, and PARSONS has a brand new building that houses all of the fashion classes! FIT offers a design specialization tract for students starting in their 6th semester who will create a senior thesis based on their specialization tract, i.e., Sportswear, Knitwear Intimate Apparel, etc. At PARSONS, in addition to the BFA program there is an AAS program offered to students who have previous college degrees. I enjoy teaching students who are a bit older and more experienced with the college process, and who also appreciate a second opportunity to follow the career path they have desired in Fashion Design. I enjoy teaching a variety of classes at both schools and my mantra is that wherever I’m teaching, I am an advocate for my students in helping them get the best fashion education from me.

UFC – HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO GO INTO TEACHING?

KR – I was at an FIT Alumni event and the President of the College, Mr. Marvin Feldman approached me about teaching positions that would be available in the Fashion Design department. I didn’t think I would have the patience for teaching, but I decided to apply and now 26 years later I have had a great teaching experience at FIT and 12 years at PARSONS.

UFC – DO YOU HAVE A ROLE MODEL?

KR – The greatest influence in my life was my mother! She would say to me “Work hard to play hard!” She was a hard worker, maintaining 2 jobs, working at The New York Telephone Company and as a part time travel agent. She enjoyed taking glorious vacations around the world. She enjoyed trying “new things.” My love of music variety started with my mom and I was exposed to classical, jazz, ballads in addition to the current music of the time. She introduced cultural events like plays and museum visits and food was an “EXPERIENCE” with my mom. I remember being on a Caribbean cruise with her and, when we were in port, we walked almost a mile to get to the restaurant to taste the native delights. Best of all was my mom’s love of fashion! She taught me how to sew!! My mom enjoyed putting interesting fabrics and colors together. She was a very thoughtful dresser and dressed for every occasion. Overall, my mother taught me to live life, be open to new things, be creative, laugh and treat people kindly.

UFC – WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR DESIGN INSPIRATION?

KR – I enjoy being out and about, taking walks whether on the streets of NYC or along the sunny Caribbean beaches, hiking or biking. All of this allows me to think creatively.

UFC – WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE DESIGNER?

KR – I have many favorite designers, and on the top of my list is American designer HALSTON, the Iconic clothing designer of the 70’s. He was brilliant. His choice of fluid fabrics and colors in sexy and elegant silhouettes was HALSTON’S signature in my opinion. I also enjoyed the models he chose to wear his garments on the runway that brought his creations to life! I also would like to give mention to the MONSE line. I love the creative, strong and edgy, hip designs from 2017 CFDA winners Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia.

UFC –WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE?

KR – “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress, dress impeccably and they remember the woman” – COCO CHANEL. I tell my students to design and execute beautiful clothing that will excite and exude confidence for the wearer.

UFC – WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR TEACHING STYLE?

KR – I want the students to be prepared and organized, and to work hard and have fun so I run my classroom as if the students are working in the industry. Begin the class on time and ready to work. I arrive early to organize my lectures and demos. Depending on the subject, I have a wide selection of visuals, garments and illustrative stimulation for the students to review. Music playing, laughter and humor are also a part of the teaching experience. Most of all, the students should have excellent technical skills, understand construction and produce saleable garments.

UFC – HOW DO YOU PERSONALLY IMPACT YOUR STUDENTS?

KR – I try to teach with passion, enthusiasm, precision, kindness, and humor. I challenge my students to always showcase their best work and to be proactive with their career paths. As a mentor, it is very important for me to motivate and give constructive feedback to my students. I tell them, “Think positive, be positive and positive things will happen!”

UFC –WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO THE GRADUATING SENIORS?

KR – Students should continue to research and learn after graduation, finding inspiration and being creative. Having an optimistic attitude is very dynamic. I tell my students that it’s okay to not be perfect, but they need to learn from their mistakes and to do their best. Surround yourself with positive and creative friends that you can grow with. Be kind and respectful to all people.

UFC -HOW HAS THE UNDERFASHION CLUB HELPED YOU AND YOUR STUDENTS?

KR – For the first time, earlier this year, I had the honor of mentoring the FIT students competing in the UFC sponsored Student Design Contest held in connection with the FEMMY GALA. I also had the privilege of my PARSONS Lingerie Fundamentals class taking part in the UFC sponsored MODERN ALLURE 2016 and MOSAIC VISIONS 2017 design contests held in the spring. It is a wonderful opportunity for the students to receive support from a Club that consists of people working in the Intimate Apparel industry. Club members have also taken time from their busy schedules to visit my classes, to join in the critiques or come as guest lecturers. UFC has been amazingly supportive providing resources, fabrics, laces and trims to aid the students with the execution of their creative designs. Last year UFC saw the need for the Parsons Lingerie Fundamentals class to have proper lingerie forms and, thanks to their financial support, this year 14 forms were delivered! Summer paid Internships were also sponsored by UFC and awarded to deserving student candidates from both FIT and PARSONS. The UNDERFASHION CLUB, INC. has partnered with the various fashion colleges and has been the link between Education and Industry. It’s fantastic for the students to be a part of this collaboration, with an organization that is supportive and nurturing, and helping the next group of creative and talented students find future employment within the Intimate Apparel Industry. Thank You UFC.

KAREN CURINTON RIPPY IN CLASS AT PARSONS WITH STUDENT,
LUCY NGOZI NZEI AND HER DESIGN

STUDENT DESIGNS AT PARSONS

Parsons School of Design Intimate Apparel Design Contest – “Mosaic Visions”

This Intimate Apparel Design Contest featured the work of six students from the Parsons School of Design under the theme “Mosaic Visions” and took place on May 17th, 2017 at the Fashion Group International, Inc. in New York City. This was The Underfashion Club’s second annual contest featuring the work of Parsons students. These contests support the future of the intimate apparel industry by identifying and rewarding talented young designers.

The evening’s featured speakers from AERIE were Jennifer Foyle, Global Brand President and Margaret Clougher, VP Production & Technical Design. Jennifer Foyle has been in retail for over 25 years and helped drive the AERIE REAL campaign, which forgoes photoshopping models and promotes body positivity, into the brand’s identity. Margaret Clougher is part of the design team responsible for making sure each size fits and feels great on a variety of bodies. Watch the interview on YouTube here.

The coordinators of the intimate apparel courses in the School of Design at Parson’s are Karen Rippy and Julia PoteatKaren teaches the 15 week lingerie course where the students utilize the mannequins the Underfashion Club, Inc. has provided. Julia worked in the intimate apparel industry for many years and was instrumental in bringing lingerie to the Parson’s School of Design. The course began about four years ago and has grown every semester. Watch the interview on YouTube here.

The six amazing student finalists from our Intimate Apparel Design Contest are Ayano Takami, Riju Ha, Byul “Stella” Han, Pauline Eichler, Yeqi “Alina” Fang, and Molinaa Mehta.

Design #1 – Mosaic Vision, by Ayano Takami
Inspired by mosaic patterns of light and shadow and the process of transforming what is invisible to visibility, Ayano’s intimate set resembles the shape of light. The garments are delicate and consist of a bra, garter panty, and coverup.

Design #2 – Beauty of Mosaic, by Riju Ha
Inspired by roses, Riju’s mosaic design uses carefully selected rose and mosaic patterns to create an intricate harmonic idea. The little pieces come together creating meaning and beauty. The garment is a sexy chemise over a bra and panty.

Design #3 – To Precious Myself by Byul “Stella” Han
Stella was inspired by internalized misogyny. Her collection aims to make women feel precious and happy just as they are. To express the mosaic vision, she created a traditional bojagi pattern over a bra and panty.

Design #4 – Mosaic Vision 2017, by Pauline Eichler
1st Prize Winner
Inspired by a dried rose, Pauline played with abstraction to develop her mosaic.  The bodysuit focuses on a bonded charmeuse mosaic pattern and the silk robe highlights the simple lines of the entire ensemble.

Design #5 – Mosaic Vision by Yeqi “Alina” Fang
2nd Prize Winner
Alina’s piece is very sexy and playful.  Meant to be easily opened,  the bra closure is placed on the side. The set includes a fluffy garter belt and V-shaped panty with laser cut patterns. A mask is included to complete the look.

Design #6 – Snow Queen by Molinaa Mehta
Moninaa was inspired by her obsession with fairy tales. In her piece she combined the shape of snowflakes and the muse of “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Andersen. It is whimsical, feminine, and soft with pastel colors and snowflake details.

Attendees at the event voted for their favorite designs. Congratulations to 1st prize winner, Pauline Eichler who received $3,500, and 2nd prize winner, Yeqi “Alina” Fang who received $1,500.

 

 

See our photos from the reception on Facebook!

REI KAWAKUBO/COMME DES GARÇONS

On view at THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, NEW YORK,
from May 4 to September 4, 2017

REI KAWAKUBO, the Tokyo-based designer, founded Comme des Garçons (“like some boys”) in 1969. Her garments baffle, bemuse and bewilder.

This exhibit is a MUST SEE for anyone interested in FASHION!!! The garments are beautifully displayed within the stark whiteness of the gallery surfaces where each and every garment “pops”. It is a visual feast for the eyes.

I like this quote from her…..”I wasn’t limited to the confines of a pattern. Not being educated, not being taught how to design, I was able to visualize in a completely different context. And I still seem able to draw upon the unconventional.”

Go to the exhibit and see for yourself. Here is a peek of some of my favorites with my captions below.

Camille

SEAM TAPE DRESS

RED DRESSES

EXAGGERATED GINGHAM

PUFFY PRINT DRESS

KNOTS

BALLERINA

LACY MANNEQUINS W/ BANDED SKIRTS

FiT’s Future of Fashion Runway Show

The FiT Future of Fashion Runway Show is tonight!
They will be live-streaming the event at 7:00pm.

http://fashionshow.fitnyc.edu/

The best work of FIT’s graduating BFA class in fashion design students is presented every spring in a professional runway show.

Industry critics lend their expertise to our graduating students during their final semester as they prepare for the fashion show.

Fashion media professionals decide which garments are outstanding enough to make it to the runway.

Our judges select the best looks for the runway in each of the specializations: intimate apparel, special occasion, knitwear, children’s wear, and sportswear.

Learn more at fitnyc.edu/future.

SENIOR BFA INTIMATE APPAREL STUDENT DESIGNS FASHION INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

Members of the UNDERFASHION CLUB, INC. witnessed the creative abundance of talent at the senior exhibition held in the John E. Reeves Great Hall at FIT on April 25, 2017. These garments, along with other categories (Special Occasion, Sportswear, Knitwear and Childrenswear), were on display as a preview to the FUTURE OF FASHION, the graduating seniors fashion show that will be presented on Monday, May 8th at 7pm ET. Visit http://fashionshow.fitnyc.edu for more information.

These talented FIT students will be graduating in May and we spoke with a few students to gain some insight on their next steps after graduation.

Many thanks to Professor Alexandra Armillas for inviting us to the preview. We are looking forward to the fashion show!

FIT PROFESSOR ALEXANDRA ARMILLAS &
CLELIA PARISI, CO-CHAIR OF THE UFC SAIG COMMITTEE

 

PROFESSOR ALEXANDRA ARMILLAS WITH STUDENTS
NICOLE WILSON & ALLISON HOWMANN

 

Here is a peek at the 25 Intimate Apparel garments on display. The backs have just as much detail and look just as wonderful as the fronts!

 

BFA GRADUATING SENIOR GARMENTS


 


GRADUATING SENIOR KATELYN ZAWIERUCHA

UFC scholarship recipient Katelyn Zawierucha is graduating in May, has two of her garments in the senior exhibition, and is this year’s first place winner of the Underfashion Club’s student design contest, which is held annually in conjunction with the Club’s FEMMY Gala. Katelyn loves intimates and sleepwear (her pajama set will be in the fashion show) and is looking forward to securing her first position in the industry. She is very excited about her upcoming trip to Paris and the SALON INTERNATIONAL DE LA LINGERIE in July generously provided by Eurovet/Curvexpo as part of Katelyn’s prize package. She is very much looking forward to shopping the stores and seeing the show for the first time; and we’re looking forward to following up with her after the trip to share her experiences.

 

KATELYN’S GARMENTS 


GRADUATING SENIOR ANNELISE DAVIS

Another talented UFC scholarship recipient is Annelise Davis. Regarding the Underfashion Club, Annelise said, “I would have not been able to make my garments without the assistance of the scholarship.” Annelise learned to make original appliques and unique closure techniques while working for a costume company but she holds a special place in her heart for intimate apparel. After graduation in May her goal is to work in the industry. 

ANNALISE DAVIS

ALLISON HOWMANN 

NICOLE WILSON

Underfashion Club, Inc. Purchases Intimate Apparel Dress Forms for Parsons School of Design Lingerie Class

Over the last year, the SAIG (Scholarships, Awards, Internships and Grants) committee has worked endlessly to expand the reach of the Underfashion Club, becoming integrated with more colleges and high schools that support the Intimate Apparel Industry.

Parsons School of Design is the latest school to develop an Intimate Apparel Course and, in the Fall of 2015, the SAIG committee reached out to begin to foster a relationship with Parsons educators and students. The committee met with Julia Poteat, Assistant Professor of Fashion Design at Parsons School of Design to discuss the needs and opportunities of the new program. It was brought to their attention that students were losing valuable class time, as they had to share dress forms with other students in the class. Intimate apparel dress forms differ from other industry dress forms as they have a more defined and projected chest, necessary for draping and fitting bras.

Recognizing the need and wanting to assist the students’ learning and future development of the program, members of the SAIG committee consulted with the leading dress form manufacturers. A decision was made to purchase 14 AlvaForms for the growing class, guaranteeing that each student would have a personal form with which to work. Alvanon, manufacturer of the AlvaForm has grown to be an industry leader in dress forms, which are exceptional due to their plush “fleshy” exterior that resembles a human body. The Underfashion Club provided the funding that enabled Parsons to purchase the 36B/Medium AlvaForms at a significant educational discount, a win-win for all involved.

Professor Poteat couldn’t be more appreciative. “These forms will make a tremendous difference in allowing the students to drape well-fitting garments in the Fashion Techniques Lingerie class. Thank you again, we are very grateful.  I’m looking forward to our continued partnership in the Intimate Apparel Field.”

The Underfashion Club and SAIG committee hope to continue to cultivate this relationship striving to pursue their mission of “Education today for a better industry tomorrow.” They consistently find new ways to positively impact the growth of our beloved industry. Thank you to our wonderful volunteers on the SAIG committee, and our active members who help to push us forward.

 

Recap of “Retail Tsunami” with Robin Lewis

Robin Lewis, retail expert and founder/publisher of The Robin Report, shared his insights into the modern retail environment with his presentation, “Retail Tsunami.” Thank you to all Underfashion Club members and friends who joined us on March 28th at the Harvard Club of New York for an evening of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, networking, and education! Your attendance supports our mission to promote “Education today for a better industry tomorrow.”

Once settled in, all attendees gathered in the next room for the start of “Retail Tsunami.” Robin Lewis began by expressing that he was glad to be giving back to an industry he’s been a part of for so many years. He explained that the most profound transformation in the history of retail is taking place today. In order to stay in business, old world retailers must adapt by implementing new strategies to serve the new young consumer’s values.

It is a complex change, largely influenced by modern society’s most powerful enabler of consumers: the smart phone. The API (application programming interface) software of mobile devices is the means of connecting all users, creating a one-world consumer with shared interests and desires around the globe.

From 1950-1980, the United States had the most explosive growth of retail in all of history. Though demand declined during the early ’80s due to globalization, supply remained the same and became even more efficient with technological advances. Saturation has forced retailers and brands to offer extreme discounts in order to compete. This unsustainable system is devaluing brands and driving many companies out of business. To survive, the basis of competition must shift toward new values that serve millennial interests.

We are redefining what value is. It’s a wholistic, personalized, and frictionless experience that’s powered by the internet and mobile devices that allow unlimited and instantaneous access to whatever we may dream of. This new ability to demand anything as an individual has given the consumer all of the power, encouraging stores to move physically closer to them. The consumer becomes the new point of sale as time becomes the new luxury for young people. Fast delivery and instant access is expected for every product and service.

The millennial lifestyle is drastically different from that of the baby boomers, bringing a whole new set of consumer values. Due to an increase in college debt and  a decrease in the worth of salaries among the youth, consumers have been inclined to share, swap, rent, and resell rather than own, doubling the trading business since 2013. The new consumer prefers small, intimate, and personal businesses such as local restaurants, boutiques, and craft breweries over big mega brands. Today, companies are urged to be ethical in behavior, representative of their target market’s lifestyle, and to contribute to the world through sustainable practices. Values are becoming more important than price.

All of today’s marketing should be personalized. This is accomplished through the aggregation of big data, analyzing it, and implementing it to localize and personalize commerce. It’s going to be a high-tech, high-touch world. Customers will be equipped with tablets that can download information, interactive dressing rooms, and more. However, as a retailer, there is no reason to have a store if you don’t have an intelligent human touch. Humans are necessary for the personal aspect of a business. 

Technology is going to reverse last century’s paradigm of sexualization, consolidation, and massification into a 21st-century style that advocates desexualization, de-massification, and personalization. Retailers who are waiting for the future to come before they start transforming are “dead men walking,” because the future is here. Robin Lewis urges retailers to embrace the future now or be history. Remember, personalization is key!

Watch the entire “Retail Tsunami” presentation on YouTube:

See our photos from cocktail hour on Facebook:

Retail Expert Robin Lewis

Retail Tsunami: What’s Next is the keynote presentation by Robin Lewis at The Underfashion Club’s upcoming event at the Harvard Club in NYC on March 28th.

Almost everyone in fashion retail religiously reads the Robin Report, distributed directly to Top Management in Retail and also by The Huffington Post.

The Robin Report is the go-to resource for retail trend analysis in America. It’s analysis are thorough, complete and deep into the why, where, how, as well as influences behind successful retail marketing.

Robin Lewis, the founder and publisher of the Robin Report, is one of the foremost authorities on fashion trends and retail management, making retail fashion a business success. His years with Goldman Sachs, Women’s Wear Daily, DuPont, VF Corporation and Grey Advertising have given him a razor perspective on retail.

He is frequently requested by C-level management for advice, consultation and strategic presentations: among them are Kohl’s, Bloomingdale’s, JC Penney, Macy’s, Liz Claiborne, VF Corp., Charming Shoppes, Estee Lauder, Ralph Lauren, and Sara Lee, as well as financial firms such as Bear Stearns, The Carlyle Group, Goldman Sachs and others.

He is the co-author of The New Rules of Retail, published by Palgrave-McMillan, and is often quoted in various trade and consumer publications such as Women’s Wear Daily, Time Magazine, Chicago Sun Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Brand Week, and Advertising Age, as well as on CNBC, ABC and Fox News.

He’s also predicted a Revolution in Retail Marketing, especially in the area of Intimate Apparel.

Hear what Robin Lewis has to say about your business and your future, and how it will be affected by the coming Retail Revolution. He will provide a personal roadmap to your success by giving you the inside story of what’s coming, when it’s coming, how it’s coming, who is going to be affected, and what it will take to make it happen.

Click here to reserve your place at this game-changing event.

CURVENY Fall/Winter 2017 Collections

Curvexpo celebrated their 10th year anniversary at the Jacob Javits Center in New York from Monday, February 27th to Wednesday, March 1st, 2017. This world-renowned lingerie and swimwear trade show featured collections for the upcoming Fall/Winter 2017 seasons from over 600 exhibitors.

A festive display of mannequins adorned in lingerie lined the entry of the show floor, displaying some of the most prominent trends from over the last decade.

Top Trends:

  1. Athleisure
  2. Bralettes
  3. Nude Illusion
  4. Lace and Embroidery Applique
  5. Bodysuits, Rompers, and Teddies
  6. Bondage-style, Harnesses, Strappy and Cut-out Details
  7. High Neck Bras and Racerback Bras
  8. Ultra-luxurious Loungewear
  9. Nude Lingerie for All Skin Tones
  10. Increased Full Bust and Plus Size Options
  11. Corsetry and Shapewear

Fabric Trends

With the rise in athleisure comes a demand for comfortable, flexible fabrics. Feel good modal is becoming more popular as a leisurewear textile for many brands and breathable materials like spacer fabrics are being used in activewear, enhancing the functionality of fashion in motion.

Soft and insulating velvet is trending as a luxurious and warm fabric option for Fall/Winter 2017 intimate apparel and loungewear.

Style Trends

Full coverage garments such as bodysuits are en vogue and brands are focused on making these supportive styles more beautiful than ever before. Cut outs, high necks, and plunging necklines add extra dimensions to these garments, bringing even more extravagance to the lingerie as an outerwear trend. Strappy embellishments continue to thrive and many garments have simulated this style with sheer mesh panels, creating linear details with negative space.

Intimates are becoming a medium for creative illustrations with embroideries, strategically placed on Fall/Winter intimates that may be obscured beneath thick layers of clothing.

Technology for wearability is making improvements throughout the industry, especially in activewear. Brands are opting for more natural silhouettes, following the demand for comfort that came with last year’s boom in bralettes.

Color Trends

Pantone’s color of the year is “greenery” and this is reflected in intimate apparel through the prevalence of peacock green tones. Deep reds, cool blues, and slate grays were present in many collections, communicating a common wintery theme.

There are now more shades of nude than ever before, expanding to meet the needs of a diverse market.

We’re looking forward to seeing how these trends may thrive in the future!

The Underfashion Club’s 2017 FEMMY Awards Recap

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2017 FEMMY Awards Gala on January 31st at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City! You all looked so fabulous for the 59th annual celebration of this red-carpet-esque Intimate Apparel Industry event. A special thank you to our host Hal Rubenstein for his energizing presence, lending his talents for an evening full of love and support for fashion and education.

Hal Rubenstein is a writer, designer, critic and one of the founding editors at InStyle Magazine, where he served as fashion director for fifteen years, after being a style director at The New York Times Magazine for five years. Since 1995 he has been a frequent red carpet and fashion commentator for Good Morning America, The Today Show, Extra, E! and The View. His experience in the coverage of red carpet awards seasons in Hollywood made him a perfect fit for the FEMMY Awards Gala. Hal greeted each of the Honorees of the 2017 FEMMY Awards with warmth and enthusiasm, narrating an evening full of pride and joy for us all in the Intimate Apparel Industry.

Congratulations to the Honorees! We thank each of you for your dedication to excellence.

Retailer: Aerie accepted by Jennifer Foyle, Aerie Global Brand President.

Jennifer Foyle joined Aerie in August 2010 as Senior Vice President/Chief Merchandising Officer and has been instrumental in transforming the specialty retailer into an authority in the body positivity movement.

Manufacturer: Cupid Foundations, Inc. accepted by David Welsch, CEO, President and Marilyn Welsch, Secretary/Treasurer.

David started working part time at Cupid during the 1950’s. He joined the company full time after graduating LeHigh University in January, 1960 and has been President of Cupid since 1979. Marilyn graduated Summa Cum Laude from Boston University in 1962. She has been Cupid’s Corporate Secretary & Treasurer since 1982.

Supplier: Tianhai Lace Co., Ltd., accepted by Ning Yi Shen, General Manager.

As a responsible manufacturer, Tianhai is fully aware of the environmental impact of its operation and is continuously working together with selected partners and institutions to be ecofriendly at the highest standard. Ning Yi Shen graduated from Xi-An University, Textiles Department in 1982. He has worked at Tianhai Lace since it was established in 1988.

Innovation Award: Under Armour, Inc. accepted by Lisa Struble, VP, Technical Design

Lisa Struble is the Vice President Technical Design for Under Armour. She leads the technical design/product development group, pushing performance and innovation through fit and construction. Ms. Struble is responsible for product consistency and execution.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Norman Collier, Managing Director, Stretchline (UK) Limited.

Norman Collier has been involved in manufacturing elastic for 53 years, supported by his wife Janet, 2 children, Adam & Anna and 5 wonderful grandchildren. Over the last 20 years Stretchline has positioned itself in 7 countries producing 20 million mts/wk and supplying most of the world’s major brands and retailers.

The 14th Annual Student Design Contest

The 2017 FEMMY Awards Gala also hosted the 14th Annual Student Design contest, featuring designs by students from the Fashion Institute of Technology. The contest was themed “Athletic Allure.” With athleticism as a foundation, all designs emphasized support and movement as performance garments. The 5 guest judges were: Jos Berry, Concepts Paris / Jami Dunbar, Under Armour / Gill Heer, Lane Bryant / Angie Lau, Clover Group / and Helen Mears, Adore Me.

The scholarship winners are:

1st Prize Winner ($5000 + all expense paid trip to Mode City in Paris in July)
Katelyn Zawierucha, her design “Tres Sportive”
 
2nd Prize Winner ($4000)
Jennifer Monzon, her design “Obsidian”
 
3rd Prize Winner ($3000)
Mary Kate Kauffelt, her design “Instant Replay”
 

Finalists: Bonnie Chen, Diandra Howell, and Lara Tabak.

 

Victor Vega, president of the Underfashion Club, announced that he will be retiring in May. He thanked everyone that has been part of his career, as well as the Wacoal family, for contributing to his happy and wonderful life. “God bless America. Thank you!”

Karen Bromley, co-chair of the FEMMY committee, prompted a standing ovation for president Victor Vega for his service to the industry and community. Thank you all!

View the 2017 FEMMY Awards and highlights on our YouTube playlist:

Photos from the evening have been uploaded to our Facebook page: