NEW YORK — "One of the great things about my job is sometimes I get to play in the dirt. I like to play in the dirt, because I know that afterwards, something great is going to be built."
Those were Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields’ words Thursday at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where a gaggle of industry notables and New York officials donned hard hats and picked up shovels to mark the groundbreaking of the school’s first major construction project since 1975.
"We are very short of space, and what this will allow us to do is to satisfy some of that need," said FIT president Joyce Brown, who noted that according to State University of New York standards, FIT needs an additional 258,000 square feet of classroom and facility space for its 11,000 students.
FIT is constructing two new buildings on the block between Seventh and Eighth Avenues and West 27th and 28th Streets. The $19 million project will add 300,000 square feet of new space.
One of the buildings, the East Courtyard Conference Center, is to include a great hall, rooftop garden and industry training center. The other, the West Courtyard Food Pavilion, will include a 550-seat cafeteria and a bookstore. The new dining hall will free up space on the fifth and sixth floors of the David Dubinsky Student Center, which will be renovated into classrooms and laboratories.
The buildings will occupy open space between the Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center and the Dubinsky center. About 400,000 square feet of existing space will be renovated. The work is to be completed by December 2003.
A second phase of the university’s expansion plan calls for the addition of a six-story building on West 28th Street.
Leslie Fay Co. chairman John Pomerantz, who also serves as chairman of FIT’s Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries, showed up sporting a professorial cardigan and blazer. He said he was pleased to see the university, of which his father, Fred, was an early benefactor, expanding.
"There’s a lot of great things this school does for New York," he said.
State Sen. Tom Duane, a Democrat who represents Manhattan neighborhoods around FIT, said the school plays a key role in developing one of New York’s major industries.Duane said: "I hope we are able not only to maintain the garment industry here in New York City, but also to expand it because it is one of the wonderful pieces of New York."
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion