By and  on May 27, 2005

NEW YORK — Graduating fashion design majors from the Fashion Institute of Technology here showed off their final projects on Tuesday, May 17, staging a runway presentation for industry professionals, family and friends.Students were challenged to create a look that showcases one of the following categories: the current scene, sportswear, children's wear, knitwear, intimate apparel, special occasion or tailoring. In addition, six semifinalists of a special Cotton Inc. competition showed their looks, designed completely of cotton products. Students were judged by designers such as Zac Posen, Behnaz Sarafpour, Richie Rich and Traver Rains of Heatherette; B. Michael, Pilar Rossi, Flora Nikrooz and Lawrence Rich of Rich & Levy, and Anthony Benfante of Stephanie Matthews. The show was sponsored by Target Corp. and Cotton Inc.For the first time, FIT gave out a student designer of the year award, sponsored by La Redoute. Lee Ann Mittler was chosen from among 125 applicants and won a cash prize of $1,500. La Redoute will feature Mittler and her design on its retail Web site, Her winning design is a champagne satin evening coat with a double breasted trench bodice, tightly belted waist and cascading waterfall center front. In a related event, FIT and the Accessories Council held the fourth annual Next Generation Awards and Accessories Design Senior Exhibition earlier this month. The event was hosted by Elle and ElleGirl and honored graduating seniors of both the accessories and jewelry design departments. The winners were Ilan Schwarz for handbag design, Tracy Vanderbeck for footwear design, Ming-Hsiu Lee for belt design, JoonHee Kim for jewelry design, and Terry Tsipouras who won the Elle Group Innovator award.

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