Graduate students are exploring the connection between art and retail design through a new program created by the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Planning and Visual Education Partnership known as PAVE.

It’s called the PAVE+FIT = Retail + Art Project and it was conceived by Ignaz Gorischek, vice president of visual merchandising for CallisonRTKL, the global architecture and design firm with a range of services that includes retail design and visual merchandising.

“Creative expression is an excellent catalyst to inspire, educate, inform and create memorable experiences, while allowing talented artists to be introduced to the retail business world,” said Gorischek.

“This is a year-long celebration of fantastic artwork which celebrates the natural connection of the retail design industry to the fine arts,” explained Harry Cunningham, the president of PAVE and head of store development for Vera Bradley.

The nonprofit PAVE organization is the national educational foundation for the global retail design industry, providing financial aid and scholarships, support to educators and schools, design competitions and professional development for emerging talent in retail design.


For the PAVE+FIT = Retail + Art Project, 14 graduate students in FIT’s MFA illustration program each created a work of art on a three-dimensional dress form provided by the Global Visual Group. The students worked under the guidance of Brendan Leach, an FIT Instructor as well as with Cunningham and Gorischek.

Their artwork will be displayed in the 34th Street windows of Macy’s Herald Square from April 19 to May 15, and again at the Dec. 6, 2017 PAVE fundraiser gala at Cipriani Wall Street. The students were selected for the project by their professor.

Artwork for the PAVE project by student Aseman Yari. 



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