Serena Williams will be honored with the Fashion Icon Breakthrough Award during the FIT Gala taking place on April 13th. The tennis legend will be awarded for her groundbreaking accomplishments, including investing in companies that value diversity, launching her own clothing line, S by Serena, and collaborating with Signet Jewelers to create Serena Williams Jewelry, which is available exclusively at Zales.
Besides Serena Williams, during the FIT Annual Awards Gala, the Fashion Institute of Technology will honor a group of multifaceted visionaries whose achievements create purpose-driven, sustainable solutions for the new creative economy:
- Television and film producer Debra Martin Chase, known for her work on The Princess Diaries and The Equalizer;
- FIT alumna Brandice Daniel, founder and CEO of Harlem’s Fashion Row and an advisory council member of the Social Justice Center at FIT;
- Aerin Lauder, founder of AERIN and style and image director of Estée Lauder.
“We are so proud to recognize these outstanding leaders—women who have made a profound impact in their respective industries spanning fashion, beauty, sports, and entertainment,” said Dr.
Joyce F. Brown, president of FIT. “Each one—in her creativity, determination, drive, and self-confidence—serves as a role model for FIT’s talented students who are inspired by their many achievements.”
The annual gala benefits the FIT Foundation, which helps nurture the next generation of the college’s students. In addition to facilitating programs and developing new initiatives, the foundation provided scholarships totaling more than $3 million in 2021.
About the Fashion Institute of Technology
A part of the State University of New York, FIT has been a leader in career education in art, design, business, and technology throughout its history. Providing almost 9,000 students with an uncommon blend of hands-on, practical experience, theory, and a firm grounding in the liberal arts, the college offers a wide range of affordable programs that foster innovation and collaboration.
Its distinctive curriculum is geared to today’s rapidly growing creative economy, including fields such as computer animation, toy design, production management, film and media, and cosmetics and fragrance marketing. Internationally renowned, FIT draws on its New York City location to provide a vibrant, creative community in which to learn.
The college offers nearly 50 majors and grants AAS, BFA, BS, MA, MFA, and MPS degrees, preparing students for professional success and leadership in the new creative economy. Among notable alumni in fashion are Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Norma Kamali, Reem Acra, Brian Atwood, Stephen Burrows, Dennis Basso, Francisco Costa, Nanette Lepore, Bibhu Mohapatra, Ralph Rucci, John Bartlett, Peter Do, and Michelle Smith.
Other prominent graduates include Leslie Blodgett, creator of bareMinerals; international restaurant designer Tony Chi; and Nina Garcia, editor-in-chief of ELLE.