FIT to honor Serena Williams, Brandice Daniel
The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) announced on Monday that its Annual Awards Gala is set to honor a group of multifaceted visionaries.
Taking place Wednesday, April 13, at The Shed in New York City, four women whose achievements create purpose-driven, sustainable solutions for the new creative economy, will be recognized.
The annual gala benefits the FIT Foundation, which helps nurture the next generation of the college's students, and will be hosted by FIT alumni Nina Garcia, Elle editor-in-chief and Project Runway judge, and Michael Kors, chief creative officer of the Michael Kors brand.
Starting with television and film producer Debra Martin Chase, she will receive the Vanguard in Entertainment Award for rewriting the rule book in Hollywood, by becoming the first Black woman to produce a movie grossing over $100 million and to have a major studio producing deal.
Likewise, FIT alumna Brandice Daniel will receive the Outstanding FIT Alumni Award for her groundbreaking work in creating a platform for designers of color during New York Fashion Week and supporting women in building thriving businesses, while Aerin Lauder will be recognized with the Business and Entrepreneurship Award for her entrepreneurial spirit, business acumen, and creative vision.
Finally, 23-time Grand Slam champion and entrepreneur Serena Williams will receive the Fashion Icon Breakthrough Award for her boundary-breaking achievements both on and off the court, from investing in companies that embrace diversity to launching her own clothing line, S by Serena, and a collection with Signet Jewelers.
"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 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."
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