New Trustees Appointed to New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology Board of Trustees

New Leadership and Directors Elected to FIT Foundation

At its October 10, 2019, meeting, the Fashion Institute of Technology Board of Trustees officially installed two new trustees—Gabrielle Fialkoff and Mona Aboelnaga Kanaan—to its 16-member board. Fialkoff and Kanaan, appointees of the Panel for Educational Policy of the New York City Department of Education, FIT’s local sponsor, have commenced terms that end on June 30, 2023, and June 30, 2024, respectively. They are replacing former trustees Jay H. Baker, who served for 16 years, and Amsale Aberra, who served 10 years.

FIT Logo (PRNewsfoto/Fashion Institute of Technology)

Additionally, the FIT Foundation, the primary fundraising arm for the college, recently elected new board leadership as well as new directors, who will each serve a three-year term. Gary Sheinbaum, chief executive officer of Tommy Hilfiger Americas, was elected chair of the FIT Foundation and Eric Fisch, Carmen Nestares, and Ivan Bart were all elected as new directors.

I am so honored to be the new chair of the FIT Foundation,” Gary Sheinbaum said. “FIT is such an iconic institution bringing together design, fashion, and technology. To be able to support the foundation’s efforts to promote creativity, innovation, equality, and inclusivity in the fashion and creative industries is a privilege, and I look forward to being a part of all the incredible work they do.”

“I am so pleased to have this distinguished group of individuals joining FIT’s boards,” FIT Board of Trustees Chair Elizabeth T. Peek said. “I am confident that with their talent, experience, and enthusiasm for FIT, they will have much to contribute to our efforts—and I look forward to working with them.”

FIT will benefit from the experience and expertise of each of these accomplished individuals,” FIT President Joyce F. Brown said, “all of whom broaden our outreach to relevant sectors of the creative economy. I am delighted to welcome them to the college and to the foundation.”

New FIT Trustees

GABRIELLE FIALKOFF, FOUNDER, GKF GROUP: Gabrielle Fialkoff’s extensive experience working with the nonprofit, philanthropic, government, and business communities provides a unique perspective into the inner workings of other sectors. She is the founder of GKF Group, an advisory firm offering dynamic strategies on social impact, partnerships, and public affairs. Fialkoff has more than 13 years of political experience, previously serving as director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships for the Mayor’s Office, where she brought together the business, nonprofit, and philanthropic communities to create high-impact partnerships across an array of issue areas, including initiatives like the Center for Youth Employment and Computer Science for All, which put private funds toward combatting income inequality. She oversaw the city’s many city-affiliated nonprofits and served as a principal liaison to the business community for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration. Fialkoff also has extensive experience in the business sector as the former owner, president, and chief operating officer of Haskell Jewels LLC—a leading designer, marketer, and distributor of costume jewelry and watches—and as a former director of Investor Relations at Perry Capital. She is active on the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City Board of Advisors, which is comprised of prominent individuals in the business communities of New York who advise and assist the board of directors in identifying projects and programs that the fund might undertake to facilitate high-impact public-private partnerships throughout the city.

MONA ABOELNAGA KANAAN, MANAGING PARTNER, K6 INVESTMENTS LLC: Mona Aboelnaga Kanaan is an experienced CEO, serial entrepreneur, investor, and corporate director with more than 25 years of experience in global finance and investment. She is currently managing partner at K6 Investments LLC, a private investment firm she founded to invest in a wide array of industries, including financial services, technology, consumer products, and entertainment. Previously, Aboelnaga Kanaan was president and chief executive officer of Proctor Investment Managers, a firm she co-founded in 2002 to make private equity investments in the traditional and alternative asset management industry. She sold Proctor Investment Managers to National Bank of Canada in 2006 and continued as Proctor’s president and CEO until 2013. She worked as senior vice president at Communications Equity Associates, where she expanded the firm’s principal investment activities in the U.S. and Middle East. Prior to joining CEA, she was a vice president and portfolio manager at Siguler Guff & Company. Earlier, she held various positions at PaineWebber Investment Banking in the Leveraged Transactions and Financial Institutions Groups. A qualified financial expert, Aboelnaga Kanaan serves as a member of the boards of directors of Sterling Bancorp, Siguler Guff Small Business Credit Opportunities Fund, Inc., as a trustee for International House, and as an investment advisor and member of the board of pioneers of the Arab Fashion Council. She is also a member of the board of advisors of Ibancar, a fintech specializing in collateralized auto lending in Spain. A recognized expert in private equity, asset management, entrepreneurship, and the Middle East, Aboelnaga Kanaan is a frequent speaker and commentator in forums and publications such as the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank, Pensions & Investments, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York, HFM, FundFire, and the Private Equity Analyst.

By New York State law, FIT is governed by its own Board of Trustees. It is comprised of eight trustees appointed by FIT’s local sponsor, the New York City Department of Education, through the Panel for Educational Policy; seven are appointed by the Governor of the State of New York; and there is one student trustee.

Current board members are Elizabeth T. Peek, chair; Robin Burns-McNeill, vice chair; Richard A. Anderman; Judith I. Byrd; Yaz Hernández; Joan B. Hornig; Jaqui Lividini; Beverly S. Mack; Deirdre Quinn; Robert Savage; Sally Singer; and Sallie Haas, student trustee.

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2019 Holiday Gift Guide: Creative Gifts for the Holidays Are Highlighted in New Main Store of The Philadelphia Museum of Art

20% Discount, Free Gift-Wrapping, Gift with Purchase and Free Standard Shipping for Online Shoppers are on Tap for Black Friday and Cyber Monday in Store and Online

The mall is not the only place to shop for covetable (and soon-to-be coveted) holiday gifts this season. You can also find many great gifts at your local (or not-so-local) museum and its corresponding Museum Shop. (I am a huge fan of the Museum Shop at The Whitney Museum of American Art myself.)

Philadelphia Museum of Art logo

The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s new Main Store, located inside the restored North Entrance by Kelly Drive, is stocked with a variety of unique gifts for shoppers this holiday season. Visitors can explore an expanded selection of colorful clothing, handcrafted jewelry and accessories made by local artisans, as well as games, art books and supplies. Highlights include colorful pleated tote bags ($59); playing cards in every hue of the rainbow ($13); a prismatic watercolor set ($39); jigsaw pattern puzzles ($38); chunky color block scarves ($89); and wax print dresses by the global brand Zuri ($198). A curated assortment of “Best in Store” items has been chosen by staff to spark a wide range of gift-giving ideas, including the Philly Tarot Deck, a deck of cards filled with illustrations of famous Philadelphia locations and people presented in a tarot card format by artist James Boyle ($40); Italian leather-bound sketchbooks with multicolored marble-patterned edges ($89); handcrafted keepsake boxes by local ceramicist Priscilla Dahl ($58-98); and toy racing cars ($35).

Chunky Ribbed Stripe Scarf ($89.00)
Gift ideas include Stocking Stuffers at various price ranges

In the “Philly Made” area of the store, shoppers will find handcrafted goods from local artisans including cutting boards of walnut, maple, and cherry woods by Honorable Oak ($68-125); earrings made from vintage decorative tins by Saffron Creations ($58-98); porcelain cameo necklaces and rings by Marcie McGoldrick ($158-325); patterned vases and bowls from Kristin Buck ($36 and up); and turned wooden candlesticks by Lostine ($68-125).

Pattern Puzzles ($38.00)

Philadelphia artisans Nick and Leanne Polidore of the leather goods company Hemlock & Hyde, and Jannalyn Bailey of Curious Clay also have new products featured this holiday season with many exclusive to the museum store. In addition, visitors can shop for updated designs from over fifty local designers and businesses throughout all five of the museum’s stores.

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The Whitney Announces 2020 Exhibition Schedule

It looks as if it will be another banner year of thought-provoking and wide-ranging exhibitions during the coming year at The Whitney Museum of American Art. (And one should not expect any less.) Announcing the schedule for 2020 at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, noted: “In 2020 the Whitney will celebrate its ninetieth anniversary and fifth year downtown, so we’ve created a program that truly honors the spirit of artistic innovation both past and present. We remain focused on supporting emerging and mid-career artists, while finding fresh relevance in historical surveys from across the twentieth century. Also turning ninety, Jasper Johns closes out the year with an unprecedented retrospective that will reveal this American legend as never before to a new generation of audiences.”

Exterior shot of the The Whitney building. Photograph by Ben Gancsos ©2016

On February 17 the Museum opens Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945, a major historical look at the transformative impact of Mexican artists on the direction of American art from the mid-1920s until the end of World War II. On October 28, in collaboration with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a landmark retrospective of the work of Jasper Johns goes on view simultaneously at both museums, paying tribute to the foremost living American artist. In addition, the Whitney will devote exhibitions to Julie Mehretu and Dawoud Bey, prominent midcareer artists. The Mehretu exhibition, co-organized by the Whitney with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, encompasses over two decades of the artist’s work, presenting the most comprehensive overview of her practice to date. In November, Dawoud Bey, one of the leading photographers of his generation, will receive his first full-scale retrospective, co-organized by the Whitney and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).

The Whitney Museum of American Art

The Museum will also present Agnes Pelton: Desert Transcendentalist—organized by the Phoenix Art Museum—the first exhibition of work by the visionary symbolist in nearly a quarter century; and Working Together: The Photographers of the Kamoinge Workshop, an unprecedented exhibition organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, which chronicles the formative years of this collective of Black photographers who lived and worked in New York City. The year will also bring a range of focused exhibitions dedicated to emerging and midcareer artists, including Darren Bader, Jill Mulleady, Cauleen Smith, and Salman Toor, as well as Dave McKenzie and My Barbarian, who continue the Whitney’s commitment to performance and its many forms.

In September the Museum will also unveil David Hammons’s monumental public art installation Day’s End on Gansevoort Peninsula, across the street from the Whitney. The debut of this public artwork will be preceded by an exhibition entitled Around Day’s End: Downtown New York, 1970–1986, which will present a selection of works from the Museum’s collection related to the seminal work that inspired Hammons’s sculpture: Gordon Matta-Clark’s Day’s End (1975).


Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945”, February 17–May 17, 2020

Jacob Lawrence. Panel 3 from The Migration Series, From every Southern town migrants left by the hundreds to travel north.,1940–41. Casein tempera on hardboard 12 × 18 in. (30.5 × 45.7 cm). The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; acquired 1942. © 2019 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The cultural renaissance that emerged in Mexico in 1920 at the end of that country’s revolution dramatically changed art not just in Mexico but also in the United States. With approximately 200 works by sixty American and Mexican artists, Vida Americana reorients art history, acknowledging the wide-ranging and profound influence of Mexico’s three leading muralists—José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Diego Rivera—on the style, subject matter, and ideology of art in the United States made between 1925 and 1945. By presenting the art of the Mexican muralists alongside that of their American contemporaries, the exhibition reveals the seismic impact of Mexican art, particularly on those looking for inspiration and models beyond European modernism and the School of Paris.

Diego Rivera. The Uprising, 1931. Fresco on reinforced cement in a galvanized-steel framework, 74 × 94 1/8 in. (188 × 239 cm). Collection of Marcos and Vicky Micha Levy © 2019 Banco de México–Rivera–Kahlo/ARS. Reproduction authorized by the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature (INBAL), 2019

Works by both well-known and underrecognized American artists will be exhibited, including Thomas Hart Benton, Elizabeth Catlett, Aaron Douglas, Marion Greenwood, Philip Guston, Eitarō Ishigaki, Jacob Lawrence, Isamu Noguchi, Jackson Pollock, Ben Shahn, Thelma Johnson Streat, Charles White, and Hale Woodruff. In addition to Orozco, Rivera, and Siqueiros, other key Mexican artists in the exhibition include Miguel Covarrubias, María Izquierdo, Frida Kahlo, Mardonio Magaña, Alfredo Ramos Martínez, and Rufino Tamayo.

María Izquierdo. My Nieces, 1940. Oil on composition board, 55 1/8 × 39 3/8 in. (140 × 100 cm). Museo Nacional de Arte, INBAL, Mexico City; constitutive collection, 1982 © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City. Reproduction authorized by El Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura, 2019.

Organized by Barbara Haskell, curator, with Marcela Guerrero, assistant curator; Sarah Humphreville, senior curatorial assistant; and Alana Hernandez, former curatorial project assistant. (See previously-posted article here.)

Julie Mehretu, June 26–September 20, 2020

Julie Mehretu, Invisible Sun (algorithm 4, first letter form), 2014, ink and acrylic on canvas 119 1⁄2 × 167 in., private collection, © Julie Mehretu, photograph by Carolina Merlano
Julie Mehretu, Black City, 2007. Ink and acrylic on canvas, 120 x 192 in. (304.8 x 487.7 cm). François Pinault Collection, Paris | Photo credit: Tim Thayer

This mid-career survey of Julie Mehretu (b. 1970; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), co-organized by The Whitney with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), covers over two decades of the artist’s career and presents the most comprehensive overview of her practice to date. Featuring approximately forty works on paper and more than thirty paintings dating from 1996 to today, the exhibition includes works ranging from her early focus on drawing and mapping to her more recent introduction of bold gestures, saturated color, and figuration. The exhibition will showcase her commitment to interrogating the histories of art, architecture, and past civilizations alongside themes of migration, revolution, climate change, and global capitalism in the contemporary moment. Julie Mehretu is on view at LACMA November 3, 2019–March 22, 2020, and following its presentation at the Whitney from June 26 through September 20, 2020, the exhibition will travel to the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA (October 24, 2020–January 31, 2021); and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN (March 13–July 11, 2021).

Julie Mehretu, Hineni (E. 3:4), 2018, ink and acrylic on canvas, 96 × 120 in., Centre Pompidou, Paris, Musée national d’art moderne/Centre de création industrielle; gift of George Economou, 2019, © Julie Mehretu, photograph by Tom Powel Imaging
Julie Mehretu, Stadia II, 2004, ink and acrylic on canvas, 108 × 144 in., Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, gift of Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn and Nicolas Rohatyn and A. W. Mellon Acquisition Endowment Fund 2004.50, © Julie Mehretu, photograph courtesy of the Carnegie Museum of Art

Julie Mehretu is curated by Christine Y. Kim, associate curator in contemporary art at LACMA, and Rujeko Hockley, assistant curator at the Whitney.

Jasper Johns, Opens October 28, 2020

Jasper Johns (b. 1930), Three Flags, 1958. Encaustic on canvas, 30 5/8 × 45 1/2 × 4 5/8 in. (77.8 × 115.6 × 11.7 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Gilman Foundation, Inc., The Lauder Foundation, A. Alfred Taubman, Laura-Lee Whittier Woods, Howard Lipman, and Ed Downe in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary 80.32. Art © Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Jasper Johns (b. 1930) is arguably the most influential living American artist. Over the past sixty-five years, he has produced a radical and varied body of work marked by constant reinvention. In an unprecedented collaboration, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Whitney will stage a retrospective of Johns’s career simultaneously across the two museums, featuring paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints, many shown publicly for the first time. Inspired by the artist’s long-standing fascination with mirroring and doubles, the two halves of the exhibition will act as reflections of one another, spotlighting themes, methods, and images that echo across the two venues. A visit to one museum or the other will provide a vivid chronological survey; a visit to both will offer an innovative and immersive exploration of the many phases, facets, and masterworks of Johns’s still-evolving career.

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Lee® Celebrates 130 Years

The Iconic American Denim Brand Shapes the Apparel Landscape with Bold Choices, Inclusivity, Wit and Irreverence


Lee®, the iconic American apparel brand known for its quintessential workwear and timeless denim style, celebrates 130 years this month. Founded in 1889 by pioneering entrepreneur, Henry David (H.D.) Lee, Lee was immediately a disruptor in the marketplace. From the early days in 1912 when the company produced workwear for farmers, coal miners and railroad workers, to its current place as a titan in the denim industry, Lee has always been at the forefront of welcomed change.

Lee helped create the denim category and continues to define modern culture today,” said Scott Baxter, President and CEO, Kontoor Brands. “Lee’s commitment to harnessing innovative technology and incredible quality to bring consumers apparel that looks good and fits great, has inspired generations of brand loyalists and solidified Lee’s position as an icon in the denim category. We are honored to celebrate this milestone and are excited for our beloved brand and its promising future.

The brand was the first to introduce the one-piece Union-All and the groundbreaking Zipper Fly. By 1939, it was recognized as the largest manufacturer of workwear in the U.S. Preceding WWII, Lee was the first to bring denim to the women’s market in a major way, and forty years later, it became the number one brand for women and girls. Today, Lee can be found across all tiers of distribution throughout the globe, from specialty boutiques and departments stores to mass retailers.

Lee is inclusive in its advertising as well. Never taking itself too seriously, the brand introduced the iconic Buddy Lee doll to promote its overalls in 1921 and used the irreverent mascot for decades.

Hollywood took notice, which propelled Lee to even greater success, and a place in film history. When denim first hit Hollywood in the early 50s, stars were seen in Lee both on and off the screen.

And in the 80’s and 90’s the biggest stars in the world were wearing the iconic label. From musicians, to super models and Hollywood’s rebels and sweethearts, the Lee brand was hotter than ever.

H.D. Lee would be pleased to see how far the Lee brand has come since its inception,” said Chris Waldeck, Vice President and Global Brand President, Lee. “Today, we honor the brand’s rich history while planning for its future. A future that includes reaching new consumers in new geographies, with best-in-class product and brand experiences. We have built a strong foundation, and I’m confident this next chapter will be the brand’s best yet.

Retaining the same ethos and mission with which it began, the Lee brand continues to dress consumers with quality products that stand the test of time. With the recent launch of Lee Reissue, Lee MVP, Vintage Modern, and Shape Illusions, Lee continues to push the boundaries of what is possible. Combining timeless styles from its illustrious archives, the most innovative technologies and a legacy of inclusivity – Lee is a brand for every body, and undoubtedly is ready for the next 130 years.