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Fashion Institute of Technology students were treated like icons Wednesday.
The graduating class of Accessory Design majors gathered at the New York campus, where chair of accessories design Vasilios Christofilakos hosted the annual senior exhibition and award ceremony, titled “Icons, The Likeness of Us.”
“I look at you as the groundbreakers, the movers and shakers, the future Madonnas and Lady Gagas,” Christofilakos told the students.
Also on hand to offer advice: Karen Giberson, president of the Accessories Council, and Stefani Greenfield, chief creative officer for The Jones Group. (The Accessories Council and Nine West sponsored the exhibition.)
“One thing that belongs to you is your vision,” said Greenfield, addressing the group. “I don’t care if you’re 18 years old or 80 years old, reach within and figure out who you want to be.”
Mary Belle, Nine West’s president of licensing, awarded the first-place prize in the footwear category to Sun Jeong Kang and second place to Joseph Pacheco.
Additional award categories included costume jewelry, fine jewelry and handbags. First-place winners took home $1,000, while second place finishers won $500. The Accessories Council conducted the voting.
After the ceremony, students, faculty and attendees gathered for a reception, where shoe designer Ruthie Davis mingled with her former students. “I feel like a proud mom,” said Davis, who taught a senior-level course in non-traditional footwear and continues to mentor students.