The first printing is available as a series of "Designer Editions". Each edition will be bound in a fabric from one of six designers in the book and comes in a plexiglass box. For the "Akris Edition", which is limited to just 2,000 copies, Albert Kriemler handpicked a favorite photo print from his Spring/Summer 2012 collection. From Azzedine Alaia, Cristobal Balenciaga, and Coco Chanel, to Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, and Vivienne Westwood, the greatest fashion designers of the 20th and 21st centuries are featured in the permanent collection of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. The curators of America's premier fashion museum have selected 500 masterpieces of the art of fashion, providing a visual guide to the history of fashion. Known for its innovative and award-winning exhibitions and its outstanding permanent collection of more than 50,000 garments and accessories, The Museum at FIT in New York City is one of only a handful of museums in the world devoted to the art of fashion. The Museum has built its collection around aesthetically and historically significant "directional" fashion-the kind of clothing and accessories that move fashion forward. The designers are organized from A-Z: Adrian, Balenciaga, Chanel, Dior...through Xuly Bet, Yamamoto, and Zoran. Photographs of selected garments from the Museum's permanent collection illuminate each of the featured designers, while curatorial texts explain why each designer is important in fashion history and what is special about the individual pieces featured. In addition to showcasing 100 of the most important designers of the last century with essays by the curators at FIT and illustrations by Robert Nippoldt, this book also includes a foreword by Suzy Menkes and explores how a fashion museum goes about collecting and exhibiting fashion. In her introductory essay, director and chief curator Valerie Steele writes about the rise of the fashion museum, and the emergence of the fashion exhibition as a popular and controversial phenomenon. Reprinted especially for this edition, designer Albert Kriemler's iconic "Grand Prix" digital photo print was created for his Akris Spring/Summer collection 2012. "In the spirit of the devil-may-care elegance of John Frankenheimer's 1966 movie Grand Prix" (Kriemler), the race cars whizzing by on silk crepe found a suitable patroness: H.S.H. Princess Charlene of Monaco wore an Akris shift dress with the "Grand Prix" print to the Formula One races in Monte Carlo. Six designers - Akris, Etro, Stella McCartney, Missoni, Prada, and Diane von Furstenberg - have contributed fabrics - bold, iconic, revolutionary - to cover 1,000 to 2,000 books each, for a total first printing of 11,000 copies. Crafted by hand at a bindery in the heart of Italy, and stamped with a unique number, every copy is an instant classic, and an addition to your fashion library that is truly one-of-a-kind.