The High School of Fashion Industries is a vocational public high school located on a tree lined street in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood. It is one of NYC’s Career and Technical Education high schools and the only public high school in the United States that teaches in depth technical training in fashion design as a major course of study and certification.
It offers three NY State Accredited programs along with Advanced Regents Diploma, college credit earning programs through CUNY and Summer Study Abroad Pre-College program in Florence, Italy.
FASHION – ART – BUSINESS
Affectionately referred to as Fashion, the high school that exists today began in 1926 on the third floor of a nearby garment center loft. With just a few classes, this small but intensive training ground enabled its mostly immigrant women students to gain the sewing, design and language skills they needed to join the workforce in New York’s thriving garment industry.
In 1938, plans for a new campus were launched under the leadership of founder and first principal Mortimer Ritter (who would soon after become a founder of the world renowned Fashion Institute of Technology three blocks away). Named the Central High School of Needle Trades, the school opened its doors in 1940, featuring twelve floors of classrooms and instruction in branches of tailoring and dress making, as well as millinery, shoe and costume design.
Designed in the Art Deco movement style, the artistic integrity of the building today remains unchanged — equipped with original Singer sewing machines from the 1940s, decorative motifs, hardwood floors, and Ernest Fiene’s landmark fresco secco mural, History of the Needlecraft Industry depicting the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911 in monumental panels on the auditorium walls.
While the school took on a new name in 1956, The High School of Fashion Industries to this day continues to be a magnet for immigrant and minority students who demonstrate talent and interest in careers in the fashion and design related industries.