This fall, Fashion Design students and faculty at FIT in Florence put their design skills to work for UNICEF, creating a series of pigotte, or rag dolls, for an annual fundraiser of the Italian chapter of the charity. The FIT in Florence program offers Fashion Design and Fashion Business Management students the opportunity to study in Italy, absorbing a distinctive cultural perspective, while preparing for a career without global boundaries.
A project founded in Italy 15 years ago, rag doll “adoptions” have become a signature fundraiser for many European chapters of UNICEF. Volunteer artists and makers individualize a doll form by adding clothing and features, then the dolls are sold for approximately 20 euros (about $22) each- the cost of antibiotics, vaccines, vitamins, an anti-malaria mosquito net, and a safe childbirth kit. In Italy in particular, the pigotta is a much-loved symbol, and over the years, many organizations have dressed the UNICEF dolls, including La Scala Opera.
The FIT in Florence team chose the Renaissance as their theme for their pigotte, inspired by the 500th anniversary of Leonard da Vinci’s death. Fabrics for the doll cloths, modeled after fashions from the 1400’s and 1500’s, were donated by designer John Varvatos.
Across SUNY, students, faculty and administration alike are coming together to in the spirit of charity and togetherness. 30 Days of Giving is our annual tradition, which starts on Thanksgiving every year, where we reflect on efforts of the past year and highlight some of the selfless acts of that members of the SUNY community are leading. Stay tuned for more.
Taryn Rackmyer is a recent graduate of Mohawk Valley Community College, now attending the University at Albany for Public Policy. Taryn is a student assistant for SUNY's Government Relations & Marketing Department.