The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology has one of the largest and most important collections of costume, textiles, and accessories in the world. Museum exhibitions draw on these collections and are open free of charge to the public. Access to the storage area is limited, however, to design members. The mission of The Museum at FIT is to document and explicate the concepts of fashion and style throughout history and across all levels of society. Founded in 1967 to support the academic programs of the Fashion Institute of Technology, the Museum at FIT is the repository for one of the largest collections of costume and textiles in the world, which it preserves for both study and exhibition purposes. The museum is committed to sharing these resources with the general public, with professionals in the design fields as well as with the students and faculty of FIT. The museum programs explore the design process and nurture student creativity through its exhibitions and the use of its collections. The Costume Collection It consists of more than 50,000 objects dating from the mid-18th century to the present. The strength of the collection lies in its 20th-century holdings and, particularly, in couture and ready-to-wear women‘s clothing. The collections are currently being computerized to facilitate research. The collection includes designers Armani, Balenciaga, Beene, Blass, Chanel, Dior, Galanos, Gaultier, Halston, James, McCardell, Miyake, Moschino, Poiret, and Schiaparelli.