Event host, actress Debi Mazar attends the 2015 FIT Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on June 15, 2015 in New York City.
Credit: Gary Gershoff/WireImage

What do Calvin Klein, Reem Acra, and Brian Atwood have in common? Before their designs adorned Hollywood's best dressed, they all got their start at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). Last night industry insiders and alumni like Dennis Basso and Nanette Lepore, came together at Cipriani in N.Y.C. to raise $1.3 million for the college's Educational Development Fund, which will provide scholarships to a whole new guard of talent.

Younger actress Debi Mazar (in Isabel Toledo) hosted the event and told the crowd that her love affair with fashion started at an early age. "I grew up wearing vintage and being inventive with clothing," she said. "I learned how to sew, so I could understand the construction of a garment and now I've invested in sewing classes for my daughters. There are so many fabrics and options for young designers right now."

Mazar praised FIT for inspiring students to think beyond trends—a style perspective that she follows in her personal life as well. "Sometimes I'll wear a toga that is reminiscent of Madame Grès," she says. "And I wore a genie outfit to Madonna's wedding! I love that in the time it takes to zip up a dress, you can be transformed."

The event also honored Saks Fifth Avenue and Edwin A. Goodman, co-founder of Milestone Venture Partners.