Haute couture and fine dining in the Big Apple – this new 11-day tour explores the vibrant fashion, dining and design scene of New York City against the backdrop of the world-famous Met Gala, the highlight of the fashion year. Through the world of high fashion, take a social and historical journey to discover the uniquely American sense of style, how it continues to influence trends globally, and how New Yorkers in their fashionable finery at great restaurants and performances define the image of New York City as a global cultural capital.
An exploration of the American fashion scene in New York, the evolution of its unique style and global influence
The Costume Institute’s special new exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, launched at the 2020 Met Gala
A private before-hours tour of the Museum of Modern Art
Four incredible performances, including offerings by the New York City Ballet and Metropolitan Opera
Fine dining in some of the city’s best restaurants, featuring breakfast at Blue Box Café, in the iconic Fifth Avenue Tiffany’s store, lunch at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park, afternoon tea at the Russian Tea Rooms and dinner at the Michelin 3-star Le Bernardin
Days 1–3: Midtown Manhattan, including Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the Frick Collection and the NYC Ballet.
Days 4–5: Behind the scenes of American fashion: expert guided tours of the Garment District, Jewish quarter and Lower East Side.
Days 6–7: Private tour of MoMA, high tea at the Russian Tea Room and performances at the Met Opera and Carnegie Hall.
Days 8–9: Chelsea, SoHo, Greenwich Village, Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute and Met Gala exhibition.
Days 10–11: The Fashion Institute of Technology, Neue Galerie, Guggenheim Museum and dinner at the Michelin 3-star Le Bernardin.
The tour begins and ends at our hotel in New York. Qantas and United Airlines offer the most direct regular flights to and from New York, with stopovers in either Los Angeles or Dallas Fort Worth. Contact us for quotes and bookings.
Included meals are shown with the symbols B, L and D.
Tuesday May 5: Arrive New York
Flights from Australia arrive in New York in the late afternoon. In the early evening, we gather for drinks in the hotel bar. If you have arrived early, we suggest you take one of the many harbour cruises available in Manhattan, and can particularly recommend the AIA tour. The Staten Island Ferry and the Museum of Natural History are other iconic New York offerings not specifically covered on our tour that you might consider visiting beforehand. Academy Travel can arrange bookings.
Wednesday May 6: Breakfast at Tiffany’s
The tour begins with the quintessential classic – Breakfast at Tiffany’s. We will have a welcome breakfast at the Blue Box Café at Tiffany & Co.’s flagship store at 5th Avenue and 57th Street, where we will feast on croissants, smoked salmon and truffled eggs. We then visit the Textiles Collection in the Museum of the City of New York. This permanent collection traces the history of New York’s fashionable aesthetic through its extensive collection of costumes worn by prominent New Yorkers. The early evening will feature an introductory talk by your tour leader – the rest of the evening is free (B).
Thursday May 7: Gilded Age New York
Today we will focus on the opulent Gilded Era through a visit to the Frick Collection, a premier collection of Old Masters on Museum Mile. From there we head to a relaxed lunch in the fabled Loeb Boathouse in Central Park, and afterwards tour some of Central Park’s vistas and highlights before returning to the hotel for an afternoon rest. Tonight, we will then do as New York’s original “400” did – don our fashionable best and attend the ballet in the evening at Lincoln Center (B, L).
Friday May 8: How the Other Half Lived
Not all of New York’s fashion was glamorous. Today we explore the underbelly of how fashion in New York was made, especially at the turn of the century. The day begins with a lecture about New York’s garment industry, which during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, largely consisted of female immigrants who were overworked and underpaid in downtown New York. We will learn about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911, which until 9/11, remained the deadliest workplace disaster in New York’s history. Many garment workers were Jewish immigrants; after a traditional Jewish lunch of latkes, lox, cream cheese and bagels at Russ & Daughters, we will see how they lived at the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side of New York (B, L).
Saturday May 9: The Garment District
Following the deadly Shirtwaist Factory Fire, New York’s fashion industry migrated uptown. Today, we will do a walking tour of New York’s famous Garment District, which at its height stretched from 34th Street to 42nd Street. We will pay homage to some of America’s best designers whilst walking along New York’s Fashion Walk of Fame and will visit an operating clothing manufacturer to see how clothes are made in New York today. In the evening, we’ll take in a performance from the world-leading Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center, while enjoying dinner in its famous Grand Tier restaurant (B, D).
Sunday May 10: Modern Art Mecca
We start our day with a private, before hours expert-led guided tour of the Museum of Modern Art, perfect for seeing great modern masterpieces before the crowds. With time to explore the collection individually, we meet again for a sumptuous lunch at The Modern, MoMA’s famed two Michelin star restaurant. The afternoon is free for more exploration of the collection or to venture to other New York highlights (B, L).
Monday May 11: Fifth and Madison Avenue
During the second half of the 19th century, New York perfected the concept of the department store. Today we look at how fashion was showcased and consumed in New York, where department stores were bigger and more glamourous than anywhere else. After a lecture about the history of their development, we will visit (and shop in!) some of the most famous – including Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman. This afternoon, we’ll enjoy a sumptuous high tea at the world-famous Russian Tea Room, long an icon of the fashionable elite in New York. Later tonight we will catch a performance at Carnegie Hall (B, L).
Tuesday May 12: Chelsea and SoHo
Today we will visit the smaller and more idiosyncratic retail spaces that began to supplant department stores in the 1960s – boutiques. We walk through picturesque Soho, Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village and Chelsea to visit some of the hippest boutiques of today. We’ll enjoy lunch at one of the many fine restaurants boasted by Chelsea, and in the afternoon will then walk the famed High Line, with the option to visit the renowned Whitney Gallery later on (B, L).
Wednesday May 13: The Metropolitan Museum
This morning we visit the Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the special fashion exhibition launched in the wake of the Met Ball. After a break for lunch, we will go on a “Fashion in Art” tour of the museum, which traces this history of costume though a selection of armour, textiles, painting, and decorative arts, with expert guidance and commentary. The rest of the day is free to tour the Met’s extensive collections in painting, sculpture, photography, and historic furniture. Tonight, we’ll see a Broadway play, carefully selected from the best offerings of the season (B).
Thursday May 14: Contemporary Fashion
This morning we visit Fashion Institute of Technology, New York’s premier institution for all things fashion and a leading chronicler of contemporary and emerging trends in fashion. We will explore their “The Fashion and Textile History Gallery”. After lunch, we then take in the whole of the city from the top of the Empire State Building, with a chance to see Macy’s at Herald Square and the New York Public Library en route. This evening, we’ll have our final meal at Le Bernardin, one of New York’s, and the world’s, most acclaimed restaurants (B, D).
Friday May 15: Departure
On our final day, we have the option of visiting the Guggenheim Museum and the Neue Galerie, famous for the ‘Woman in Gold’, or fitting in some final shopping on 5th Avenue or in the boutiques of SoHo and Chelsea. Departures back to Australia leave in the afternoon and early evening.
Dr Anna Lebovic
An historian and educator, with a doctorate on the history of America’s pre-eminent fashion magazine, Vogue.
Anna has a strong personal interest in literature, the arts and food (the good things in life!), and a particular expertise in the United States and the history of fashion.
Anna was awarded a BA and PhD in History from the University of Sydney, and her doctorate was the first academic history of America’s pre-eminent fashion magazine, Vogue. Her research has been supported by a number of prestigious institutions, including the Institute Francais de la Mode in Paris, and she has presented at numerous conferences internationally, including meetings of the Association of Dress Historians in London and the Organization of American Historians in New Orleans. She is currently at work on her first book on Vogue, which draws on previously unseen material from the Conde Nast archive in New York. Her research has also been published (or is forthcoming) in leading academic journals, including The Journal of Women’s History and Gender & History.
As a Research Associate and Lecturer at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, Anna lectured in American Studies for several years. A passionate teacher, she has also taught American history at the University of Sydney and Macquarie University, and currently teaches media studies at Macquarie University.
Anna is delighted to design and lead Academy Travel’s first fashion-focused tour. In 2020, “New York: The Art of Fashion” will explore the subject of American style, and trace the profound influence fashion has had upon the political life and cultural identity of one of the most exciting cities in the world – New York.
Our four-star hotel is very conveniently located in midtown Manhattan, on 54th Street. We have booked premier-plus grade rooms. These are large and comfortable, each with modern amenities. The hotel is in walking distance of many of New York’s most popular attractions. The hotel has just completed a major renovation. The Warwick has an interesting history. It was built in 1926 for newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, primarily as a residence for his Hollywood friends, among whom was his mistress Marion Davies. Over the years guests have included James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley and The Beatles. Actor Cary Grant lived in the Warwick for 12 years.
What is included in the tour price?
Unless otherwise stated in the itinerary, our tours include the following:
Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Where appropriate public transport is also used for short distance travel on some tours
All accommodation in hotels or apartments as stated in the itinerary
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners specifically stated as included in the itinerary
Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included
Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
Services of tour leader throughout tour
All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
Local guides at some sites
Tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals
Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.
What is not included in the tour price?
Open-age tours do not include the following:
Return international/domestic air travel unless those flights take place during the tour
Special taxes and airport levies that can only be paid in cash at the destination. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required
Travel insurance. We require all participants to have comprehensive travel insurance. A typical policy for one of our tours will cost from $160 upwards, depending on your age, pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the overall length of your trip
Lunches and dinners not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity
You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of these conditions when you book a place on a tour.
A deposit of $500 per person is required to confirm your booking on a tour. Final payment of the tour fee, insurance and any additional travel will be due 60 days before departure.
If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:
More than 60 days before departure: $500*
60-45 days before tour start: 25% of total amount due
44-15 days before tour start: 75% of total amount due
14 days or less before departure: 100% of total amount due
*This amount may be credited to another Academy Travel tour within 12 months of the original tour you booked.
Unused Portions of the tour
We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.
Academy Travel requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. We offer a comprehensive policy with a reputable insurer if required.
Passport and Visa
A valid passport is required for all international travel. If you do not hold an Australian passport you may require a re-entry permit. Some countries require a visa to be issued before you depart Australia. We will advise you of all passport and visa requirements, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet passport and visa requirements before you depart.
Will the tour price change?
If the number of participants in a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates Academy Travel reserves the right to amend the advertised price. If this occurs you will be given the option of cancelling your booking and obtaining a full refund. If an Academy Travel tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all monies paid.
Will the itinerary change?
Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of Academy Travel make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make slight amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes as soon as they occur.
Full and final payment for the tour, airfare travel, insurance and any additional travel you book is due 60 days before departure. Payment may be made by bank deposit, cheque, cash or credit card. Please note there is a surcharge for payments made by credit card.
Academy Travel reserves the right to decline the booking or terminate the holiday of any traveller.