National Institute of Fashion Technology was set up in 1986 under the aegis of the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India. It has emerged as the premier Institute of Design, Management and Technology, developing professionals for taking up leadership positions in fashion business in the emerging global scenario.
The old name 'Cannanore' is the anglicised form of the Malayalam word Kannur. According to one opinion, 'Kannur' is a derivation from Kanathur, an ancient village, the name of which survives even today in one of the wards of Kannur Municipality. Another version is that Kannur might have assumed its name from one of the , deities of the Hindu pantheon, a compound of two words, Kannan (Lord Krishna) and Ur (place)making it the place of Lord Krishna. In this context, it is worth mentioning that the deity of the Katalayi Sree Krishna temple was originally installed in a shrine at Katalayi Kotta in the south eastern part of the present Kannur town.
NIFT Act 2006 published in the Gazette of India on 14th July, 2006 confers Statutory Status on NIFT. National Institute of Fashion Technology at Kannur was set up in the year 2008