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NYCEDC and FIT Launch Design Entrepreneurs NYC

Kyle Sklerov (NYCEDC), ksklerov@nycedc.com, 212 312-3523
Cheri Fein (FIT), Cheri_fein@fitnyc.edu, 212 217-4700

A Mini-MBA Program for New York City Based Fashion Designers

Free, Intensive, Classroom-style Program Will Educate Select New York City Fashion Designers on Elements Required to Run a Fashion Label

New York, February 6, 2012—New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) today launched Design Entrepreneurs NYC, a free, intensive, classroom-style “mini-MBA” program that will equip select New York City based fashion designers with the skills needed to successfully run a fashion label. Classes will be taught by FIT faculty and other industry professionals and will focus on fashion business marketing, operations, and financial management. The program will culminate with each participant writing and refining a business plan with the help of industry experts. Participants who successfully complete the program will have the opportunity to present their plans to and receive feedback from a panel of influential fashion leaders. Design Entrepreneurs NYC is one of six initiatives recently announced by the City to support the long-term growth of the City’s $55 billion fashion industry.

“Fashion is a critical piece of New York City’s economy, employing hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and generating billions of dollars in tax revenue for the City each year,” said New York City Economic Development President Seth W. Pinsky. “With Design Entrepreneurs NYC, which provides promising young fashion designers the business training they need in order to become the leaders and job creators of tomorrow, we in the Bloomberg Administration are once again demonstrating our commitment to this important industry, and ensuring that New York remains the global capital of fashion for generations to come.”

“FIT is delighted to have this opportunity to partner with the NYCEDC in this innovative program to support emerging New York designers,” said Dr. Joyce F. Brown, president of FIT. “This is among the mayor’s critical initiatives to ensure that New York City remains the fashion capital of the world and that creative talent can continue to flourish here.”

Up to 35 applicants will be accepted to the Design Entrepreneurs NYC program. To be eligible, the designer’s business must be based in New York City and have been open for at least one year. Applications are due no later than March 31, 2012. The application form is available online at www.designentrepreneursnyc.com.

The program will kick off with an orientation on June 1, 2012, followed by three intensive weekends of instruction – Saturdays and Sundays, from June 2 – June 17. Between June and September, participants will formalize their business plans with the assistance of instructors, ending the program with a live presentation of their business plans to a panel of industry leaders.

Additionally, Design Entrepreneurs NYC participants will have free access to a number of FIT programs, including workshops, personal tours of The Museum at FIT, and lectures by iconic fashion figures.

FIT was selected to manage and implement Design Entrepreneurs NYC through a competitive RFP issued in May 2011. NYCEDC is investing $60,000 in the program.

Jeanette Nostra, president of G-III Apparel Group, will serve as FIT’s industry liaison for the program. Drawing on her wide-ranging experience, Ms. Nostra will serve as a mentor to the program’s students, reviewing the curriculum, bringing in guest speakers, and hosting program events.

Design Entrepreneurs NYC is one of six initiatives that resulted from Mayor Bloomberg’s FashionNYC2020 plan, which is designed to sustain and grow the fashion industry in New York. The fashion industry employs 165,000 people in New York City, accounting for 5.5 percent of the City’s workforce, and generating nearly $2 billion in tax revenue annually. In addition, the City is home to one of the world’s largest wholesale fashion markets, which attracts more than 500,000 visitors a year to its trade shows, showrooms and retail stores. The FashionNYC2020 initiatives address the industry’s challenges in two ways: by further positioning the City as a hub of innovation for emerging designers as well as specialty and multi-channel retail, and by attracting the next generation of design, management and merchant talent. The industry chairs for FashionNYC2020 are Richard Darling, CEO of LF USA; Diane von Furstenberg, Chairman and Founder, Diane von Furstenberg Studio L.P., and President, Council of Fashion Designers of America; Terry Lundgren, Chairman, President and CEO of Macy’s, Inc.; Andrew Rosen, CEO of Theory; and Kevin Ryan, CEO of Gilt Groupe.

For more information about Design Entrepreneurs NYC, visit www.designentrepreneursnyc.com.

About NYCEDC
New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City’s primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC’s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City’s competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City’s many opportunities. Find us on Facebook to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.

About FIT
The Fashion Institute of Technology, a part of the State University of New York, has been a leader in career education in art, design, business, and technology for nearly 70 years. With a curriculum that provides a singular blend of hands-on, practical experience, classroom study, and a firm grounding in the liberal arts, FIT offers a wide range of outstanding programs that are affordable and relevant to today’s rapidly changing industries. Internationally renowned, FIT draws on its New York City location to provide a vibrant, creative community in which to learn. The college offers more than 45 majors and grants AAS, BFA, BS, MA, MFA, and MPS degrees, preparing students for professional success and leadership in the global marketplace. Among FIT’s alumni are Reem Acra, Amsale Aberra, Brian Atwood, Jhane Barnes, John Bartlett, Dennis Basso, Stephen Burrows, Francisco Costa, Andrew Fezza, Norma Kamali, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Nanette Lepore, Miranda Morrison, Rebecca Moses, Ralph Rucci, Austin Scarlett, Kari Sigerson, Michelle Smith, and Daniel Vosovic.

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