Designer Showcase

Ambika Conroy
Founder, Ambika Boutique

Raising Angora rabbits and creating designs from their fur was an obvious extension of Ambika Conroy's childhood obsession with animals.  Her first rabbits lived with her in Brooklyn, where they hung out on the couch and watched movies.  She sought spinning classes as their fur began piling up, fascinated by the idea that she could create a garment from a bunny.  For the past five years, Conroy has studied Angora rabbit husbandry, while learning to spin, going to wool festivals, and seeking out spinners and crocheters for manufacture.  She now lives in the country with two Merino sheep, two Angora goats, 13 English and satin Angora rabbits, a dog, and a cat.  She is looking forward to collaborating with other designers in the future and being a catalyst for the fur industry.

David Peck
Creative Director/CEO, David Peck & CrOp

David Peck launched his inaugural collection for the CrOp by David Peck line in Spring/Summer 2011.  CrOp, which stands for Creative Opportunities, is a fun and quirky clothing line with a conscience.  Each CrOp collection stems from a collaboration with other creative professionals who value giving back.  CrOp aims to develop a network of artists who generate even greater opportunities together.  David has committed ten percent of the profits from every CrOp collection to the cause affiliated with his seasonal inspiration.  CrOp by David Peck is proudly manufactured in the U.S. in the David Peck Factory in Houston.  Continuing European tradition learned during his early career in Paris, David's facilities allow him to maintain a superior level of luxury and quality.  CrOp by David Peck is made from certified organic, fair trade, and natural fabrics.  His signature custom prints are created using methods that minimally impact the environment.

Meghan Sebold
President & Designer, Afia

Meghan Sebold was drawn to study abroad in Ghana in 2006 because of the vibrant textiles and the complexity of developing economies.  During a research project studying the local textile industry, she saw both the talent and ambitions of the seamstresses and textile vendors, as well as the growth limitations their businesses faced.  By translating the textiles into trends that resonate with American pop culture, Afia opens up a much larger consumer market for Ghanaian textile vendors and seamstresses.  Meghan graduated from the University of San Francisco with a B.A. in International Relations and Economics.  She learned to communicate her design ideas through courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Anthony Lilore
Founder, RESTORE Clothing

Anthony Lilore is a designer with expertise in fashion design, sustainability, process, and manufacturing. He is also a critic and mentor with more than 25 years industry experience spanning every aspect of concept development, branding, design, and production. Lilore is a member of the original Club Monaco design team in Toronto. He served as Director or Technical Design at Perry Ellis and is co-founder, designer, creative director, and producer of the innovative, versatile, eco-active lifestyle clothing brand RESTORE Clothing. RESTORE Clothing strives to provide accountability, transparency, and vetted supply/value chain for end-user "peace of mind." The brand's vision is to help people enhance their lives and those of others through mindful product choices. Lilore's awards include: 2011 Sustainability All Star - Apparel Magazine and 2009 Top 40 Innovator - Apparel Magazine.  

Nimet Degirmencioglu
Co-Founder, Soham Dave

Nimet Degirmencioglu is a textile engineer and has been in the home textile industry for the last eight years, working on fabric development from conceptualization of actual collections to buying from a wide range of mills in Turkey, India, and China.  She has a knack for identifying business opportunities for unconventional lifestyle products. Degirmencioglu manages business development at Soham Dave.  Using local artisans who adopt traditional eco-friendly production techniques and fair trade to create a contemporary range of lifestyle products for the urban consumer, Soham Dave focuses primarily on using biodegradable fabrics, recycled materials, and hand embroideries. Degirmencioglu and Dave were cohorts in the Global Fashion Management program at FIT.

Sharon Epperson
President, Simply Natural Clothing

Sharon Epperson is an artist and entreprenerur living on the east coast.  She has an M.F.A. from Pratt Institute with a minor in Art & Design Education; she has also earned a Sustainable Design Entrepreneur Certificate from FIT.  Epperson boasts an endless curiosity, resulting in a number of skills such as teaching, stilting, Brazilian drumming, and puppetry. Her enthusiasm for and knowledge of color and pattern is part of everything she does; however, it has been her ongoing affair with the outdoors, the stories of farming passed down by her parents, and an obsessive organizational aptitude that have led her to Simply Natural Clothing.  Founded on a set of principles that promote complete transparency in business operations and noticeable simplicity, SNC celebrates the best possibiliities of being Made in the USA: beauty, quality, organic fiber, and a farm-to-consumer concept.  Her work in furthering sustainablity continues with the development of Simply Natural Clothing.  She has yet to meet an alpaca she did not like.

Tara St. James
Owner & Creative Director, Study NY

Tara St. James is the owner and head designer for the New York-based clothing label Study, a high-concept brand primarily produced in New York City.  St. James was born and raised in Montreal, Canada, but has lived and worked in New York City since 2004 and now calls Brooklyn home.  Formerly the creative director of Covet, a mainstream eco-friendly sportswear collection for men and women, St. James left to start Study in September 2009.  Spring 2011 was Study's third collection, inspired using hand-dyed ikat silks and examined no-waste patternmaking. St. James is hoping to add more accessories, expand fabric development, and hopefully add a men's line in the near future.  She also works with local artisans in India to create very limited edition runs of hand-woven textiles.  She is looking to expand this specialized production to other artisans around the world.