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NYCEDC and FIT Announce Second Class of Design Entrepreneurs NYC and Additional Funding From G-III Apparel Group


(May 30, 2013)-New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) today announced the second class of New York City-based fashion companies selected for Design Entrepreneurs NYC, a free, intensive mini-MBA program that teaches emerging fashion designers how to run a successful label. The program, which will launch tonight at a kickoff orientation and reception at the G-III Apparel Group (G-III) offices at 512 Seventh Avenue at 6:30 pm, will take place during the summer at FIT, led by FIT faculty and other industry professionals, and will focus on fashion business marketing, operations, and financial management.

NYCEDC and FIT also today announced that NYCEDCs financial contribution to the program will be matched by a generous gift from G-III. This gift will be used, in part, to award two participants funding to help advance their businesses: The top two business plans, judged by an expert panel at the end of the program, will receive $25,000 and $10,000 respectively in funding. The G-III gift will also be used to provide financial workshops, networking opportunities, and business-related informational events for both past and current program participants.

Fashion in New York City is a $98 billion industry, spurred in large part by the success and growth of small businesses, said NYCEDC Executive Director Kyle Kimball. Design Entrepreneurs NYC will help cultivate the next generation of fashion designers and businesses, allowing New York City to continue to thrive and remain the worlds fashion capital.

Dr. Joyce F. Brown, president of FIT, said, The colleges long commitment to providing career education that marries design, business, and the liberal arts makes FIT the ideal institution to host Design Entrepreneurs NYC. We are particularly grateful to our partner G-III for enhancing this years program with a generous gift. DENYC gives our city's creative talent the tools that will allow them to flourish and helps to ensure that New York City remains the fashion capital of the world.

G-III is proud to be able to participate in the initiative intended to unleash some of the hidden talents relating to the fashion industry in New York, said Morris Goldfarb, chairman and CEO,
G-III Apparel Group, Ltd.

Thirty-five participants were selected from a field of 193 applications submitted from across the world. The companies span a wide range of fashion categories including women's wear, menswear, children's wear, bridal, jewelry, accessories, and footwear. The selected designers trained at universities in the United States and abroad, including Japan, Australia, and Great Britain. To participate, designers are required to operate New York City-based companies that have been in business for at least one year. The majority of this years participants have been in business for less than four years.

After the orientation and reception tonight, the program continues with three intensive weekends of instruction. Between June and September, participants will formalize their business plans with the assistance of mentors. They will then have the opportunity to present their business plans to a panel of industry leaders and compete for the monetary prizes.

Jeanette Nostra, president of G-III, will serve as FIT's executive-in-residence for the program. Drawing on her fashion and entrepreneurial experience, Nostra will serve as a mentor to the programs students and will assist in reviewing the curriculum, bringing in guest speakers, and hosting program events. Additionally, Design Entrepreneurs NYC participants will have free access to a number of FIT resources, including workshops, personal tours of The Museum at FIT, and lectures by iconic fashion figures.

The selected designers and businesses are:


Designer Name



Thaddaeus Beals

Thaddaeus Timothy Jr.

Childrens wear, Accessories

Emilce Borz

Bella Borz


Astrid Brucker


Women's wear

Marcia Budet

Marcia Budet Design Studio


Brook Cosby

Hyde Yoga

Women's yoga clothes

Andrea Diodati

Andrea Diodati

Women's wear

Ayana Evans

YANA Handbags


Kai D. Fan

Kai D.


Carrie Freiman

Carrie Parry

Women's wear

Alexa Galler


Women's wear

Max Gross

Proper Gang


Daisy Hartmann and Elizabeth NeSmith

Daisy & Elizabeth

Women's wear, Accessories

Aurals Herrero-Lugo


Women's wear

Melinda Huff


Women's wear

Titania Inglis

Titania Inglis

Women's wear

Sherita Jennings


Women's wear

Karina Kallio


Childrens wear

Nzinga Knight

Nzinga Knight New York

Women's wear

Ilana Kohn

Ilana Kohn

Women's wear

Elizabeth Kosich

Elizabeth Kosich New York


Annie Lewis

Lewis Cho

Women's wear

Louis Mairone

Dominic Louis

Women's wear, Menswear

Becca McCharen


Women's wear, Footwear, Accessories

Steven McDermott

Stevie Mac New York

Women's wear

Erin Murphy

{EM} Reservoir

Women's wear

Ayaka Nishi

Ayaka Nishi New York


Aaron Osborn

Osborn Design


Monisha Raja


Footwear, Accessories

Zolaykha Sherzad

Zarif Design

Women's wear, Menswear

Peter Sieper

Owner Operator USA

Outerwear, Performance Wear

Erica Simon

Robbie Simon


Jacqueline Stone

Salt + Stone


Vasumathi Soundararajan

Ken Wroy

Mens Underwear

Anthony Thomas

KNO Clothing

Women's wear, Menswear, Accessories

Nadia and Saadia Zafar



FIT was selected to manage and implement Design Entrepreneurs NYC through a competitive RFP issued in May 2011. The first Design Entrepreneurs NYC program culminated last fall when participants presented their business plans to a panel of industry leaders.

Design Entrepreneurs NYC is one of six initiatives that resulted from Mayor Bloomberg's Fashion.NYC.2020 plan, which is designed to sustain and grow the fashion industry in New York. The fashion industry employs 175,000 people in New York City, accounting for 4.8 percent of the Citys workforce and generating $2 billion in tax revenue annually. In addition, the City is home to one of the worlds largest wholesale fashion markets, which generates more than $72 billion in wholesale sales annually. The Fashion.NYC.2020 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 Fashion.NYC.2020 are Richard Darling, vice chairman of LF USA & LF Europe; 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, founder and chairman of Gilt.

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

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 or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog 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. FIT alumni have attained top positions in industry. Among notable alumni in fashion are Calvin Klein, Reem Acra, Francisco Costa, Norma Kamali, Nanette Lepore, and Ralph Rucci. Other prominent graduates include Leslie Blodgett, executive chairman of Bare Escentuals; international restaurant designer Tony Chi; Edward Menicheschi, vice president and publisher of Vanity Fair; and Joe Zee, creative director of Elle.