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Speakers

 Adarsh Alphons

Adarsh Arns
Founder and CEO
Wardrobe

Prior to Wardrobe, Adarsh founded ProjectArt – now the nation’s largest art school for youth – without owning a single building. Adarsh achieved this by partnering with public libraries and scaling through them. Adarsh’s expertise in building partnerships-based, scalable and operationally-efficient organizations made ProjectArt a leader in its field and a nationally-scaled enterprise. In 2015, Adarsh was made a CNN Hero for ProjectArt’s social impact and Global 40 Under 40 in Art Business. CNN Heroes. DEPARTURES. Apollo 40 U 40. PBS. The Wall Street Journal.

 Mariama Camara

Mariama Camara
Founder and Creative Designer
Mariama Camara

Mariama Camara is the founder and Creative Designer of MARIAMA CAMARA, a New York City based sustainable fashion brand, founder of Mariama Fashion Production, the leading African handmade textiles and accessories company and cofounder of There Is No Limit Foundation, a 501 ©3 international non-profit organization promoting womenentrepreneurship, education, health, sanitation and advocacy.

Mariama is an entrepreneur and humanitarian born in the Republic of Guinea, West Africa. She is one of the most influential African women in philanthropy, fashion and entrepreneurship.

​Her story is among the five inspiring female entrepreneurs stories showcased in Dream, Girl Film which is being screened globally. Mariama’s name and face has been seen in various magazines and television around the world such as TV5 Monde, RTG, Univision, VOGUE, Cosmopolitan Magazine, New York Magazine “The Cut” The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes Africa, Forbes Women, The Washington Post, Fast Company, Huffington Post, ELLE –CI and many more.

In 2014, Cosmopolitan Magazine chose Mariama as one of their Fun, Fearless, Female and referred to her as the “Dream Weaver.” Mariama is also the final and 15th Revlon Provocateur, a campaign that shared the story of trailblazing women changing the norms. She was VOSS Foundation 2017 Women Helping Women Hamptons Honorees for her humanitarian work in the Republic of Guinea through There Is No Limit Foundation.

In 2017 UNDP picked Mariama as one of the four designers to present her collection at the first sustainable fashion event "Feel Good, Look Good & Do Good" organized at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Mariama is also the brand ambassador for THULE, a Swedish brand founded in 1942.

She moved to New York City in 2001 and started working in fashion. Mariama and her artisans have designed prints and accessories for renowned brands such has Tory Burch, Lemlem and EDUN. Mariama and her younger sister Aissata M.B. Camara are the first ones to showcase the work of Guinean artisans globally at New York Fashion Week through a collaboration with Tory Burch.

 

Elizabeth L. Cline

New York-based author, journalist, and expert on consumer culture, fast fashion, sustainability and labor rights. Cline’s critically acclaimed 2012 expose, Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, first revealed the impacts of fast fashion on the environment, economy, and society to an American audience and is a founding book of the global ethical and sustainable fashion movement. Cline’s much-anticipated follow-up book, The Conscious Closet: A Revolutionary Guide to Looking Good While Doing Good, was released in August 2019 by Penguin Random House. In it, Cline delves into fresh research on fashion’s impacts and illustrates how we can leverage our everyday fashion choices to transform the apparel industry and change the world for the better.

 

 

Ariele Elia
Industry/Project Coordinator for the MFA Fashion Design program
FIT

Ariele Elia Is currently the Industry/Project Coordinator for the MFA Fashion Design program at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). Most recently, she received her second masters in Fashion Law from Fordham University School of Law. Her thesis Fashion’s Destruction of Unsold Goods: Responsible Solutions for an Environmentally Conscious Future focuses on the current challenges facing by many fashion brands such as Burberry and H&M. Previously, she worked at the Museum at FIT for seven years as the assistant curator of Costume and Textiles where she curated a number of exhibitions including: "Faking It: Originals, Copies, and Counterfeits," “Global Fashion Capitals, "Fashion and Technology," and "Black Fashion Designers.” 

 

Lauren Fay
Founder
New Fashion Initiative 

Laruen Fay founded The New Fashion Initiative (TNFI) in 2019. Long passionate about the environment, she has a background in fashion, publishing, digital media and IT consulting and graduated from Brown University. In 2017, she helped establish the non-profit Fashion Revolution in the US, building a US team of over 40 volunteers, spearheading over 100 events with brands such as Stella McCartney, Outerknown, and Eileen Fisher. She also collaborated on an online education project with the MOMA Museum and Greenpeace. With an unrelenting passion to push for change, and an ability to build partnerships with other non-profits and organizations, Lauren and TNFI are poised to change fashion for the better.

 

Silvia Furmanovich

Silvia Furmanovich
Jewelry Designer

Since launching her brand over 15 years ago, Brazilian designer Silvia Furmanovich has become a reference in high-end jewelry. Her sophisticated, handcrafted pieces are made using painstaking ancestral techniques: a combination of craft learned from her goldsmith father and her own deep passion for global cultures, the natural world, travel, color and fashion. Although every piece is daring - in terms of both scale and imagination - there is also a sense of pure opulence found in the balance of unusual materials (copper, wood, and carvings, among others) and 18-karat gold, diamonds and dazzling colored gemstones. These highly specialized creations - many of which are one-of-a- kind - are grounded in ancient Egyptian and Native American iconography but wholly relevant for a cutting-edge woman.

 

Hilary Jochmans
President
Jochmans Consulting, LLC,

Hilary Jochmans is president of Jochmans Consulting, LLC, a boutique government affairs practice. She works with clients to determine their policy goals in Washington and New York and to craft an appropriate and effective advocacy plan at the state and federal levels. She focuses on financial services, technology, economic development and fashion. Hilary has also written on political and regulatory issues of importance to the fashion and retail industry. Hilary has over 15 years of political and government experience in Washington and New York.

 

 jean marc

Jean-Marc Lieberherr
Chief Executive Officer
Diamond Producers Association

Jean-Marc Lieberherr is the Chief Executive Officer of the Diamond Producers Association
(DPA). A respected industry leader and sought-after global expert and spokesperson across all
facets of the diamond value chain, Jean-Marc’s diamond experience spans from the
management of diamond mining operations on three continents to the marketing of rough and
polished diamonds in all international markets.

Jean-Marc came to the DPA from Rio Tinto’s Diamond division, where he held the roles of Chief Commercial Officer and Managing Director from 2005 – 2016. While in his position as
Managing Director of Rio Tinto’s Diamond division, Jean-Marc served on the Board of the World Diamond Council, co-founded the DPA and was elected its first Chairman. He moved from chairing the new organization to running it in February 2016.

Prior to joining the diamond industry, Jean-Marc spent 15 years in international sales and
marketing positions with LVMH and Unilever. He is a graduate of the Paris Institut d’Etudes
Politiques and holds a MBA from INSEAD. A French native, Jean-Marc speaks several languages and lives with his wife and four children in Antwerp, Belgium.

Joe Massa

Joe Massa
Department Coordinator
Communication Design Pathways 

Joe Massa has been using technology since the late 70's. A self admitted "Geek", Joe has been designing databases and technology systems to streamline workflow since the early 90's. Joe joined FIT in the summer of 2015 following 25 years in Sales and Marketing in the Photography and Broadcast Video industry. When he is not at his computer, Joe can be found in a National Park with his camera or in his quilting studio playing with fabric and his sewing machines.

 Jill Newman

Jill Newman
Jewelry Editor and Expert

Jill Newman is a content strategy expert, editor and writer. She has defined the brand voice for
several media titles across platforms in print, digital and social media, and created the content
messaging for a series of international companies and websites.

She has covered the international luxury market for more than 20 years, and focused much of
her attention on fine jewelry, diamonds and gemstones. Jill is Town & Country magazine’s
Contributing Editor, jewelry and watches. Until recently, Jill served as Robb Report’s Deputy
Editor where she also managed the jewelry and style coverage. Prior to that she was Robb
Report’s executive editor and jewelry editor for more than a decade.

Over the past two decades, Jill has contributed print and digital features on jewelry, watches,
style, and culture to leading consumer media brands, including Departures, W Magazine, Town
& Country and New York Magazine. She has also served as an editorial consultant to luxury websites and Fortune 500 companies. In her career, she has written in-depth coverage on the mining industry, which included several visits to diamond mines across Africa, and trips
to cutting workshops in India and gem mines in Brazil. Her work has taken her to the
workshops and backrooms of the world’s top luxury brands, from Tod’s and Loro Piana, to
Hermès and Cartier. She also profiled some of the leading international CEOs.

Jill has been quoted as an authority in the jewelry category in numerous media outlets and
honored for her work in the field. She was given the Jewelry Information Center’s award for
Excellence in Journalism by Michael Kowalski, former chairman of Tiffany & Co.; the
Women’s Jewelry Association award for Excellence in Media; and the Italian Trade
Commission’s Outstanding Achievement in Journalism award. She resides in New York City.

 Aaron Roubitchek

Aaron Roubitchek
Tech Entrepreneur and Founder Ponto Footwear

Aaron Roubitchek is a current Googler and his young career has been centered around technology. From working at Google the past three years and LinkedIn before that, his understanding of the digital world and how great brands grow within our ever-changing world is what makes his outsider's perspective so intriguing. He grew up in San Diego, graduated UCLA with a degree in Economics, founded his first company in the StartUp UCLA Tech Accelerator in 2014, and has worked in technology ever since. His most recent endeavor Ponto Footwear just raised over $50K in a month on Kickstarter, and the story of the company's founding helps demystify the idea that starting a brand is a process only a select view are capable of. Aaron's professional passions are using technology and business to help fight our climate crisis. Luckily across his two full time jobs he's doing both on a day to day basis. In his personal life, Aaron's passions are fitness, meditation & mindfulness, music (he also sings), and enjoying his first year in the Big Apple. 
 
Aaron's presentation will be focused around telling the story of founding his own brand with no prior experience in fashion & footwear to help other people similarly get out of their heads and into chasing their aspirations. His talk will include lessons about life, tips on how to cope with fear, and Aaron's vision for the future in managing an e-commerce brand. 
 
For added breadth on the founding story behind Ponto, we invite you to check out "The Art Of The Kickstart" podcast that recently featured Aaron coming off of his successful Kickstarter for Ponto. 
 

Jessica Schreiber
Executive Director
FABSCRAP

Prior to launching FABSCRAP, Jessica Schreiber worked for the New York City Department of Sanitation as a Senior Manager in the Bureau of Recycling and Sustainability. She helped launch and then managed NYC's e-waste and clothing recycling contracts, including re-fashioNYC, a residential clothing reuse program which recycled over 6 million pounds of clothing, and NYC's first ever curbside clothing collection pilot. She has an MA in Climate and Society from Columbia University.

 

Sara Whiffen
Founder and Ceo 
Rohvi 

Sara Whiffen is an expert in bringing innovations to market. She serves as the Founder & CEO of Rohvi, a recommerce platform for retailers. Rohvi is turning fashion resale from something retailers fear to something they embrace to enhance their brand. Previously, Sara was a Managing Director with Toyota / Lexus, where she took several concepts from idea to market in the U.S. and around the world. She also learned how trade-in programs can deepen customer retention and loyalty. Passionate about creating businesses that drive high levels of customer satisfaction and profitability, Sara founded her first venture about ten years ago. Since then, she has gained recognition as an entrepreneurial expert. She is a member of The Shark Group (of TV’s Shark Tank) speaker’s bureau and a frequent lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden

 

Sara Ziff
Founding Director
Model Alliance

Sara Ziff is the founding director of the Model Alliance. She has worked as a model for nearly two decades and produced the feature documentary Picture Me, which chronicles her and other models’ experiences of their industry. Sara spearheaded and oversaw efforts to extend labor protections to child fashion models in New York State. She also helped to draft and introduce legislation that would create the first federal protections for child performers. Sara received her B.A. from Columbia University and her M.P.A. from Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

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