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NYCEDC and 92Y Announce Selection of Third Class of NYC Fashion Fellows


2015 Class of 25 Rising Stars in Fashion Management Will Receive Year-long Mentorship and Career Advancement Opportunities

New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and 92nd Street Y (92Y) today announced the third class of NYC Fashion Fellows, a year-long fellowship program for emerging leaders and rising stars in New York City-based fashion management positions. Over the next year, the class of NYC Fashion Fellows will receive one-on-one mentorship from senior-level fashion industry leaders, and participate in executive seminars with prominent fashion CEOs, career advancement workshops, and networking and community-building events. The programming will help Fellows achieve the next stage of growth for their careers, increasing their value to their current employers and further strengthening New York City’s robust community of fashion professionals.

“The fashion industry has long been a strong pillar of our economy, employing 180,000 people and generating billions of dollars in economic impact across the City," said NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball. “This year’s class of Fashion Fellows will develop the skills and industry knowledge that will help them advance to the next stages of their careers, and that will strengthen the community of fashion professionals throughout New York City.”

“We are thrilled to welcome the fashion industry’s rising stars to the 92Y community,” said Executive Director of 92Y Henry Trimms. “Their energy and creativity, coupled with the expertise of the Fashion Fellows mentors, the support of NYCEDC, and the many opportunities for collaboration and learning will help them to become both innovative and socially conscious leaders for the industry and for the city.”

NYCEDC and 92Y also announced the newly elected leadership of the Fashion Fellows Alumni Advisory Board. The Board will be led by President Melissa Hall ’13, Vice President Alice Kim ’13 and Secretary Molly Ernst-Alper ’14. The Board will assume responsibility for a multitude of alumni activities, including social and continuing education opportunities, outreach and mentorship to high school students, and an end-of-year charity fundraiser.

Candidates for NYC Fashion Fellows were nominated by supervisors or colleagues. All selected fellows currently work at New York City-based companies or internationally-based companies with U.S. headquarters in New York City and have cultivated an outstanding track record in the fashion industry.

The NYC Fashion Fellows Class of 2015 includes:

  • Verneda Adele White, HUMAN INTONATION
  • Manyell Akinfe-Reed, Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Rebecca Alperin, Calvin Klein Underwear
  • Nadia Boujarwah, Dia&Co
  • Caitlyn Brady, Coach
  • Nick D’Urbano, International Division of Victoria’s Secret
  • Lori Edwards, emPOWERED
  • Ali Greenfield, Diane von Furstenberg
  • Regina Gwynn, The Apparel Group
  • Sarah Kelly, Ralph Lauren
  • Anushri Mainthia, Diane von Furstenberg
  • Alison Mandelker-Burnett, Bloomingdale’s
  • Matthew Martin, Michael Kors
  • Nanki Marwah, Lou & Grey
  • Ibrahim Ndoye, Mimi Plange and SB&P Designs, LLC
  • Katia Protsenko, Launch Collective
  • Tessa Shevelew, Macy's
  • Juliana Simon, Ralph Lauren
  • Hugo Tapia, Juicy Couture International
  • Trang To, Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Amy Tran, 3.1 Phillip Lim
  • Kate Unsworth, Kovert Designs
  • Shimul Varghese, Coach
  • Mike Wade, rag & bone
  • Erin Wilson, Macy's

Each Fellow will be paired with a mentor from a pool of senior-level executives from across the fashion spectrum. Mentors and fellows will meet at least four times throughout the program for one-on-one executive-level mentoring, providing Fellows with relevant industry insights, critical feedback, guidance on how to achieve specific goals, and exposure to the mentor’s network of contacts.

NYC Fashion Fellows is part of a suite of fashion initiatives designed to support the thriving fashion industry in New York City. These efforts include the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative, a public-private program designed to support and promote growth of small businesses in the City’s fashion and manufacturing sectors; Design Entrepreneurs NYC, a “mini-MBA” for emerging designers; and the Fashion Production Fund, a $2 million loan program offering short-term loans to designers at below-market rates. Additionally, in December 2014, the City announced the creation of the Manufacturing Innovation Hub for Apparel, Textiles + Wearable Tech, an innovative fashion manufacturing and design hub in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Located at the privately-operated Liberty View Industrial Plaza, the Manufacturing Innovation Hub will occupy 160,000 square feet to provide research, design, development, and manufacturing resources for New York’s emerging designers and apparel manufacturers. NYC Fashion Fellows also complements 92Y’s Fashion Icons conversation series with Fern Mallis and aligns with 92Y’s diverse professional development offerings.

The City’s fashion industry accounts for 5.5 percent of the city’s workforce, paying $11 billion in wages, and generating nearly $2 billion in tax revenue annually. New York City’s wholesale fashion market is one of the world’s largest, attracting more than 500,000 visitors per year to its trade shows, showrooms and fashion shows. Overall, the industry garners more than $18 billion in retail sales, $72 billion in wholesale sales, and $8 billion in manufacturing sales annually. The city’s semi-annual Fashion Weeks draw approximately 232,000 attendees to more than 500 shows, creating a total economic impact of $887 million.

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 or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.

About 92nd Street Y

Now celebrating its 140th Anniversary, 92nd Street Y is a world-class, nonprofit cultural and community center that fosters the mental, physical and spiritual health of people throughout their lives, offering: wide-ranging conversations with the world’s best minds; outstanding programming in the performing, visual and literary arts; fitness and sports programs; and activities for children and families. 92Y is the home of #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving launched in 2012. More than 300,000 people visit 92Y annually; millions more participate in 92Y’s digital and online initiatives. A proudly Jewish organization, 92Y embraces its Jewish heritage and welcomes people of all backgrounds and perspectives. For more information, visit www.92Y.org.

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Ian Fried/Christopher Carroll

(212) 312-3523