The Fashion Institute of Technology and New York City Economic Development Corp. have revealed 24 New York City-based fashion companies chosen for the 2016 class of Design Entrepreneurs NYC, a free, intensive “mini-MBA” program that teaches emerging designers how to run a successful label. DENYC was created through a partnership between NYCEDC and FIT in 2011.
One hundred thousand dollars will be awarded to the company that presents the most outstanding business plan, and $50,000 will be awarded to the second-place company. Both are expected to use the funds to implement their business plans. Through the leadership of founding sponsor G-III Apparel Group Ltd., companies that support the program include Hudson’s Bay, Herman Kay, Kenneth Cole Productions, Cole Haan, Leeds Family Foundation, Lafayette 148, YM Fashions, Bank of America, Frederick Goldman, Marcraft Apparel Group and Ross Stores.
DENYC offers emerging designers in-depth courses and one-on-one assistance in financial management, marketing, public relations, operations, sales and sourcing and production. The program, which launched June 2, starts with three consecutive intensive weekends of instruction in fashion business marketing, operations and financial management taught by FIT faculty members and other industry professionals. Throughout the summer, the designers work with industry mentors to complete business plans, build skills and attend informal salons with prominent fashion figures.
“We’re looking to make sure talent on the brink of success can get the necessary consulting and financial support to get over the hurdles,” said Jeanette Nostra, the former president and current director of G-III, who serves as the program’s executive in residence. “It’s about giving designers the boost they need to bring their business to the next level and about keeping jobs here.”
Maria Torres-Springer, NYCEDC president, added, “This class of Design Entrepreneurs NYC has the potential to build thriving businesses, create jobs and enhance New York City’s position as the global leader in fashion.”
The 24 companies are: Vincetta, Flagpole Swim, Melitta Baumeister, Slight Jewelry, Control Sector, Jeffrey Dodd, Cienne, Alasdair, Haerfest, Shahla Karimi, Selin Kent, Line Dry, William Okpo, Post-Imperial, Thaddeus O’Neil, Mestiza New York, Demestiks New York, Schone Design, Mansi Shah, Daniel Silverstein, Wolcott: Takemoto, Novis, WXYZ and All Comes from Nothing.