The CFDA and the New York City Economic Development Corp. are launching a   graduate showcase.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America and the New York City Economic Development Corp. are teaming up to present the Fashion Future Graduate Showcase, a curated Made in NY: Fashion physical and digital exhibition of up to 100 top fashion graduates from leading New York colleges and universities.

Participating schools include Fashion Institute of Technology, Parsons School of Design and Pratt Institute. Additionally, the program invited Rhode Island School of Design and Academy of Art University to join the inaugural showcase.

Recognizing the need to support fashion graduates’ transition from education to industry, the CFDA and NYCEDC showcase continues Mayor Bill de Blasio’s commitment to the fashion industry made through the Made in NY: Fashion initiatives. The NYCEDC and the CFDA will connect top fashion graduates to professional opportunities across all design specializations including apparel, accessories, jewelry, textiles/materials, technical design and areas such as sustainability.

The aim of the showcase is to provide greater exposure, create hiring opportunities and engage and educate rising talents through panels, roundtable conversations, workshops and mentorship opportunities.

“The level of creativity and diversity graduating into the fashion system today is extraordinary, with designers who are visionary, innovative and agile,” said Sara Kozlowski, director of education and professional development at the CFDA. “The Fashion Future Graduate Showcase will provide visibility, ultimately connecting talent to professional opportunities within the CFDA membership of more than 500 leading American designers and the industry.” She called it a “vital initiative that is both a hiring pipeline and launch-pad platform.”

Burak Cakmak, dean of Parsons School of Fashion, said, “The Fashion Future Graduate Showcase will bring together elite fashion design programs in the region to showcase their recent graduate work to a globally recognized audience of industry experts, press and buyers. By offering this unique opportunity for recent fashion design graduates to engage with industry experts, we hope the showcase will provide a more direct path toward highlighting the creative talent educated in American institutions and toward securing employment for the young designers of America.”

Fashion Future Graduate Showcase 2017 will be open May 23 to 25 as a physical exhibition and a one-year digital platform on It is supported by Suntchi and Accenture.

Applications are invited from each of the five participating schools within the design specializations of apparel (women’s/ men’s), materiality (textiles, knitwear) and accessories/jewelry. Students with special focus on sustainability, new technologies and creative technical design are also being sought. The CFDA will invite each school dean/director to nominate their strongest seniors’ work. Students will submit their applications based on thesis, collection and portfolio. Final selection will be made by a CFDA selection committee based on exemplary creativity, vision, level of acumen within their specialization(s) and professional readiness. The CFDA plans to share the link to the applications with each participating school.


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