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NYCEDC & FIT launch “Mini-MBA” for fashion designers
May '12
New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) announced the selection of the 35 New York City-based fashion companies that will make up the inaugural class of Design Entrepreneurs NYC, a free, intensive, “mini-MBA” program that will equip select New York City-based fashion designers with the skills needed to successfully run a fashion label.

Classes will be taught at FIT by FIT faculty and other industry professionals and will focus on fashion business marketing, operations and financial management. The 35 participants were selected from a field of 165 applicants.

“The overwhelming interest in Design Entrepreneurs NYC is further proof of the demand for critical business training that exists within New York City's design community,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky.

“Thanks to this innovative program, these 35 participating designers will be able to hone their business skills and develop new techniques, allowing them to become integral players in this growing sector.”

“We are very pleased to welcome this creative group of designers to the program,” said Dr. Joyce F. Brown, president of FIT. “There's no question that it takes talent to be a designer. However, talent isn't all it takes to find success in the marketplace.

“A firm understanding of business principles and practices is also a necessary component. This program will help these designers add business skills to their portfolio.”

The 35 selected businesses are: A.D.O; ACCESSOIR; Alice Alan; ANGG New York; ANNIE WU; BazzdeGrant; Between the Sheets; Cala Ossidiana; Cuffe Parade; G9C; H Williams; Hatting by La China Loca; Helen Sanchez; Hippototamus; Jes Wade; Kahri by KahriAnne Kerr; Kordal; KV NUIT; Leota New York; MARLON GOBEL; Mimi Plange; Olivier Green; Parke & Ronen; RECOLLECTION {by Sandra Murphy}; SENA; SHIRLEY EPHRAIM Fine Earth Jewelry; SIRAK; Soham Dave; STEE-LETAS; Study NY; Sunghee Bang; Suzanne Rae; Tirana Jewelry; Vespertine; and Zimba Collections.

The 35 participating companies span a wide range of fashion categories including accessories, children's wear, jewelry, men's apparel, and women's apparel. The designers who founded the businesses trained at universities in countries all around the world, including Canada, Italy, Ireland, and Turkey, though the majority come from New York City schools, including FIT, Parsons, Columbia, and NYU. To participate, designers were required to have New York City-based companies that have been in business for at least one year; the majority of the selected participants have been in business for less than four years.

The program will kick off with an orientation on May 24, 2012, followed by three intensive weekends of instruction – Saturdays and Sundays, from June 2 – June 17. Between June and September, participants will formalize their business plans with the assistance of instructors, and will then have the opportunity to present their business plans to a panel of industry leaders.

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