DENYC, launched by NYCEDC and FIT in 2011, focuses on fashion business marketing, operations, and financial management The first-place award-winner, Becca McCharen, whose company, Chromat, designs architecturally inspired bathing suits, will receive $25,000 to implement her business plan.
The second-place winner, Vasumathi Soundararajan, whose company Ken Wroy, Inc., designs men’s underwear, will receive $10,000. Funding for these awards is provided by a financial contribution from G-III Apparel Group.
“Design Entrepreneurs NYC offers education, opportunity and funding to the City’s emerging designers in order to cultivate talent and build success,” said NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball.
“By providing assistance to growing fashion labels, we ensure that New York City will remain at the center of the fashion world.”
“FIT is proud to partner with the NYCEDC and G-III for the second year of this innovative program,” said Dr. Joyce F. Brown, president of FIT. “We are particularly grateful to G-III for enhancing this year’s program with a generous gift. Because FIT offers career-oriented education on both the design and business sides of the fashion industry, the college is an ideal environment in which to host Design Entrepreneurs NYC – a cornerstone of the mayor’s initiative to ensure that New York City remains the fashion capital of the world. DENYC gives our City’s creative talent the tools that will allow them to flourish.”
Chromat’s designs focus on structural experiments for the human body. The company began in 2010 as an extension of McCharen’s degree in architecture design; and her interest in scaffolding, city maps, wearable exoskeletons and the intricacies of undergarments has been explored as each new collection develops.
Chromat swimwear, lingerie, and signature architectural cages are all made in New York City. Soundararajan’s company, Ken Wroy, is a designer brand of men’s underwear. Its urban fashionable feel is inspired by New York City’s spirit of being bold, stylish, and electrifying.
To participate, designers are required to operate New York City-based companies that have been in business for at least one year. The majority of this year’s participants have been in business for less than four years.
The 35 businesses in DENYC Class of 2013, selected from 193 applicants, span a range of fashion categories, including accessories, shoes, jewelry, children’s wear, men’s apparel, and women’s apparel. They studied throughout the U.S. and the world, including at schools in London, Sydney, and Saitama, Japan, though many graduated from New York City colleges, including Pratt, Parsons, and FIT.