News and Speeches

NYC Public High School Students Kick Off Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week with Life in Fashion Forum

Students Learn the “Ins and Outs” of the Fashion Industry from Top Designers and Business Leaders

The New York City Department of Education (DOE), the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week producer IMG Fashion, and Lincoln Center today welcomed 190 public high school students, 75 of whom are NYCHA residents, to the High School of Fashion Industries for the third annual Life in Fashion Forum, where students learned about careers in fashion from top designers and industry leaders.

Panel members included Fashion Designer, Betsey Johnson; Malcolm Carfrae, Executive Vice President, Global Communications, Calvin Klein; Leandra Medine, Founder and Editor of the blog, “The Man Repeller”; and Derek Warburton, Stylist. The event was held at the High School of Fashion Industries in Manhattan, and moderated by Kim Friday, Senior Fashion Editor, Women’s Wear Daily (WWD).

“With over 165,000 New Yorkers working in the City’s fashion industry, it’s important that our students learn that there are career opportunities available to them as manufacturers, designers, and publicists,” said Schools Chancellor Walcott. “We’re committed to supporting successful career technical educational programs across the City like those offered by today’s host, the High School of Fashion Industries – where students are learning marketable skills for their future careers. We’re grateful for our continued partnership with Lincoln Center, IMG Fashion, and the NYC Housing Authority to broaden our students’ horizons during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.”

Now in its third year, the ‘Life in Fashion’ Forum continues to be a fantastic collaboration between Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Lincoln Center and the City of New York,” said Peter Levy, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of IMG Fashion. “We’re proud to work with the NYC Department of Education and the NYC Housing Authority to give so many children across the city exposure to the fantastic opportunities available to them in the fashion industry.”

“We are thrilled to have partnered once again with IMG Fashion and the City of New York to encourage young people across the city to take interest in the ever evolving fashion industry,” said Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Director of Fashion at Lincoln Center. “Our panelists this year are a dynamic group who are visionaries in their respective fields and will provide these students with invaluable advice and inspiration.”

“The New York City Housing Authority is happy to once again partner with the Lincoln Center, the CFDA, IMG and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week to give our youth the opportunity to have hands-on experience in an industry that sparks their interest,” said NYCHA Chairman John B. Rhea. “By nurturing our youth’s interest in a career that truly inspires them, we are not only contributing to their future but the future of the industry as well.”

“Today’s students are faced with a challenging and ever-changing job market,” said Kim Friday, Senior Fashion Editor of WWD. “Any advice or direction that we, as industry professionals, can offer them is both a pleasure and a privilege.”

“Now that Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week made the move to Lincoln Center in September 2010, I am proud to see the West Side spirit of openness and cooperation that embraces all the members of our community,” said New York City Council Member Gale A. Brewer. “To New Yorkers, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is important for more than eight days. This collaboration between IMG, Lincoln Center, NYCHA, and our local public schools is big news for us and for our kids. I thank Mercedes-Benz and the other event sponsors for recognizing that here on the West Side the tents of Fashion Week at Lincoln Center are big enough for both the stars of today and the undiscovered ones of tomorrow.”

Life in Fashion Panelists:

Betsey Johnson, Fashion Designer – Betsey Johnson is one of America’s most iconic designers. Launching her eponymous label over 30 years ago, Betsey has become a global sensation with her love of design, enthusiasm, creativity and boundless talent. With over 41 stores worldwide, winner of the coveted Coty Winnie Award, the CFDA’s Timeless Talent Award and recently inducted into the Fashion Walk of Fame, Betsey’s influence on fashion is unmistakable.

Malcolm Carfrae, Executive Vice President, Global Communications, Calvin Klein – As Executive Vice President of Global Communications at Calvin Klein, Malcolm is rich in experience in both the client and agency sectors of Fashion. Having joined Calvin Klein Inc. over eight years ago, the native Australian is at the forefront of the brand’s global presence including special events, celebrity services, public relations, philanthropy and corporate communications.

Leandra Medine, Founder and Editor of the blog, “The Man Repeller” – Leandra Medine, better known as the Man Repeller - the title of her of her namesake blog, is one of fashion’s rising stars. Medine has over 10,000 twitter followers with over 2 million blog hits per month. In addition to her sensational blog, she has also written for New York Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Lucky, New York Post and the New York Times, as well as, collaborated with designers such as Rachel Roy, Kimberly Taylor, DANNIJO and Gryphon, to name a few.

Derek Warburton, Stylist – Derek Warburton is a celebrity stylist and international media personality known for his personal flair and philanthropic work. Between styling A-list celebrities like Beyonce, Zach Braff, Jessica White, and Miranda Kerr, Derek has worked as an editor for several high-end lifestyle magazines, sharing his style advice in the New York Times, Marie Claire, InTouch, Vogue TV and countless talk shows. Putting his fashion savvy to good use, Derek created the How to be Derek Fabulous Workshop at the Bottomless Closet to help underprivileged New York Women re-enter the working world.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week producer IMG Fashion and Lincoln Center sponsors the Life in Fashion Forum. The first forum was held in September 2010. The Panel was the result of a partnership between the New York City Department of Education, the New York City Housing Authority, and Lincoln Center. Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week will begin on February 9th, 2012 and end on February 16th, 2012.