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Press Release

NYCEDC and The Council of Fashion Designers of America Launch Fashion Future Graduate Showcase

Mar 13 2017

The joint Made in NY: Fashion initiative showcases the work of top graduating talent from May 23-25

NEW YORK, NY—New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) are partnering 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, as well as two additional design institutions. Participating schools include Fashion Institute of Technology, Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute, Rhode Island School of Design and Academy of Art University.

NYCEDC and the CFDA recognize the vital need to support fashion graduates’ transition from education to career development. Collaboratively, the showcase furthers the City of New York’s commitment to strengthening the fashion industry through Made in NY: Fashion initiatives. The NYCEDC and the CFDA will connect exemplary graduates to professional opportunities across all design specializations including Apparel, Accessories, Jewelry, Textiles/Materials, Technical Design, and relevant emerging career pathways such as sustainable fashion.

The central aim of the showcase is to provide elevated exposure, create instrumental networking opportunities, and to engage and educate these rising talents through curated panels, roundtable conversations, workshops and mentorship opportunities.

“This is an industry that constantly reinvents itself with new talent, new ideas and new generations of designers. Today’s graduates from FIT, Pratt and Parsons represent the future of fashion. We’re proud to partner with CFDA to invest in this first-ever showcase to market their incredible work and give them this important exposure,” said Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen.

"The level of creativity and diversity graduating into the fashion system today is extraordinary, with designers who are visionary, innovative, and agile,” said CFDA Director of Education and Professional Development Sara Kozlowski. “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. The CFDA is honored to partner with NYCEDC on this vital initiative that is both a hiring pipeline and launch-pad platform."

“FIT is extremely pleased to participate in this outstanding opportunity created by the NYCEDC and the CFDA,” said President of the Fashion Institute of Technology Dr. Joyce F. Brown. “Although FIT is best known for its Fashion Design program, the college offers nearly 50 programs, including Accessories Design, Jewelry Design, Textile/Surface Design, and Technical Design, among other areas relevant to this initiative. FIT is committed to sustainability; it is infused throughout our curriculum and is reflected in the work of many of our graduates.”

"The Fashion Future Graduate Showcase will bring together elite fashion design programs in the region to showcase their recent graduates work to a globally-recognized audience of industry experts, press, and buyers,” said Dean of Parsons School of Fashion Burak Cakmak. “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.”

“It’s an honor for Pratt Fashion to be recognized for our graduates’ diverse talent and to be selected, among our peer institutions, to participate in the Fashion Future Graduate Showcase,” said Chair of Pratt Institute’s Fashion Department Jennifer Minniti. “The visibility and exposure provides an invaluable opportunity for our new alumni to make connections as they begin their careers in the industry. We thank the CFDA and NYCEDC for recognizing the need to support fashion graduates as they transition into the professional world.”

“With its commitment to strengthening the impact of American Fashion, the CFDA has served as longtime ambassadors for design advancement and agents of change,” said Head of Apparel Design at Rhode Island School of Design Neil Gilks. “With this invaluable focus on the best in emerging talent, they underscore the importance of supporting the next generation, and will undoubtedly provide a powerful gateway for our industry aspirants. For RISD Apparel, participation in this inaugural year reflects greatly on our continued success in graduating stellar designers and creative.”

"I am thrilled that this showcase for fashion graduates has been created,” said Executive Director of the School of Fashion at Academy of Art University Simon Ungless. “This type of venue has been missing from the U.S. fashion education cycle for way too long, and it feels to be completely the right time to happen, and for Academy of Art University graduates to participate. It is deeply important for graduates from different schools to meet each other, share in their work, and to introduce themselves to industry as the step to moving into their careers. CFDA and NYCEDC’s commitment to the industry and education is what will lead us into the future.”

The 2017 Fashion Future Graduate Showcase will be open May 23 - 25 as a curated physical exhibition and a one year digital platform on It is made possible with the generous support of Suntchi and Accenture.

New York City Economic Development Corporation creates shared prosperity across New York City’s five boroughs by strengthening neighborhoods and creating good jobs. NYCEDC works with and for communities to provide them with the resources they need to thrive, and we invest in projects that increase sustainability, support job growth, develop talent, and spark innovation to strengthen the City’s competitive advantage. To learn more about our work and initiatives, please visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.