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Fall 2015 Talking Trade Series @ FIT

Event:  African Fashion and International Business: Creative Economies Powered by Capacity Building, Education, Entrepreneurship, Women Empowerment, and Innovation
  Thursday, September 24th at 9:15am - 10:45am
WhereKatie Murphy Amphitheatre
Speaker: Ms. Roberta Annan, Founder and Principal, Roberta Annan Consulting
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Event: Marketing and Licensing in Latin America
When: Tuesday, October 27th at 6:30pm - 8pm
Where:  FIT's Employee Dining Room, Dubinsky Student Center, 8th Floor Alcove
Speakers:  Ms. Karina Spar, Executive Vice President of Licensing, Tommy Hilfiger
                   Ms. Sylvia Reyes, Director of Apparel and Textiles USA, Procolombia (invited)
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Event:  Your Head to Toe Guide to Ethical Fashion and Non-Toxic Beauty
When:  Wednesday, November 11th at 9:15am - 10:45am
Where:  FIT's Employee Dining Room, Dubinsky Student Center, 8th Floor Alcove

Master of Ceremonies: Guillermo Jimenez, Professor, International Trade and Marketing
Guest Speaker: Kate Black, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of
Book signing immediately following
Attend online at

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"For the second consecutive year, a team of four students in the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology, representing the United States, has won the Retail Futures Challenge, an international competition that takes place at the annual World Retail Congress. The FIT team, who traveled to Paris for the competition, bested teams from Hong Kong, London, Tokyo, and Marche, Italy, on September 30, with their concept for the Samsung Life Store — "The Smart Apartment."

The student team with their award (left to right): Victoria Kulesza; Paula Cushman; Alison Rebozo; and Cassandra Napoli

Paula Cushman is a second-semester student in the one-year program in Advertising and Marketing Communications. She is from Locust Valley, NY. Victoria Kulesza is a fifth-semester Fashion Merchandising Management student from Morris Plains, NJ. Cassandra Napoli is a seventh-semester International Trade and Marketing for the Fashion Industries student from Glen Cove, NY. Alison Rebozo is a seventh-semester FMM major and comes from Hillside, NY.

For this year’s competition, the student teams were challenged to develop a new retail concept for the Samsung Life Store. They had to consider the needs of the millennial consumer in order to understand how the "internet of things"—the connected home, the convergence of products, and changing lifestyles — dictates the look, role, and delivery of a store selling Samsung appliances. Based on this, each team developed a retail store concept that included a basis for their concept, an explanation of the shoppers’ journey, a business model, and an earnings forecast. Samsung worked closely with the competing teams to advise and mentor the development of their ideas.

Each team’s preliminary work had been submitted prior to the competition. Then, the retail concepts were displayed at the World Retail Congress, with teams on hand to discuss their concepts with executives. Finally, the teams made formal presentations to a panel of judges and an audience of retail executives.

The panel of senior retailers, design experts, editors, and Samsung executives included Ian McGarrigle, founder and chairman, World Retail Congress; Gerald Reitmayr, head of retail Europe, Samsung; Robert Thiemann, founder and editor in chief, Frame; Alexander Salzer, COO, Liganova – The BrandRetail Company; Bernie Brookes, CEO and MD, Myer Holdings Limited; and Nora Fehlbaum, co-CEO, Vitra.

"It really says a lot about the students and FIT that we have won this major competition for the second consecutive year," said Robin Sackin, chair, Fashion Merchandising Management, and advisor for the FIT team. "The students gave an exceptional presentation. They worked extremely hard and made all of us at FIT so proud.""


Four FIT students participated in the World Retail Congress Competition held in Paris from October 7th- 9th. The students: Alexis Katsafanas (FMM), Jaime Duncan (FMM), Eleanor Arye (AMC) and Wen Jenny Zhao (TDM) presented their idea to take the retailer STORY and expand it to Paris and other cities around the world. Theirs was the winning presentation! Congratulations! The team was accompanied by FMM Chair, Robin Sackin.

Students receive the award from WRC in Paris on October 9, 2013.

In April, Dean Steven Frumkin attended the 19th International Fashion Forum of the 2013 Shanghai International Cultural Fashion Festival Greater Donghua Fashion Week.

photo of Steven Frumkin and page from festival program

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