Dade College hosted a “Fashion Meets Business Symposium” on Oct. 21 at the Wolfson Campus in Downtown Miami. The event brought together prominent experts in entrepreneurship and innovation as well as founders of startups from Miami’s fashion scene.
“Miami is emerging as America’s next fashion city,” said Arthur J. Furia, symposium chair and a Miami Dade College Foundation board member, during his speech. “Our community is now seeing not just more well-known brands joining those that have recognized Miami as a retail hub, but now more and more thanks to the connections being made between the private sector and academic institution.”
Furia is a corporate and international business law partner with the law firm of Shutts & Bowen, which sponsored the symposium.
Keynote guest speaker was Carl J. Schramm, former president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Called the “evangelist of entrepreneurship” by The Economist, Schramm led the Kauffman Foundation to become the world’s largest and premier funder for entrepreneurship research.
Pamela Fuertes-Berti, vice president of international economic development at the Beacon Council, and Marimar Molinary, director of academic program development at Miami Dade College, were instrumental in planning the half-day conference, which included two panel discussions:
The Fashion Entrepreneur – Moderated by Matt Haggman, the Knight Foundation’s Miami program director. Panelists included:
Chris Yura, founder and CEO of SustainU, a “Made in the USA” recyclable and sustainable clothing company in the sports and athletic gear sector, and
Matthew Chevallard, founder and CEO of Del Toro Shoes, a Wynwood-headquartered edgy footwear brand.
The Monetization and Growth of a Fashion Business – Moderated by Michele Gillen, CBS4 news anchor and investigative reporter.
Guido Balocco, president of the Edward Beiner Group, a fashion eyewear retailer, and
Julie Greiner, former chief merchandise planning officer for Macy’s in the U.S.;
Paolo Torchetti, president of Brand Portal Communications, based in Milan and Rome.
“The Miami Fashion Institute at Miami Dade College will be the premiere training for fashion, design and merchandising,” Furia said. “It will prepare our fashion industry with the skilled workforce needed to have the right infrastructure to flourish.”
Housed at MDC Wolfson Campus, MFI offers a degree program in Fashion Design & Merchandising with concentrations in fashion design and retail merchandising, working with local and international designers to develop a 21st Century skilled workforce that supports industry growth and demand. To learn more, visit www.mdc.edu/fashion.