Business of Fashion Forum, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022

Albright Business of Fashion Forum — Nov. 5

A full day of discussions with fashion industry professionals will be capped with an industry keynote panel on sustainability in the fashion industry (2 p.m., Klein Lecture Hall). Registration begins at 9 a.m. in Albright College’s Roessner Hall.

Business of Fashion Forum, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022


9:30-10:30 a.m. Concurrent breakout sessions:

Angela Duen, production and design manager, Stitch Fix

Duen has been in the fashion industry for over 25 years after graduating from Parsons School of Design in NYC with a BFA in fashion design. She started as an assistant designer at Phillips Van Heusen, working in the Geoffrey Beene Division in 1997. Since then, she has worked for companies that include Tahari, Liz Claiborne, Nine West, Esprit, The Gap, Walmart, American Giant and Stitch Fix. Her work spans all product categories from women’s wear, to kids, men’s, plus and maternity clothing, with expertise in denim, mass market design, trend forecasting and merchandising. She is paid to travel the world and shop in the cities she visits. She has traveled all over Asia, Europe and the United States for her work.

Juli Cleaver ’21, owner, Bella Jules Fashion Boutique

Cleaver is the founder and owner of Bella Jules Fashion Boutique located in West Reading, Pa. Bella Jules is the go-to spot for all local fashionistas — from stylish professionals to prom queens. The boutique has been outfitting the women of Reading since 2005. Prior to opening her own boutique, Juli worked as a buyer for Boscov’s for four years. She attended Drexel University before graduating from Albright College with a B.A. in design and merchandising. A dedicated alumna, Cleaver frequently takes on Albright students as interns.

Jenna Hunter ’22, visual merchandiser, Nordstroms

Hunter has worked with Nordstrom since 2018 and was gradually promoted to her current role as a visual merchandiser based in King of Prussia, where she oversees the At Home, Beauty and Women’s YA departments. Holding an Albright Bachelor of Arts in fashion design and merchandising degree, Hunter has always had an interest in visual merchandising. But she truly found her love for it through her time selling on the floor and during her time at Albright taking the visual merchandising class with Doreen Burdalski, chair and assistant professor of merchandising. One day, she hopes to grow as a leader within Nordstrom through her selling and visual experiences.

10:45-11:45 a.m. Concurrent breakout sessions:

Stephanie Franchetti ’09, vice president and merchandise manager, Burlington Stores

Franchetti has worked with Burlington Stores since 2011, starting her career as an assistant buyer. From there, Stephanie was promoted to associate buyer, then buyer, then senior buyer, then divisional merchandise manager. She was promoted to her current position as vice president in April 2022. Prior to joining Burlington, Stephanie was assistant home manager for Anthropologie. She graduated with highest honors from Albright College, during which time she completed two internships: a marketing internship with Wind-lock Corporation and Black Lab Apparel and a fashion internship with Frock Fashion Boutique.

Kailee Robinson ’22, owner, founder, Coquette Boudoir

Robinson is the founder and photographer of Coquette Boudoir — a luxury boudoir studio specializing in gender-inclusive, affirming and trauma-aware intimate photography. While earning her Albright degree in arts administration and fashion merchandising, Kailee gained a range of experience in the arts and fashion and curated her own exhibition in the Freedman Gallery’s project space while also working at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts – where she realized her depth of her passion for photography. Now operating out of a GoggleWorks studio, Robinson officially opened Coquette Boudoir before completing her Albright degree.

11:45-12:30 p.m. Lunch

12:30-1:30 p.m. Concurrent breakout sessions:                                             

Kimberly McGlonn, Ph.D., founder and CEO, Grant Blvd

McGlonn is an advocate for justice and environmentalism — advocacy that informs her approach to leadership in the fashion industry. (See full bio in keynote panel below.)

Bill Exaros ’91, director of store experience, Moose Knuckles

Exaros is a visual merchandising executive with a well-rounded background, encompassing more than 20 years of experience. He has led global luxury brands in establishing standards and best practices to elevate the client. Bill has held visual merchandising positions at Chanel, Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton and Starboard Cruise Services — an LVMH company. He is currently director of store experience with Moose Knuckles, an exceptional outerwear brand based in Canada. Bill earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Albright College and went on to earn a certificate in visual merchandising at Central St. Martins in Paris.

Nicole Anton ’19, senior pattern maker, A Wish Come True

Anton is a senior patternmaker at A Wish Come True, a costume manufacturing company in Bristol, Pa. She has worked there for the last three years after graduating with a degree in fashion design and merchandising from Albright College. Her main role is to create digital patterns graded for 15 sizes based on a designer’s sketch, using their inspiration, fabric swatches and references to previous styles to assist in the pattern making process. She guides a team of in-house sample fabric cutters and sewers to follow intended sewing operations of her patterns, then reviews the sample on a dress form with designers to ensure best fit and fulfillment of the initial sketch. Alongside pattern making, she creates custom digital prints for sublimated fabrics as well as rhinestone and vinyl appliqués for embellishing costumes. Many of her own designs have been published in the new dance catalogs, with one design becoming the second-best seller for 2021. Whether a pattern is for dance, color guard or cheer team, she loves being an integral part of the transformation from the sketch to the final presentation of the costume in the catalog or on the stage.

Industry panel on sustainability in the fashion industry, 2-3 p.m., Klein Lecture Hall

Moderator Elizabeth Quinn, assistant professor of design at Albright College

A Philadelphia-based designer with over 15 years of corporate experience as both a merchant and a designer, Quinn taught sustainable fashion design at Drexel and the University of Delaware prior to joining Albright College this fall. Her knowledge of industry and her understanding of intersectional approaches to design come together in the courses she teaches, including global issues and responsible practice in design, sustainable sportswear, textile science and material innovation in accessories. Recent research includes “Transforming Fashion Education by the Evolution of Design & Merchandising Education” and “Material Innovation and the Impermanence of Fashion.” Quinn also holds the position of director of impact at Grant Blvd — a sustainable apparel brand focused on training women in underserved communities for jobs in the fashion industry.

Panelists Kimberly McGlonn and Eleanor Turner

Turner is founder of the re-established brand, The Big Favorite — first established in the 1930s by Eleanor’s great-grandfather, producing reliable workwear that was sold in corner stores across the country. Eleanor earned a fashion design degree from Savannah College of Art and Design and spent more than a decade working the fashion industry — co-founding the women’s work apparel brand Argent and designing for iconic companies like Tommy Hilfiger, Tory Burch and J. Crew. Eleanor’s vision for The Big Favorite is to revolutionize fashion’s footprint from the bottom up by developing a better, more reliable, convenient and circular product. Since its November 2020 re-launch, The Big Favorite has been featured in Vogue and Fast Company, and has dressed fashion icons such as Nicole Richie, Christopher John Rogers and Alton Mason.

McGlonn is an advocate for justice and environmentalism — advocacy that informs her approach to leadership in the fashion industry. As founder and CEO of the manufacturing start-up and B corporation, Grant Blvd, she oversees the creative direction and growth strategy of the brand. Kimberly also disrupts by guiding other social entrepreneurs in discovering their purpose, via her digital community, “Build It Boldly” and her podcast, “School for Disrupters.” Her work has been featured by Fast Company, Inc Magazine, WWD, and has been funded by Beyonce’s BeyGood Foundation. In 2022 she was a recipient of the Visa’s She’s Next in Fashion Award and she was also honored with the Black Enterprise Business Disruptor of the Year award.

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