Young brands and designers need as much help as they can get when it comes to getting their businesses off the ground. Luckily, there are programs like FIT’s Design Entrepreneurs (FITDE), which acts as an intensive “mini-MBA” course for those accepted. Designers in the program develop the business skills to run and expand their labels and receive guidance in putting together a business plan, which, at the end of the program, make them eligible for massive cash prizes.
For the past eight years FITDE, a partnership between FIT and the New York City Economic Development Corporation, has helped over 150 emerging designers across the country. Alumni have included Thaddeus O’Neil, Lizzie and Darlene Okpo of William Okpo, Jordana Warmflash of Novis, and Megan Balch and Jamie Barker of Flagpole Swim.
View this post on Instagram
For those accepted, the program will begin in January 2019. After a reception, there will be three intensive weekends of classes, covering fashion business marketing, operations, and financial management. From February through April, designers will be given the opportunity to attend optional workshops and informal salons with iconic fashion figures. They will continue to work with industry mentors to complete their business plans, which they will present in June. A winner will be selected June 5th, with $100,000 and $50,000 being awarded to first and second place, respectively.
Emerging designers and brands in women’s wear, menswear, children’s wear, intimate apparel, accessories, and jewelry that have been open for at least one year are eligible. Those interested in the FITDE can submit their applications online, here. The deadline to apply is October 31.