CFDA partners with NYU, Columbia and Harvard business schools to launch fashion programs

NYU’s Stern School of Business MBA launches Stern Consulting Corps’ partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America, which pairs students with fashion designers for 10 weeks to provide advice on a variety of subjects, including business plans, e-commerce strategies, and cash flow projections.

The program, which just completed its fourth semester, matches Stern MBAs with designers—either a participant in CFDA’s Fashion Incubator or a more established CFDA member—and assigns each team an industry leader to provide guidance and feedback. This spring, the program matched 10 MBAs with New York City designers.

CFDA’s executive director, Lisa Smilor, was responsible for launching the partnership with Stern and says the program’s success has prompted the CFDA to seek partnerships with other MBA programs. “The benefit for our designers really comes from the information they are able to get from the Stern students,” Smilor says. “These students have the skills, the time, and the resources to be able to provide something tangible that the designers and entrepreneurs can act on.”

CFDA and Harvard Business School now work together to place MBA students in summer internships with such members as Kate Spade and Carolina Herrera, and the organization will partner with Columbia Business School beginning this Fall.

MBAs of NYU Stern program with CFDA