The Business Leaders of Tomorrow Part I

Friday, May 3rd marks the last day of the CFDA / NYU Stern School of Business Workshop. Established two years ago, MBA students from Stern are paired with both CFDA Members and {FASHION INCUBATOR} designers for ten weeks to work on a business development project.  The CFDA is incredibly proud of the 10 MBA candidates who worked closely with designers on projects ranging from e-commerce strategies, business plans, and consumer and market analysis. Meet the first half of the wonderful ladies who will undoubtedly be the business leaders of tomorrow.

Name: Catie Cambria

Hometown: Brooklyn Heights, NY

Designers you’re working with: Daniel Vosovic, Rogan/Loomstate

Background in 3 sentences or less

After graduating with an Art History degree from Princeton in 2006, I spent six years in the fashion public relations sector, working at Valentino, Donna Karan, and Cartier. I decided to pursue my MBA to transition into a marketing role within the luxury retail industry. This summer I will be an MBA Marketing intern in L’Oreal’s Luxury Division.

What did you enjoy most about the CFDA/Stern Workshop?

It’s been a pleasure to help my designers with real life business decisions and problems. This is a wonderful opportunity to work with incredibly talented people and apply my MBA coursework in a meaningful way.

One day I hope to…be on the C-Suite of a luxury fashion house. Dreaming big!


Name: M. Alison Melville       

Hometown: NYC (TriBeCa!), NY

Designers you’re working with: Tess Giberson, Robert Geller, Whit, Loeffler Randall

Background in 3 sentences or less

Prior to Stern, I worked in Production, Planning, Operations and Supply Chain for various designers and retailers.  While at Stern, I’ve been freelance consulting in the retail industry, and I spent my summer in Coach’s Summer MBA Intern program in Global Merchandising.  I’m excited to be joining Coach’s International Strategy team after graduation.

What did you find most helpful about the CFDA/Stern Workshop?

The advisors – the depth and breadth of their knowledge is an invaluable resource!

One day I hope to…return to Stern as a Keynote speaker for the annual Luxury Retail conference and encourage MBA students to bring their education to bear in the retail industry!


Name: Connie Chen

Hometown: Orange County, California

Designer you’re working with: Reece Hudson

Background in 3 sentence or less

I have over five years of experience as a marketing professional in the luxury and lifestyle space, specializing in digital and PR.  My passion is marrying business with creativity and design in a way that delivers value to the bottom line while maintaining artistic integrity and brand equity.  Currently, I’m a part of the Class of 2014 MBA candidates at the NYU Stern School of Business concentrating on Luxury Marketing and Strategy.

What did you find most helpful about the CFDA/Stern Workshop?

The CFDA/Stern Consulting Corp partnership is a big part of why I decided to come to Stern. It has been an amazing experience developing valuable skills in the business of fashion industry by helping talented, emerging designers solve real problems and to fulfill their dreams.

One day I hope to…have made an impact in the luxury industry and further bridged the gap between design and business, whether it be at a luxury goods conglomerate or in my own business. I also hope to one day have traveled to all the continents, be scuba diving certified, actually know what I’m doing with my SLR camera, and have been to a real disco.


Name: Crystal Ung

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Designer you’re working with: Reece Hudson

Background in 3 sentences or less

Prior to attending business school at NYU Stern, I worked in Global Portfolio Management at the Walt Disney Company in Corporate Real Estate where I managed an 18 million square feet portfolio and developed metrics and reporting for executive management. I also have experience in entrepreneurship, e-commerce, and fashion having started and operated an online boutique and worked as an editorial wardrobe stylist. I received a BA in History from UCLA and I am currently focusing on Entrepreneurship and Innovation at NYU Stern.

What did you enjoy most or find most helpful about the CFDA/Stern Workshop?

The CFDA/Stern workshop was invaluable in giving me an overview and framework to understand the business of fashion. It provided a foundation to begin to think strategically about how to approach our project.

3. One day I hope to… run my own start-up in e-commerce and fashion, with a broader mission to empower women. I also plan to pursue philanthropic endeavors in human rights and be an active alumnus of NYU Stern and UCLA.


Name: Kay Schneider

Hometown: New York, NY

Designers you’re working with:  John Bartlett & Tess Giberson


I graduated from Cornell University with a BS in textile and apparel design and I’m currently attending NYU Stern School of Business to receive an MBA in luxury & retail. My extensive experience in line development from concept to production as a designer is matched an understanding of organizational systems, problem solving, and management. I am also an MBA retail leadership associate at The Jones Group.

What did you find most helpful about the CFDA/Stern Workshop?

The SCC/CFDA Development Project has provided an amazing experiential learning platform for MBA candidates like me who wish to continue to work in the fashion community upon graduation. The most rewarding aspects of the program were attending the designer shows at NY Fashion Week and Market Day, building relationships with everyone involved in the program, receiving expert guidance from industry leaders we had the fortune to work with, and delivering real added value to these emerging fashion businesses and their designers.

3. One day I hope to… run a luxury fashion brand.


Photographs by: Dario Calmese