All workshops will be led by industry professionals and experienced FIT faculty.


Jeanette Nostra

Jeanette Nostra, president of G-III Apparel Group, Ltd., is the program’s industry liaison. Drawing on more than 30 years of experience in the fashion business, she brings to her role strong expertise in operations, merchandising, marketing, strategic planning, and brand management. Ms. Nostra will serve as a mentor to students, reviewing the curriculum, mining her extensive connections for guest speakers, and hosting program events.

Ms. Nostra is a creative, high-energy senior executive with a demonstrated ability to evaluate business plans, identify opportunities and obstacles, and develop and deploy new business strategies in challenging environments. At G-III, Ms. Nostra now focuses primarily on strategic development of the business in Europe. Most recently, she has expanded Andrew Marc, a G-III subsidiary, into a full lifestyle brand with 10 product categories and eight license partners. Previously, she was responsible for sales, marketing, merchandising, and product development resulting in over $300 million in annual wholesale sales. Her extensive experience includes structuring licensing agreements with such companies as Kenneth Cole, Nine West, Jones Apparel, and Cole Haan.


Mary Beth Budd

Mary Beth Budd is the owner of MBA Productions, Inc., a dancewear business whose Trienawear line has sold in more than 500 retail stores and mail-order catalogues, and online through Amazon and the company’s own site. A frequent consultant to start-up apparel companies, she also teaches Marketing to Boutiques, a course offered through FIT’s Enterprise Center.

As a professional ballerina, Ms. Budd performed for over 22 years, touring throughout the U.S. before settling in New York City as a member of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. During that time, she launched Trienawear, starting with $15 worth of fabric remnants bought in the Garment District. The company is known in the dance community for its print designs, feminine details, and exacting fit and quality standards.

Ms. Budd studied fashion design, marketing, and business management at FIT, Parsons The New School for Design, the American Women’s Economic Development Corp., and New York University. She earned a BS in chemistry at the University of Notre Dame and an MS in analytical chemistry from the University of Florida.

Shawn Grain Carter

Shawn Grain Carter is an Associate Professor. Her career began as an Executive at Bloomingdale’s. In 1986 she launched Bergdorf Goodman’s Home Furnishings Division “The Home on Seven.” Years later she joined Ann Taylor Stores as a Buyer of Dresses, Sportswear, and Accessories until 1991. Subsequently, she became Merchandising Director at a European luxury brand MCM. Her responsibilities included marketing for Canada, the United States and Japan.

In 1997, Macy’s lured her with a promise to launch their website Macy’s.Com. Her responsibilities included Designer Sportswear such as Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. Professor Carter was selected as a Visiting Scholar and Lecturer at the University of Huddersfield, England in 2004.

Ms. Carter received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia. She serves on the Board of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

Peter W. Chan

Peter W. Chan is an assistant professor of Production Management at FIT, and an adjunct lecturer at Parsons, The New School for Design. An entrepreneur, he is co-founder of Sunrise Studio, Inc., a high-end sample and production contractor located in the New York City Garment District, with clients including Calvin Klein Collection, Derek Lam Collection, Helmut Lang, and The Row. Chan gained extensive production experience with Donna Karan Collection, Halston, and Amsale before he and his partner established the Sunrise Studio Inc. in 2004.

He holds two Bachelor of Science degrees from FIT, in Apparel Production Management and in Textiles Production Management. In addition, he holds an MBA and an MS from the University of Illinois at Urbana, and a Master in Professional Studies from Cornell University in Industrial Labor Relations.

David Linwood Colby

David Linwood Colby, Esq., is an Attorney at Law and Managing Director at Colby Law Office, P.C. a New York City based law firm specializing in representing entrepreneurs and start-up business. Mr. Colby’s areas of practice include contracts and agreements, business formation and organization, trademark and copyright, licensing, business planning, government relations, and compliance.

As a life-long business entrepreneur, David brings a unique perspective top his legal counseling. Hi experience includes founding, operating, and selling several business ventures, working in a London law firm and in Washington DC as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the U.S. Small Business Administration

Mr. Colby teaches Legal Basics for Business Start-ups, Negotiation Strategies, and Business Planning Strategy at FIT’s Enterprise Center. He is also an adjunct professor at Parsons The New School for Design, a member of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, and a frequent lecturer on entrepreneurship and social goals for business. He holds a JD from the University of New Hampshire School of Law.

Bill D'Arienzo

Bill D’Arienzo is the founder and CEO of Wm. D’Arienzo Associates, Inc., offering training seminars and consulting to help clients achieve their brand-strategy and business goals. He is also CEO of ApparelAnalytics, an online consumer research service. He is an adjunct professor at Rider University in New Jersey, and runs the Brand Management Experience Program in FIT’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

With 25 years as a consultant, Mr. D’Arienzo has run seminars and lectured widely on marketing and branding strategies. He has made presentations to the retail and wholesale sectors of the apparel and related industries, executives from China and Japan, and audiences in countries including India and Spain.

Mr. D’Arienzo’s career includes experience as a divisional president, senior marketing executive, and business school lecturer. He has been featured and quoted in publications such as WWD, the Los Angeles Times, U.S. News & World Report, and The New York Times. He holds a BA from Ohio State University, an MA from the City University of New York, and a PhD from The New School for Social Research. He has been a Ford Foundation Fellow at Vanderbilt University and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at Princeton University. His book, By George! Lessons in Leadership from George Washington, CEO, was published in 2010.

Lawrence C. DeParis

Lawrence C. DeParis, CPA has more than 30 years of fashion industry experience with particular concentration in the areas of strategy, finance, human resources, operations and general management. Mr. DeParis has served in various senior executive capacities at leading fashion and apparel companies including Calvin Klein, Inc. (SVP, CFO) ESCADA (USA) Inc. (President, CEO, COO, CFO), Nat Nast Luxury Originals (President, CEO) and is currently with LT Apparel Group (CFO). He began his career in public accounting, becoming an Audit Manager in the Emerging Business Services Practice of Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers).

Mr. DeParis is a board member of the Retail Marketing Society, a Master Class instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Director of the Bart J. Ruggiere 9-11 Memorial Fund. He holds a BA in accounting and economics from Queens College, CUNY and will complete his MBA in International Business at the University of Scranton’s Kania School of Business in spring 2014.

Melissa Hall

Melissa Hall has more than 12 years of experience in marketing and fashion. She worked in account management at Draftfcb and Leo Burnett, working on brands such as Kraft, Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, and KFC before moving to New York to start her career in fashion. She teaches in FIT’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, and manages the social media for Design Entrepreneurs NYC. For the past three years, she has produced Social Media Week in New York and has worked with companies such as Women's Wear Daily, Swarovski, and InStyle on a variety of projects. With more than eight years of retail sales on both the consumer and business-to-business end, as well as styling and writing experience, Ms. Hall provides clients and brand partners with a 360 view of the fashion industry.

In 2012, to help designers combine their design talent with the business of fashion, she started The Emerging Designer, a network for up-and-coming creative professionals that offers editorial exposure, marketing advice, educational meetup opportunities, and consulting services.

A Chicago native, Ms. Hall holds a BS in advertising from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and earned a second degree, in Fashion Design, at Parsons The New School of Design.

Sandra Holtzman

Sandra Holtzman, an award-winning creative director and marketing strategist with over 20 years experience, is the president and founder of Holtzman Communications. Her areas of expertise include business-to-business, international, and consumer marketing, building management teams, licensing, and business development.

Ms. Holtzman has worked with Fortune 500 companies and start-ups on products and services as varied as the Honda Acura and Benadryl decongestant, for which she helped create one of the most successful pharma ads ever run.

Ms. Holtzman is chair of the New York Chapter of the Licensing Executives Society. She advises companies developing business plans for funding and is a certified Kauffman Institute Fast Trac facilitator. She teaches licensing at FIT’s Enterprise Center.

Susan Power

Susan Power has been providing sourcing information to apparel industry professionals since 1988. She is the creator and former co-publisher of the T.I.P. Resource Guide (originally The Designer's Fabric and Trim Resource Guide), By The Yard Fabric and Trim Sourcing Guide, and Sourcing News.

Among Ms. Power’s current publications is The Designer's Guide, a comprehensive guide for large and small manufacturers who need to buy fabric and trim, updated quarterly. Textile Sources Who's Who highlights American and Canadian mills, converters, textile importers, and agents. By The Yard Resource Guide lists wholesale resources for fabric and trim, and The Contractors provides resources for pre-production services and includes cut-and-sew contractors, knitters, and finishing specialists, including printers. Her newest title, The Sourcer's Guide, is a compilation of information included in the other guides plus additional resources for fabrics, trims, yarns, fiber producers, and service providers, including trade organizations and associations.

In addition to publishing in print and online, Ms. Power is a fashion and textile industry consultant and a producer of industry seminars and conferences.

Andy Ward

Andy Ward is a third-generation apparel executive with more than 25 years of fashion industry experience in sales, product development, branding, retailing, technology development, and education. He began his career as a merchandiser in Hong Kong for Evan Picone Ladies and Gant Shirts before starting UBA, Inc., a private-label manufacturer that has provided products to every major department store in the country.

Mr. Ward is the acting executive director of the Garment Industry Development Corporation (GIDC), a nonprofit providing sales, branding, sourcing, and marketing consultations to over 300 businesses annually. He is responsible for GIDC’s Showroom New York, a showroom and incubator for emerging talent that provides a “home in the marketplace” for ten women’s apparel and accessories designers each season. He also serves on the board of the CFDA’s Fashion Incubator, working with individual designers as a business consultant.

Mr. Ward teaches in FIT’s Fashion Merchandising Management Department and developed the Enterprise Center’s noncredit Tools of the Trade for Fashion Design series.

Yolanda Wardowski

Yolanda Wardowski has more than 15 years of M&A/Finance execution and strategic advisory experience completing public and private sale transactions, debt and equity capital raising and strategic advisory assignments for companies in the Fashion & Retail industry.

With senior positions at J.P. Morgan, Ernst & Young, 94th Street Capital and currently Avalon Group, Yolanda has worked with both public and private companies and entrepreneurs in the apparel/accessories, retail, luxury, personal care, and food/beverage sectors. Since 2000, Yolanda has also been actively involved with early stage Consumer Technology and Internet Retail companies advising entrepreneurs and small businesses on their growth strategy, capital needs and operations, and positioning them for a successful Angel/Seed or Series A and B financing rounds.

Yolanda is an advisory board member for FIT’s Global Fashion Management Master of Professional Studies program. She is also an advisor to the CFDA {Fashion Incubator}, FashInvest, Astia, The Tory Burch Foundation, Springboard Enterprises and Fashion Fellows. She is a member of the Board of Directors and the Advisory Board for Plum Perfect, Bambeco, Frontier Innovations Foundation and the NYC Dean’s Advisory Council for WLU. Yolanda holds an Honors BA in Finance/Economics from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.

Gary Wassner

Gary Wassner, co-CEO of Hilldun Corporation, has provided financing and factoring for many of America's iconic labels, including Derek Lam, Peter Som, Jason Wu, Maria Cornejo, Yeohlee, Alexander Wang, Nanette Lepore, Twinkle, Zang Toi, Vivienne Westwood, Thom Browne, Betsey Johnson, Marc Jacobs, and Alexis Bittar.

Recently named one of Fashionista’s “50 Most Influential People in New York Fashion,” Mr. Wassner is a member of the CFDA’s advisory board and mentor for its Fashion Incubator program, an advisory board member of Fordham Law School’s Fashion Law Institute, and a member of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Fashion Industry Working Group. He is an ardent supporter of the “Save the Garment Center” movement and other causes that promote and aid New York City’s fashion industry.
Mr. Wassner holds a master’s degree in philosophy and is the author of titles including the Gemquest sci-fi/fantasy series and The Mystery of the Jubilee Emerald, a children’s book.