To kick off Black History Month, the famed Fashion Institute of Technology held an alumni networking event and panel that celebrated the values encapsuated in this heritage month.
Held at the Katie Murphy Amphitheatre in New York City, the event Outsiders Are In: Paving the Way As A Black Creative invited alumni from the institution and industry leaders to speak about the creative landscape and navigating it as a member of the Black diaspora. The evening was hosted by FIT's Black Retail Action Group and Black Student Union.
Attendees took time to interact with one another during a private mixer exclusive for students and alumni. They also had an opportunity to listen to Black creatives who are blazing trails in their own right. Vice President of Global Licensing at Kate Spade New York Jackee de Lagarde took time to speak about her experience in the fashion industry as an alumna of FIT. She also spoke about being a part of Tapestry's employee network and how she benefits as a Black professional. Nicole Finigan Ndzibah, the inaugural executive director of the Social Justice Center at FIT also took time to share about the work happening at the new addition to the school.
Later, a panel discussion was moderated by Kiana Brooks, a buyer at Chanel and member of the FIT Alumni Advisory Council. Panelists included creative director at Weatherproof Vintage Alex Chimilio; journalist and author Abi Ishola-Ayodeji; executive assistant to Dapper Dan and assistant buyer at Macy's Ashley Stephenson; senior public relations manager at Louis Vuitton Devan Lynne Wallace; and civil rights activist DeRay McKesson. EBONY's Editor-In-Chief and Senior Vice President of Programming Marielle Bobo also spoke on the panel.
Check out a few moments from the event below: