Inside Graduate Studies

LIM College Graduate Students Travel to Seattle to Attend 2014 Summit

Posted by Paul Mucciarone on Thu, Oct 16, 2014 @ 11:48 AM


More than 5,400 students and professionals gathered in Seattle for the Summit, a 2½ day event specifically for digital and multichannel retailers. Attendees got the rush of discovering new ideas while building strong relationships with the brightest and most innovative players in the digital retail world.


Theodora Papamihalakis and Nargiza Dakmak were given the opportunity to attend the event in Seattle. Both MBA students were chosen by LIM College based on an essay submission and their passion to pursue a career in ecommerce.  


At the summit, a variety of panel discussions took place including  a keynote speech by Jamie Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom stores, who told Student Program attendees at the Summit that the company’s location is a reminder that retailers must constantly innovate or risk extinction. “When you stop evolving with your customer, you die,” he said. He was passionate about his retail journey and encouraged students to work in retail.


As part of the Summit Student Program, students had the opportunity to sit down with retail veterans. Students received career advice and learned what soft skills are needed to successfully transition from the classroom to the workplace. Theodora and Nargiza both got the opportunity to be mentored by Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, CEO and Co-Founder of Gilt Groupe, Mindi Grossman, CEO of HSN and more. Check out this YouTube video of the mentoring session from (LIM College MBA students Theodora and Nargiza make their brief appearance 00:56 seconds into the video) 


LIM College graduates also were given  a tour of Amazon from one of its communications reps. Amazon has what is probably the biggest urban office space in the world. Its main offices are just a few blocks from Lake Union, right in the heart of Seattle. It's less than 30 minute walk from downtown, or tourist spots like Pike Place Market, or nice neighborhoods like Queen Anne. Amazon's buildings blend right in with their urban environment. Walking past Amazon's buildings, you wouldn't even realize you were in the middle of its corporate headquarters unless someone told you. 

2014-09-29_16.58.57Theodora and Nargiza in Amazon's Lobby

this-art-is-in-the-lobby-of-day-1-northArtwork features in Lobby of Amazon's Day 1 North Building

dogs_at_amazonAmazon is a dog friendly work environment where employees can bring their dogs to work 

Topics: Nordstrom, fashion, retail environment, seattle, Ecommerce,

CEO Speaker Series: Daniella Vitale, COO and SVP of Barneys New York

Posted by Paul Mucciarone on Tue, Oct 07, 2014 @ 01:22 PM

Work ethic, leadership and mentoring are the three key points Daniella Vitale, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Barneys New York, spoke about at the most recent CEO Speaker Series at LIM College Center for Graduate Studies. Students eagerly listened to the advice Daniella voiced to MBA and MPS students along with the esteemed faculty and members of the college.

daniella 1

"Work ethic is a skill of one's personal development" mentioned Daniella Vitale to the audience of attentive students. Barneys’ chief operating officer and senior executive vice president urged graduates to endure their first jobs with vigor, insisting that a positive attitude will serve them well. She also offered to, “...enjoy what you do. Have fun and laugh along the way because people underestimate the power of humor and how that shapes a career. I know that my success has also been being able to laugh at many situations over my tenure in this industry.”

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Graduating from LIM College years back, Daniella spoke of her many jobs throughout her career. Starting from Ferragamo to Gucci and ending at Barneys New York, leadership has always been present in her positions from assistant merchandiser to senior vice president. She mentioned that her mentors, two people with whom she worked while she was at Gucci and Ferragamo, kept her driven to succeed and move on to bigger and better positions.

group picJacqueline Jenkins, Director Of Graduate Studies, Daniella Vitale, David Freschman, CEO of FashInvest

Daniella Vitale delivered the keynote address at LIM College’s 75th annual commencement exercises on May 22 at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York.  Daniella received LIM College’s Distinguished Achievement Award and an honorary Doctor of Commercial Science degree at the ceremony. “I am honored to receive this recognition and more importantly getting any opportunity to speak to a graduating class on all the good things to come,” said Vitale.

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Graduate students at CEO Speaker Series Event at LIM College Maxwell Hall

group 3MBA students at CEO Speaker Series event at Maxwell Hall

Topics: mps, MBA, LIM, barneys ny, fashinvest

Fashion Industry Mentoring Opportunities for Graduate Students

Posted by Paul Mucciarone on Wed, Jun 25, 2014 @ 02:12 PM


mentoring event

Whether you aspire to become a buyer, a merchandiser, a PR manager or an e-commerce expert, "making it" in the fashion industry doesn't come easy. Mentoring events are an essential activity for graduate students because it provides a systematic way to meet and speak with professionals in the fashion industry who can offer advice, encouragement, and support concerning future career goals.


Every mentor has something to offer, and the benefits of mentoring can go both ways.  Mentors have information, contacts and perspectives to share which can help students to more clearly focus on their long term ambitions, hidden talents and skills as well as how to map out a strategy to achieve professional goals. 



For a mentor, it means stepping back from the routine, giving a glimpse of what the future could be like, and of their everyday lives in a broader context.  Mentoring helps our students see themselves in terms of their ultimate potential to contribute to the fashion industry.

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 (Bird's eye view of mentoring event)


(MPS Students With Mentor, Nicole Porco - Account Executive at LF USA)

LIM College’s inaugural Mentoring Event offered MPS students the opportunity to hear firsthand from fashion industry professionals who are also alumni of LIM College. They shared their journey and experiences leading to their current positions.  The event took place in Maxwell Hall, where LIM College’s alumni mentors gathered to share their experiences within the fields of merchandising, planning, buying, management, e-commerce, global licensing and more. They opened the program by sharing their advice for getting started in the industry. 


(Mentor Gina Mercatili, Merchandising Coordinator at Barclays Center & Brooklyn Nets, with MPS students)

“Network, network, network…” Jacquelyn Wenzel, President of JWmerchandising, mentioned to our MPS students at the event. Along with  Erica Young, eCommerce Marketing Manager for Ashley Stewart, their advice to the  students was that networking and maintaining relationships is going to be their biggest asset in “making it” in the fashion industry. While another mentor, Gina Mercatili, Merchandising Coordinator at Barclays Center & Brooklyn Nets encouraged the MPS students, “to know the value their work and never forget what they’re worth”. Nina Pantano, Associate Inventory Planner at P&G Fragrances at Macy's reminded the students that, “you learn something every single day and by acting like a sponge, absorbing as much as you can from everyone you meet can help greatly in your career”.  


(From Left to Right: Erica Young, eCommerce Marketing Manager, Ashley Stewart, Jacquelyn Wenzel, President at JWmerchandising)

Keithen Polk, MPS Fashion Merchandising student, was the key note speaker for the event. Keithen mentioned that, “having a mentor is an extremely important key to succeed in our careers because they can provide direction, knowledge and experience in order to be led on the right path.” 


(Nina Pantano - Associate Inventory Planner - P&G Fragrances at Macy's with MPS student)

“Believe it to achieve it to live it. Think about it.”-Keithen Polk 


(Steven Robinson - Sr. Director of Sales and Merchandising - Juniors/Girls 4-16 at Xing Lin USA International)

The MPS Mentoring Event concluded with our graduate students having the chance to speak in small groups with the mentors. After our students wrapped up their conversations, the remainder of the evening featured “free networking” allowing our graduate students to strike up conversations with any other mentors.  All in all, there were a lot of business cards exchanged and many valuable relationships were started. The students left the event with useful advice that will help them navigate their career goals and valuable professional connections.



(Rahul Zala - Operations Analyst: Warranty and Repairs Department at Alexander Wang with MPS students)


(Jacquelyn Wenzel, President at JWmerchandising, sitting with MPS students)

(Rahul Zala, MBA - LIM COLLEGE ALUMNI 2013)


(Luwam Gebremedhin, MBA - LIM COLLEGE ALUMNI 2012)




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Topics: LIM College, mps, networking, fashion, Mentoring, professionals, careers, fashion master's degree, fashion careers, fashion education

CEO Speaker Series: Michael Gould On Leadership

Posted by Paul Mucciarone on Mon, Jun 16, 2014 @ 03:54 PM


 “Every one of us has it in themselves to be a leader”, said former CEO of Bloomingdale’s, Michael Gould, inspiring the graduate students of LIM College. In his most recent visit to LIM, he participated as the keynote speaker in the CEO Speaker Series where he gave a presentation about leadership, integrity, discovering opportunity and following your curiosity. 

Michael Gould


Michael Gould is known for encouraging today’s young professionals to become leaders. Having decades of  retail experience under his belt, , he has learned that leadership doesn’t come easy unless you work for a company that will provide opportunities to allow growth and empowerment which eventually lead to leadership roles. During the 2008 economic crisis, Bloomingdale’s, like many other companies at the time, had to make strategicbudget cuts, but Michael Gould prevented any decrease in spending for employee leadership training.  “You need to give people the opportunity to grow, that’s what it’s about. You can’t stop learning. Life is about education.” Mr. Gould is a strong believer that having trust and allowing others to trust you contributes to the leaders that are born or created in an organization like Bloomingdale’s. Mr. Gould clearly mentions that becoming a leader starts with integrity and is followed by intellectual curiosity. 

“The most precious and tangible quality of leadership is trust” – Michael Gould, Former CEO Of Bloomingdales

ceo and director

Living in the generation where every aspect of our lives are being supported or enhanced by new technology, Michael Gould passionately spoke about how brick-and-mortar channels can avoid disintegrating.

He mentioned that if “four-wall businesses” are creative they have a far better opportunity than they ever before.  “We’ve been going to the market since the time of the Greeks. We want to be connected. I don’t see brick and mortar going away. You can’t make a connection online. You can go to the store and make a connection.” 

Post-Bloomingdale's, Michael Gould is occupying his time ensuring that leaders are being encouraged daily. During his speech he frequently referred to American writer John Gardner and his essay on personal renewal, which he himself refers to daily for his own personal renewal.  “I want to be relevant. I want to continue to learn....The day anyone on the job stops learning, that’s the day you take the pictures off your desk and go somewhere else to work.”


Topics: LIM College, Bloomingdales, CEO, grad school, Leadership

10 Reasons Why You’ll Love Studying At LIM College

Posted by Paul Mucciarone on Tue, May 20, 2014 @ 04:31 PM

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Coming to study in the Big Apple? LIM College's Center for Graduate Studies is the best choice for practical and theoretical training in the business of fashion! Here at LIM College, we are sure that your academic knowledge and professional career will rise all the way to the top of the Empire State Building! 

lim nyc street phoyo

10 Reasons Why You’ll Love LIM College:

  • The City that Never Sleeps, the Capital of the World, whatever you want to call it, New York is an exciting place to live. There is always good food, new Broadway shows, and plenty of opportunities to visit a museum or two. From student discounts to countless inexpensive dining options, you don’t have to break the bank to go to grad school. Some of the best things to do in New York are free or cost very little: visit Central Park, grab a Citibike and ride down the West Side Highway to Battery Park while taking in the amazing views of the Hudson River!

  • Access to industry professionals is an important component of an LIM College education. CEO Speaker Series and Fashion Insiders Speaker Series are just two of the many ways LIM College exposes their students to industry experts who in their unique way, have made their mark on the fashion world.

    ceo at lim
  • Internships will provide you with intensive hands-on experience in the fashion industry. Symplicity is LIM College's jobs and internships database. Students can search for full-time positions before graduation and internships while an LIM College student. Some of the companies where our MBA students have interned include Chanel, Bergdorf Goodman, Michael Kors and more. 

  • All coursework revolves around the fashion industry. LIM College is exclusively devoted to the business of fashion. The best way to grow in this challenging and competitive field is to focus your classroom learning on the industry thus becoming a true fashion expert.  

  • Small classes, many of which focus on active learning based methods that involve “hands-on,” experience-based classroom work. 

    small classrooms
  • LIM College Professors understand the fashion universe inside and out. LIM College faculty members are published authors, nationally known experts, in-demand speakers and experienced professionals in every aspect of the business of fashion. They’re also dedicated teachers who care about your professional and personal success. Professors work closely with students offering professional industry experience with a personal approach.

career fair
  • Friday Seminars Series aid students by exploring many subjects that are vital to the fashion industry. Covering a variety of topics such as social media in retailing, Adobe Photoshop, design sketching and much more, these weekly seminars prepare you to a become well-rounded professional in the fashion industry. 

  • The Department of Experiential Education & Career Management at LIM College welcomes companies to our campus for many kinds of recruiting events, including Career Fairs and on-campus interviews for graduate students seeking jobs and internships. 

  • As you pursue an advanced degree at LIM College, you’ll experience the energy and excitement of urban life.  LIM College offers a friendly, close-knit environment where each student feels like they are part of a family. A truly rewarding college experience means a lot more than just going to class, working on class projects, and gaining experience in the industry. At LIM College, we know that attending graduate events, exploring the city, making important professional connections and forming lifelong friendships are just as important as your classroom studies.

    urban life

 (In photo: Jacqueline Jenkins, Director of Graduate Studies at LIM College, with graduate students)


Topics: admission, life in NYC, 5th Ave., grad school

Beyond The Textbooks: FundingPost Event

Posted by Paul Mucciarone on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 @ 11:56 AM


LIM College's Center for Graduate Studies offers more than executive training needed to succeed in the fashion industry. Here at LIM College, students are given the opportunity to go beyond their textbooks. On Thursday April 10, 2014, David Freschman, a professor at LIM College and CEO of Fashinvest, invited his Investing in New Ventures MBA class to a digital media & entertainment investing conference in New York City.  Students who attended were able to see firsthand what venture capitalists and investors do to find promising small businesses.

“Attending events such as the Fundingpost one, gave me a firsthand experience with expert individuals from the industry. Listening to the VC's speak was very influential and a once in a lifetime learning experience as an MBA student at LIM College. I will be able take what I learned with me in my future endeavors.” – Keri Murphy, Current MBA Student

funding post

mba studentleft to right: Keri Murphy, MBA Student, Cristina Munoz, MBA Student, David Freschman, CEO of FashInvest, Theodora Papamihalakis, MBA Student

The event consisted of three panel discussions with expert investors. The first panel discussed early stage investing and how to meet investors, pitch to them and the details of what it takes to get them to actually invest. The second panel discussed how to grow media and entertainment businesses. They went into great detail about how to protect, sell and partner up for future growth. The last panel talked about the newest investing trend called crowd funding and how businesses can use it to their advantage. David Freschman, moderator of the last panel discussion, spoke briefly about exit strategies and personal experiences with companies.

Exhibiting companies gave live elevator pitches in person to the panel of investors during the event. Before and after each panel there was time for networking with the panel of investors where insights and advice were exchanged.

“Education is all encompassing.  It’s not about textbooks, smart boards, or classrooms only. In today's competitive world it's about real life experiences that translate into real life knowledge. Having my students see the real world and meeting the industry influencers is what sets the LIM College MBA apart from other programs.” –David Freschman

Topics: LIM College, graduate school, fashion business, venture capitalist, MBA

Life after MBA: Michelle Reid, Co-Founder of

Posted by Paul Mucciarone on Tue, Apr 29, 2014 @ 01:24 PM

lim banner

LIM College’s graduate program breeds entrepreneurs. After graduating, new alumni are thirsty to own their own businesses. Michelle Reid, an MBA student specializing in entrepreneurship is using the tools that LIM College has provided in order to embark upon her journey to become successful. Hailing from Kingston, Jamaica, Michelle lives in Harlem, New York City and will be graduating in May, 2014.

In 2012, Michelle and her two partners started is a style social network that allows people to photo-share their personal style, network and buy and sell fashion products. The company's mission is to inspire others and represent everyone who loves fashion. Michelle Reid believes, “Fashions come and go but style is forever!” is currently running and showcasing New York City’s most stylish people caught on camera by the company’s scouts. Viewers also have the ability to register their username to join the mobile app that is planned to launch in the summer of 2014.

Flycatcha 2

Michelle Reid mentions, “We are more than a fashion blog…" will release their mobile app, available on iOS, Android, Windows and RIM, in summer 2014 allowing users to share their style each day, rate looks, comment and message each other.  Registered users will be able to set up profiles, explore other posts, as well as view photos of the stylish people with diverse styles. Anyone interested in using the mobile app may pre-register their username via the website. 

Flycatcha 1

The name of the company came about back in 2008, in New York City and was tweaked along the way. It symbolizes that if there is a fly trend, look or item, will catch it. With an initial seed investment, the development of the website and mobile app have been improving since its inception. Michelle and her team hope to take her company public in addition to opening up brand extensions, like public relations and style publications. 

“I will always want to be involved in the company, though I want to sell it and create other businesses...I'm a serial entrepreneur.” – Michelle Reid

LIM College has prepared Michelle with useful business tools in finance, accounting and marketing to continue to grow and expand into new businesses. She hopes that with the great success of, she will be able to give back to her LIM College community. Her most memorable experience in graduate school was in her Capstone class, where she refined her business plan and presented it to future investors that gave her useful feedback. 

Please support by visiting the website and following via social media! @Flycatcha on Instagram and Twitter



Topics: LIM College, fashion business school, Entrepreneur, graduate, MBA, fashion mba program

CEO Speaker Series: Bud Konheim, Nicole Miller

Posted by Paul Mucciarone on Thu, Apr 17, 2014 @ 11:31 AM


Our most recent addition to the CEO Speaker Series was CEO and co-founder of Nicole Miller, Bud Konheim. Along with Mr. Konheim came Andrea Marron, Director of E-commerce and Retail. They chatted with the MBA and MPS students of LIM College. Director of Graduate Studies, Jacqueline Jenkins, introduced the keynote speakers.

CEO with J.jenkinsFrom left to right: Bud Konheim, CEO and Co-founder of Nicole Miller, Jacqueline Jenkins, Graduate Studies Director, Dr. Christopher Cyphers, Executive Vice President of LIM College

Mr. Konheim started by mentioning four real life stories he wanted to tell the MBA and MPS students. Each story had a point behind it. He begins his first story about how me met Nicole Miller and how teaming up with her introduced innovation for the Nicole Miller company. “Were standing on an acre of diamonds, and were not dumb to bend down and pick them up”, Bud Konheim mentions. 

Nicole Miller CEO

Bud Konheim’s entire career was built around recognizing and seizing the opportunities he was presented with.  He began his second story about how the Nicole Miller Company entered the tie business. One day, Nicole Miller was drawing a print which featured a bundle of theater tickets and one of the tickets had the letters MET across it, representing a ticket from the Metropolitan Opera House. They had ordered a bunch of dresses with this print and you if you can imagine, they were loud and disastrous. It was Bud’s genius idea, an opportunity that no one expected would be so profitable, to request a tie to be made out this loud print to accompany his quirky sense of style. A few days later they had 36 ties with this one of kind print. At that point in the world, everyone was wearing navy and red stripe ties with white shirts and navy suits, very MAD MENish. No one deviated from that color scheme. Recently opening up Nicole Miller Madison Avenue location, which still stands, they sent the ties not knowing what to do with them but sell them off as belts or a dog leashes. A gentleman shopping in the store asked to borrow one of the ties. Oh so conveniently, the gentleman happened to be the guard at the Metropolitan Opera House who took the tie back to the buyer of the gift shop. The tie was a big hit. The buyer went back to Nicole Miller and purchasded the remaining ties and placed a order for 300 more.   

“Innovation is around you all the time, there’s not a piece of anything that is lost if you suck it all in and use it.” - Bud Konheim

Nicole knew she had fun drawing prints of subway tokens, Chiclet boxes pretty much anything from the bottom of her purse. This led to million dollar tie deals that were selling Nicole Miller ties at Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdales without making one sales call. Popularity grew because of the boldness of prints and this directed Nicole Miller focus to create a new print featuring baseball, football and basketball sports. A phone call from Larry Bird, who persistently requested a tie featuring his jersey, led to the creation of the story about the “thousand dollar tie” by Nicole Miller that landed the pages of Sports Illustrated.

“A really good designer isn’t a snappy talker. A good designer is visual.” - Bud Konheim

Nicole Miller logo 2

“Having the passion and motivation makes you a great designer”- Bud Konheim

Bud’s third story was about how Nicole Miller sub-labeled her designs with JC Penny. After discussing with Nicole, Bud’s point was that if the company wanted to sell America, it would take a risk to start distributing in JC Penny. Currently their clients were Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and more, but that’s was only a small fraction of America for the prices of their fashions. Bud feared for the Nicole Miller Company because the last time a designer had sub-labelled with a huge retailer was Halston and that didn’t turn out good at all.  “It’s risky. Do we want to take that kind of a risk?” Bud questioned. In May 2005 the line was launched and publically announced during the Academy Awards of that year. Patiently waiting, in his suit of armor, that one of Nicole Miller biggest clients would drop the company, Neiman Marcus, Bud Konheim's deal with JC Penny released Nicole by Nicole Miller and it was a success. That was the start of the designer collaborations, where every designer wanted to be involved in.

“There’s’ opportunity every single day. Recognize it when it comes along.”- Bud Konheim

Bud Konheim’s fourth story brings him to current day and how Andrea Marron has taken Nicole Miller to being an E-commerce leading company. A fe years back, he received a call from Dartmouth Business School about a student who is interested in interning at a fashion company and he gladly agreed. Andrea Marron, received an internship at Nicole miller and impressed Bud very much. She was so educated about the technology revolution that was taking over the fashion industry. Immediately, he recognized her talent and offered her a job at Nicole Miller. Andrea replied by saying she was offered a job at Google. “Why would you want to be a little fish in a big pond? Here you’ll be a big star!”, as he pleaded her to join the company.

CEO and Director of Ecommerce

After 59 years at Nicole Miller, Bud had never thought of capitalizing on the runway. Andrea took the initiative to house their own e-commerce sector within Nicole Miller rather than outsourcing it to a third party. This strategically gave Nicole Miller a competitive advantage where they fulfill orders, create web development programs and media campaigns faster and quicker than ever before.  Allowing the company to be more tech focused and savvy.

 “The new era is not about the editors and the magazines, but about social media, the internet and the customers.” - Bud Konheim

Nicole Miller’s new collection Artelier derives from the beauty of the palace of Versailles and the rebels of the French Revolution. The collection was inspired from women revolutionaries who stormed the palace of Versailles that were throwing Marie Antoinette clothes, jewels and plates all over the place. The collection is decadent and opulent but also edgy and rebellious feel to it.   

“I never had a dull day” at Nicole Miller  – Bud Konheim

Topics: LIM College, mps, Nicole Miller, Bud Konheim, grad studies, Sports Illustrated, Neiman Marcus, Saks, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, CEO, MBA

A Sweet Fashion Show

Posted by Paul Mucciarone on Wed, Apr 09, 2014 @ 05:03 PM

LIM College’s "Confectory: A Sweet Story of Fashion" show took place on Friday, April 4th. Graduate and undergraduate students strutted down a sugary runway in outfits that were inspired by the childhood pastime game, Candyland. The event was held at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom and was hosted by celebrity host and blogger, Micah Jesse. Micah mentions on Twitter, “I am thrilled to be hosting!”


The stage was creatively decorated with large lollipops and oversized gumdrops. The show highlighted Candyland’s different characters such as Queen Frostine, who was covered in icy blue swirls and sparkles. Beauty sponsor, Make Up For Ever, dedicated their time and effort in doing the makeup to the models of the show. The Fashion Show Production team, the Styling Club, the Visual Merchandising Club and the Dance Team all contributed to the show.

host, micah jesse

host, micah jesse Micah Jesse

Five graduate students modeled in the show, of them were Keithen Polk and Rachit Dhingra. Both of them are in their first term of the MPS Fashion Merchandising and Retail Management graduate program. Keithen Polk, who is from Farrell, Pennsylvania, stated that being part of the show contributed to his graduate experience because, “It helps me gain volunteer experience by being able to participate without having to get paid. It’s a great asset to a potential employers. That shows integrity.” Keithen also mentioned that, “participating in this event just helped me to realize one more interest I would like to do in the future”. Rachit Dhingra, who hails all the way from Delhi, India, told LIM College that his favorite part about the show was “walking the runway – it was a dream come true” and he overcame his nerves “through practice, practice and a lot more practice”. After the show, Rachit mentioned, “I would love to be a part of fashion production or anything related to that.”

mps student

Ekaterina Rosliakova and Keithen Polk, MPS Students 

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Keithen Polk and Rachit Dhingra, MPS Students

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Swati Singh, Ekaterina Rosliakova and Martrecia Alleyne, MPS students (left to right)

Topics: LIM College, mps, micah jesse, MBA, fashion show, grad school

Life after MBA: Nicole Lewis, TURN NYC Owner

Posted by Paul Mucciarone on Thu, Mar 13, 2014 @ 11:08 AM



When graduate school slowly comes to an end... many are thankful for the end of sleepless nights and writing 40 page business plans for the Capstone course. The last thing on graduate students’ minds is starting a business. For Nicole Lewis, it was just the opposite. In her last few months leading to graduation, a creative and lucrative business idea was born. She completed her MBA and opened a start-up, TURN NYC, a rotating designer boutique that will showcase a unique set of designers monthly. Big things are ahead for LIM College MBA alumna, Nicole Lewis.  

For Nicole, moving to NYC and aspiring to start her own business was her vision. Coming from a family of restaurateurs, the entrepreneurial spirit landed her at LIM College Center for Graduate Studies to pursue an MBA degree. In her entry interview with Paul Mucciarone, associate director of graduate admissions, Nicole mentioned “I saw an ad on the subway”, about applying to LIM Grad program. 

Nicole Lewis, TURN NYC Owner

Partially stemming from owning an Etsy account, an online boutique selling handmade handbags, Nicole knew she wanted to open up her own business. At the same time she needed to keep working her forty-hour-per-week job to pay her bills and live in NYC.  Sewing and fashion was on top of her list and coming to LIM College would help her learn the business behind starting a fashion collection. Knowing all the components that go into designing, Nicole felt there was a lack of resources for designers once they have their collections ready. Nicole stated, “People need somewhere to sell their stuff and be spotlighted in a store” and that’s where she came up with the idea of TURN NYC. Being in grad school gave birth to this ingenious idea that will help new designers showcase their collections, create a community of followers and have a drink or two while networking.“I had no plans of going to grad school. It is as if the ad on the train spoke to me. I thought, fashion entrepreneurship is exactly what I should be doing!” Coming in with the creative side, Nicole craved the business side. “People in fashion have one or the other”.

LIM's graduate alumni and students are a double edged sword and Nicole is ready to cut through the business and creative cloths.

“I loved LIM’s free seminars”, Adobe Photoshop to E-commerce Marketing Techniques, they help gear up student’s creative juices. “I would not have guessed a year and a half ago that I would be able to write a forty page business plan”. Business plans seemed daunting to Nicole. She advises current LIM grad students to break it down into pieces. She especially liked the networking opportunities of having industry professionals as mentors, attending events, where professors like David Freschman, CEO of FashInvest, helped students get out there and mingle.  "He threw us in the deep end to swim on our own but at the same time he maintained a safe school environment with my fellow swimmies”.

“I plan on scooping up a few fellow LIMers for TURN NYC” - Nicole Lewis


Nicole's Capstone Presentation of TURN NYC at LIM COLLEGE

Turn NYC will feature about four to five different designers monthly. Nicole’s “liquid” space, would allow designers to collaborate as little or as much with Nicole to create the ideal layout for their collection. “Negotiating with buyers is scary and a lot of work”, Nicole mentioned. TURN NYC would give a designer the freedom and peace of mind knowing their collection is just as important as other designer collections out there.

Nicole is the ultimate Renaissance woman. She would handle everything from lining up designers ahead of time, partnering with bloggers and sending out press releases for designer launches and events.  At the end of the month, the designer can turn over their merchandise to the TURN NYC website and sell it online. Nicole would like TURN NYC to be located in a shopping destination, but finding an affordable space in NYC is almost impossible. Her vision is to start a pop-up shop, possibly in Williamsburg, giving access to the metro area habitants from all corners of Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. In five years, Nicole envisions having a store in New York City and Miami. Having the store would allow Nicole a platform to launch her own designs. 

“This is experiential retail!” - Nicole Lewis

Nicole is relying on Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative projects, to raise money for her business. “Kickstarter brings to life the creative and innovative ideas of project creators through the support of a community. Every project creator sets their funding goals and a deadline. If people like the project, they can pledge money to make it happen. If the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal, all backers' credit cards are charged when time expires. If the project falls short, no one is charged. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing.” (Kickstarter, Inc. , 2014) Nicole’s Kickstarter campaign did not reach its goal, but it didn’t diminish her will to continue to find the money to open up TURN NYC. Nicole is now re-evaluating her funding to start TURN NYC with her own capital while continuing to use Kickstarter.



Kickstarter, Inc. . (2014, March 11). Kickstarter FAQs. Retrieved from Kickstarter:


Topics: LIM College, Fashion school in NYC, Entrepreneur, graduate school, Kickstarter, Etsy, career choice, fashion professionals, MBA, limcollege, fashion mba program