by Stephen Garner
Brad Schmidt (L) and Raul Arevalo (R) with one of their signature outerwear pieces.

Brooklyn-based designers Brad Schmidt and Raul Arevalo of Cadet won the first-place Design Entrepreneurs NYC (DENYC) award of $100,000 to implement their business plan at a special event held at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) on Thursday, October 1. Jason and Julie Alkire of Haus Alkire were selected for the second-place prize of $50,000 to implement their plans for growth. The winning companies were determined by panels of industry executives

“We are so honored to be selected by a panel of industry legends for having the most solid business strategy,” Brad Schmidt of CADET told MR. “The program was very rigorous requiring us to analyze our business to a level of detail most small business never do. We had to complete a comprehensive business plan with a five-year strategy and the present it in front of the judges. Our mentor, Jeanette Nostra, was key in helping us focus and find the way to communicate who CADET is a brand, retailer and design duo.”

Sponsored by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and FIT, the DENYC is a free, intensive, “mini-MBA” program that teaches emerging New York City-based fashion designers how to run a successful label. DENYC courses focus on marketing, public relations, operations, and financial management specifically within the fashion industry, allowing the 25 participating designers to grow their companies and create jobs in New York City. In addition to founding sponsor G-III Apparel Group, Ltd., companies that now support DENYC include Macy’s, PVH/Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, Cole Haan, and Ivanka Trump.