The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, the CFDA, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and lifestyle brand Coach have partnered for the launch of the NYC Fashion Forward Initiative, a public-private partnership to create fashion industry work exposure and experiences for young people through specialized paid internships.
The program, which will launch this summer, aims to connect 100 New York City high school and undergraduate college students to internships with fashion companies, designers, manufacturers, public relations firms, small business owners and more. NYCEDC is committing to financially back 60 summer jobs and will team up with the CFDA to pair participating students with employers, while the Mayor’s Fund and CFDA are working with top fashion firms to create the remaining 40 employer-funded summer internships.
In addition to Coach, the list of companies already committed to the program includes Tommy Hilfiger, Kate Spade & Company, Alice + Olivia, Diane von Furstenberg, J.Crew, Opening Ceremony, David Wolfson & Associates, Inc., Design Incubator Inc., Haskell Jewels LLC and Krupp Group.
“Most fashion careers start with the internship, which offers valuable insights into the industry,” CFDA president and CEO Steven Kolb said. “By partnering with the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the CFDA can provide high school students and college undergraduates with the opportunity to become tomorrow’s fashion leaders.”
Added Gabrielle Fialkoff, senior advisor to the Mayor and director of the Mayor’s office of strategic partnerships: “Connecting our young people to valuable internship opportunities is not just about creating a career launching pad. NYC Fashion Forward is also shaping a homegrown talent pool that will satisfy the fashion industry’s growing demand for diverse and loyal employees. Together, we can ensure that our young people, our businesses and our city are better prepared to compete in the 21st century economy.”