by Karen Alberg Grossman

fitThe Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) is calling for emerging brands to apply for a free, intensive mini-MBA program at the renowned school on 27th Street and Seventh Ave. The deadline for application is October 31, 2018 and $150,000 in price monies will be awarded.

Now entering its eighth year, FIT Design Entrepreneurs (FITDE) gives designers access to top industry executives, guidance to develop a formal business plan, and the skills they need to successfully run and expand their fashion labels. Prize monies of $100,000 (first place) and $50,000 (second place) will be awarded to the designers who submit top plans.

Emerging designers in women’s wear, menswear, children’s wear, intimate apparel, accessories, and jewelry that have been open for at least one year are eligible. The application form and additional information are available online at FIT Design Entrepreneurs.

FITDE was created in 2011 through a partnership between FIT and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). G-III Apparel Group is the program’s lead industry partner. The program kicks off with a reception on January 10, 2019.

Three intensive weekends of instruction follow — Saturdays and Sundays, January 12/13, 19/20, and 26/27— with classes in fashion business marketing, operations, and financial management. Throughout the remainder of the program, from February through April, designers will work with industry mentors to complete business plans, build skills at optional workshops, and attend informal salons with iconic fashion figures. All participants will master the art of the pitch, and by program’s end, will have honed their ability to deliver a compelling message.

The business plan presentations and announcement of winners will be held June 5, 2019.