YMA Interns Meet to Network and Schmooze

by MR Magazine Staff

NEW YORK – The YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund held a cocktail reception for interns and mentors at the Kenneth Cole corporate office on July 25. The event was attended by more than 40 interns working for companies like Ted Baker, Polo Ralph Lauren, Liz Claiborne, Tommy Hilfiger, BCBG, Kellwood, Oxford Industries, Randa, Fishman and Tobin, Y Brands, Macy’s and Perry Ellis. Attendees were joined by surprise special guest Kenneth Cole for the first of what will be an annual event.

Other guests included many YMA board members, including president Virginia Mainiero (Macy’s Merchandising Group), Peter Sachse, chairman of Macys.com and president Macy’s corporate marketing, Mary Kittle and Chip Thompson of Polo Ralph Lauren, Doug Jakubowski of Kenneth Cole, Debra Malbin of DMA Associates, David Berkman of Y Brands, and Allan Zwerner, head of A to Z Advisory LTD.

YMA president Virginia Mainiero and board member Doug Jakubowski with interns.

Harry Harrison, the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund’s executive director, emphasized that the organization, which is known for its generous scholarship program, is far more than that. “Our Mission is dedicated to advancing the fashion industry through scholarships, mentoring, and internship programs in support of emerging talent and future leaders in all segments of the apparel business.”

YMA board member David Berkman of Y Brands poses with interns.

Not every YMA intern is working in New York this summer, either. “We have interns at VF in North Carolina, Mark Shale in Chicago, Target, Dillards, Abercrombie and Fitch and Blue Holdings on the West Coast as well as several interns who are studying abroad this summer,” Harrison said.

The fund, which has given $5 million in scholarship money to more than 700 students during its history, is trying to raise its profile in the fashion industry. A $1 million donation from the estate of the late Geoffrey Beene a couple years ago helped tremendously, Harrison said. The Geoffrey Beene Foundation’s giving has continued with a five-year gift and strategic alliance. “The YMA will be changing the naming of our annual awards dinner to the YMA-Geoffrey Beene Fashion Scholarship Awards Dinner, as well as providing four national merit scholarships in Geoffrey Beene’s honor of $25,000 each,” Harrison said.

The upcoming awards dinner, scheduled for January 9 at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel, will recognize Kenneth Cole, chairman and president of Kenneth Cole Productions, Rick Leto, chairman and president of Mervyns, and Jay and Patty Baker.

Visit MRketplace.com’s Schmoozing page to see more photos from the event.