GCU New York hosts debate on transformation of the fashion industry

22 January 2016

Jeffrey Kalinsky and Fern Mallis at GCU New York's Town Hall series event

Jeffrey Kalinsky and Fern Mallis at GCU New York's Town Hall series event

Leading retailer and fashion expert Jeffrey Kalinsky offered his insight into fashion neighbourhoods, department stores and philanthropy as part of GCU New York’s Fair Fashion Center Town Hall series.

The Vice President and Fashion Director at Nordstrom, widely credited with the rejuvenation of the West Manhattan neighbourhood, discussed the milestones in his career in a conversation led by Fern Mallis, celebrated fashion consultant and creator of New York Fashion Week.

Jeffrey, an entrepreneur, executive, and philanthropist shared moments from his unique journey in the fashion industry and pointed to the current “exciting time for fashion”.

From the opening of his retail store Jeffrey Boutique, to building his career at Nordstrom, the retail trailblazer discussed his development in the fashion industry while making efforts to help those in need by founding the Jeffrey Cares Foundation.

The conversation also considered how fashion can be a catalyst to revitalising a neighbourhood and discussed designers the audience should be watching, Fashion Week and the importance of customer service in retail.

Jeffrey also discussed the future of fashion and the challenges currently facing the industry, innovating and leading while at the same time trying to change the world for the common good.

Cara Smyth, Vice President of GCU New York, said: “It was a tremendous pleasure to welcome Jeffrey Kalinsky to the GCU New York stage. Guided by Fern, Jeffrey was able to share his fearless approach to building his namesake brands.

“His bold vision has influenced more than just fashion, revitalising the Meatpacking district of New York and raising over $12 million to support LGBT civil rights, breast cancer research, HIV prevention and research, and education for LGBT youth. Together, the two fashion powerhouses shared their unique approaches to creating positive impact through fashion.”

GCU’s Town Hall series sees leaders from a range of industries and organisations offer different perspectives on sustainable development and help identify new solutions for the apparel industry. The series unites professors and professionals with industry experts to facilitate new learning incorporating profitability with ethical, environmental, and social considerations.

GCU New York’s Fair Fashion Center launched in May 2015 and examines the business case for sustainability in the fashion industry, a $2.5trillion industry worldwide.