Second Annual Fashion Speaks Gala

Daniel Preston

They say all roads lead to Rome. For Pietro Beccari, that might be true. For the rest of us, we can say all roads lead to fashion. The degree you pursue at university doesn’t matter, it is a passion for design, dedication, and couture that will propel you forward in the fashion industry. At least, that is the shared sentiment expressed by five Cornell alumni, who are among the industry’s most provocative examples of dedicated and motivated individuals, who spoke at the Fashion Speaks Gala this past Saturday evening.

It was an evening of luxury for the room of attendees as the eponymous organization, Careers in the Fashion Industry (CIFI), hosted their second annual gala to facilitate the engagement between professionals in the fashion industry and students interested in pursuing a similar career. This year, panelist shared their career experiences and responsibilities through their daily routines, always returning to the influence of their roots here at Cornell. “It is necessary to understand that no matter the degree you pursue at university, you can find it in the fashion industry: market research, strategy, social media, design, and customer experience” remarks Monica Johnsrud ’07, designer at Shoshanna, as she expressed her beliefs on the universality of the career.

Johnsrud, wasn’t the only powerful figure at the table. Cori Galpern ‘97 of Tom Ford International, Brittany Lutz ‘12, Senior Analyst of Omnichannel Customer Experience at Bloomingdales, José Chan ‘93, entrepreneur and businessman and Misha Pinkhasov ‘96, notable author and strategist, accompanied her. Together, their lengthy resume and invaluable contributions to the design community is a tribute to the commitment of CIFI to inspire, motivate, and engage with this year’s attendees.

While the morning of the panelists may drag on forever, their afternoons chaotic, and their post coffee, pre dinner break exhausting, they all touch on the common thread that ties them together. Laughing amongst themselves they agree this thread is the evening cocktail, but in reality their dedication to fashion and the luxury industry is what propels them to the forefront of their career.