ARIEL FOXMAN - Editorial Director, InStyle and StyleWatch
Ariel Foxman is editorial director of leading fashion media brands InStyle and StyleWatch. Named to the post in 2015, he is responsible for editorial content and strategy across all platforms in addition to overseeing new revenue streams. He continues to serve as editor in chief of InStyle, a role he assumed in 2008, at age 34, becoming the first man to helm the title.
Beginning his career at Crown Publishers, he soon acquired a wealth of experience at influential publications. In 2014, he was honoured at Live Out Loud’s 13th annual Trailblazers Gala and for the second year in a row was included in the ‘Business of Fashion 500’, a directory of influential people in the global fashion industry. In 2013, Crain’s named Foxman as one of the ‘40 Under 40’, a group of rising stars ‘who will shape New York for the next 25 years’, and The Advocate listed him as one of the ‘50 Most Influential LGBT People in Media’.
COLLEEN SHERIN - Vice President, Fashion Director, Saks Fifth Avenue
As Vice President, Fashion Director for Saks Fifth Avenue, Colleen Sherin travels the globe in search of trends, inspiration and up-and-coming designers. Colleen covers the women’s ready-to-wear collections in the world’s fashion capitals and sets the tone for the trends the store will represent each season. She works closely with her merchants on fashion direction, magazine and catalogue imagery and national ad campaigns.
As a champion of young designer talent, Colleen has discovered numerous collections for Saks Fifth Avenue.
She has appeared on national and local television programs and is quoted regularly in influential publications.
Colleen also serves on the senior thesis panels for Parsons School of Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology and is a member of the CFDA Fashion Awards Guild.
ERIC JENNINGS – Vice President, Fashion Director, Menswear, Home, Gifts & Beauty, Saks Fifth Avenue
Eric Jennings is responsible for forecasting men’s and home seasonal trends for Saks Fifth Avenue. He works closely with the merchant and marketing teams in analysing and supporting the fashion selection for all Saks Fifth Avenue stores nationwide. As the voice for up-and-coming fashion styles, Mr Jennings attends international fashion shows in order to scout the latest looks and runway trends. He is also responsible for developing the Saks Fifth Avenue Men’s Collection and other private brands.
Mr Jennings and his team plays a key role in integrating the seasonal fashion messages into marketing concepts, advertising campaigns, store window designs, and social media strategies
Prior to joining Saks Fifth Avenue in September 2008, Mr Jennings served as Brand Director of Hickey Freeman’s Hickey collection, where he was responsible for the strategic sales and marketing direction of the brand.
Mr Jennings has more than 20 years of experience in the retail industry and this extensive background has made him a well-respected fashion authority in the world of menswear. He is frequently quoted in articles within Wall Street Journal, New York Times, WWD, GQ, the Financial Times, the Robb Report and other trade publications. His fresh take on fashion and perspective on seasonal trends has also been employed for The Today Show, CNN, Reuters and Bloomberg segments.
FRANCISCO COSTA - Women’s Creative Director, Calvin Klein Collection
Francisco Costa assumed the role of Women’s Creative Director of Calvin Klein Collection after working directly with Calvin Klein and other top design houses of Gucci, Balmain Couture and Oscar de la Renta. Mr Costa's first collection for the house debuted for Spring 2004.
Mr Costa has received critical acclaim and recognition for his work and has received numerous awards, including Designer of the Year and more recently the 2015 Pratt Fashion Visionary Award. Growing up in the small Brazilian town near Rio, Mr Costa was born into a family with deep roots in fashion. His mother and father were developers and owners of a successful apparel business and his sister also pursued fashion design. He arrived in New York City in the early 1990s with aspirations of designing for a large house. In 1993 he began a five-year collaboration with Oscar de la Renta. In 1998 he was recruited by Tom Ford to join Gucci’s design studio, before joining Calvin Klein early-2002.
JOHN VARVATOS – Award-winning Menswear Designer
With a unique brand position that unites a rock n roll sensibility, old-world craftsmanship and modern innovation, John Varvatos has become one of the most well-known menswear designers in the world. Hi designs often draw inspiration from the past only to repurpose these ideas into something entirely new. The resulting collections reflect quality and attention to detail while creating luxurious, comfortable clothing for a modern lifestyle.
Varvatos joined Polo Ralph Lauren in 1984. Recruited by Calvin Klein in 1990 he was appointed Head of Menswear Design and oversaw the launch of the men’s collection and influential cK brand. In 1995 he returned to Polo as Head of Menswear Design for all Polo Ralph Lauren brands and created the highly successful RLL, Black label and Polo Jeans Company.
For FW 2000, Varvatos launched his premiere men’s collection and in the same year was recognised by the CFDA with the Perry Ellis Award for New Menswear Designer. Since then he has continued to add a multitude of awards under his belt, including the Menswear Designer of the Year award at NY Fashion Week in 2013.
MALCOLM CARFRAE - Global Head of Communications, Public Relations and Media, Ralph Lauren
Malcolm Carfrae was born in Sydney and educated at universities in both Australia and the United States. He began his fashion career in London, where he lived for ten years after graduating.
In 2003 he moved to New York City to work for Calvin Klein Inc, and worked there for 11 years – his last position being EVP, Chief Communications Officer.
Malcolm is now Global Head of Communications, Public Relations and Media at Ralph Lauren.
Malcolm co-founded the Australian Fashion Foundation, which mentors young Australians working in fashion and helps them to find international experience. He is also a mentor for the CFDA Incubator program in New York City, where he lives.
MICHELLE A. LEE - The Woolmark Company Director, Americas
In the three years Michelle A. Lee has worked for The Woolmark Company as Director, Americas, she has played an integral role in not only building the profile of Australian wool but also in forging relationships with some of the biggest names in the fashion industry.
With a strong background in media and PR, Ms Lee started her career in Australia with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, before moving to North Americas to begin a career in communications, media and public affairs. Previous roles include Director of Media and Public Affairs at the Australian Consulate General in New York, as well as an Associate for communications firm the Brunswick Group.
Ms Lee joined The Woolmark Company in 2012 and has been instrumental in raising the profiles of emerging design talents and connecting influential fashion designers with the Australian wool industry.
NICK SULLIVAN - Fashion Director, Esquire
As Fashion Director for Esquire - a role held for the past 11 years – Nick Sullivan is one of the most recognisable faces in menswear.
He first became interested in fashion as a teenager, but like most teens didn’t have the funds to buy high-end apparel and so he focused on style. Admitting he did not necessarily want to work in either the fashion or magazine industry, he attributes where he is today by falling on his feet and having good luck.
The London-born style enthusiast started his career at textiles trade magazine International textiles, before shifting to GQ UK and Arena Magazine. Whilst living in London he also used to be a lecturer on the MA Fashion course at Central Saint Martins.
These days Sullivan is based in Brooklyn and joined the team at Esquire in 2004.
STEFANO TONCHI - Editor-in-Chief, W Magazine
Stefano Tonchi has been Editor-in-Chief of W since March 2010. Under Mr Tonchi’s direction W has been a finalist seven times in the past two years for the prestigious ASME Awards, with two nods in the General Excellence category.
In 2012, Mr Tonchi oversaw the publication of W’s first-ever special-edition book, W: The First 40 Years, a photographic celebration of the magazine’s 40th anniversary.
Prior to W, Mr Tonchi was the creator and Editor-in-Chief of T: The New York Times Style Magazine, which he introduced in 2004 after serving as Style Editor at the Sunday Times Magazine. In 2008, T was awarded Magazine of the Year from the Society of Publication Designers
From 1998 to 2003, Mr Tonchi was the Fashion Creative Director for Esquire. In 2001, Esquire earned the Magazine of the Year award from the Society of Publication Designers, as well as National Magazine Award nominations for Photography and Design. Mr Tonchi served as Creative Director for J. Crew in 1996 and previously held the same title at Self magazine.
Before moving to New York, Mr Tonchi was Editor, and later Fashion Director, for L’Uomo Vogue, and co-founded, edited and served as Art Director of Westuff magazine, which would later evolve into Emporio Armani Magazine.
STEVEN KOLB – CEO, Council of Fashion Designers of America
As CEO of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Steven Kolb oversees all operations and activities for the American fashion industry’s pre-eminent designer trade association and its affiliated charity. Mr Kolb helps to nurture the next generation of American designers via numerous programs and is committed to fostering design education through various scholarships. He continues to lead efforts to promote design protection and works alongside international counterparts to promote the global fashion week schedule. A published author, he has documented all aspects of the American fashion industry, from women’s wear and menswear through to accessories. In his works through various foundations he has helped raise money and managed grant-making for various cancer and AIDS charities.