Fern Mallis

Fern Mallis

President, Fern Mallis LLC

The consultant propelled New York Fashion Week into a must-stop as former CFDA executive director and hosts a series of ‘Fashion Icons’ talks.

United States Catalysts 2013 BoF 500 2013

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The consultant propelled New York Fashion Week into a must-stop as former CFDA executive director and hosts a series of ‘Fashion Icons’ talks.

Fern Mallis's live mosaic

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Biography

Widely credited with transforming New York Fashion Week into one of the big four fashion events on the international circuit, native New Yorker Fern Mallis is a celebrated fashion consultant. For ten years, from 1991-2001, she was the executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), the country’s governing body of fashion designers and runway shows. In 1993, she started the initiative to organise a modern and centralised platform for American fashion designers to display their clothing and called the event  ‘Seventh on Sixth’.

The event grew quickly, and was acquired by global media giant IMG in 2001, after which Mallis became a senior vice president at IMG Fashion and also became its ambassador, traveling around the world to fashion shows and competitions. She also orchestrated New York Fashion Week’s move to the tents in Bryant Park, where shows have now been running for 15 years. Under her guidance, IMG added new fashion weeks around the world in cities like Los Angeles, Melbourne, Miami, and Berlin, among others, to their show portfolio.

A noted philanthropist, Mallis has spearheaded charity events and initiatives that have raised millions of dollars for organisations like Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids (DIFFA) and the CFDA’s Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, which has raised close to $100 million in merchandising and licensing.

Career

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