Since launching MADE in 2009, co-founders Jenné Lombardo, Mazdack Rassi and Keith Baptista have played an integral role in helping to support and launch the careers of some of the most celebrated emerging designers within the fashion industry. The showcase, held concurrently with New York Fashion Week, offers select young creative’s free show spaces and production support to present their collections to buyers and editors, with past protégés including Alexander Wang , Band of Outsiders, Joseph Altuzarra and Proenza Schouler. In February 2013 the event was chosen to showcase the autumn/winter 13 collections of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award designers, cementing its status as a hotbed for emerging young talents.
Along with sponsorships from MAC Cosmetics, Lexus and American Express, the showcase is supported fully through the trio’s personal businesses. Rassi, through Milk Studios in the Meatpacking district, provides the space in which the shows are held, while Lombardo and Baptista oversee the event management and production through their agencies, The Terminal Presents and Prodject.
The trio, all prominent figures within the industry, hold over fifteen years of experience each within their respective fields. Rassi, a former real estate agent in the greater New York area, founded Milk, in 1996 as a studio space that hosted presentations by Calvin Klein and editorial and advertising shoots, before expanding into film production, retouching and talent casting. Lombardo, who is currently fashion director of Playboy Enterprises and Westfield, alongside managing The Terminal Presents, was a former executive director of M.A.C. Cosmetic’s fashion, talent and special events department and also oversaw event managements for magazines such as GQ, New York and Interview. The current managing director of production design firms Prodject and OBO, Baptista launched his career producing photo shoots at Interview magazine before joining event management firm KCD in 1997, rising to vice president of production of the digital division.
Despite MADE’s relatively fledgling status, in 2013 the trio presented the showcase during Paris Fashion Week in the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, headlining designers such as Gareth Pugh and Anthony Vaccarello and have collaborated with Macy’s on a capsule collection for the fashion forward Impulse range.