Fashion: The Business Of Turning Dreams Into Reality

A panel discussion featuring leading womenswear, menswear, jewelry, accessory designers and Fashion Arts Professionals intended to capture the excitement, the energy of building a fashion business being held in Houston, the world's energy capital.

The MBA Council of Houston, the Fashion Group International of Houston and the Houston Creative Partnership announce proudly that Lynn Wyatt, international humanitarian, benefactress, civic leader, and good friend to and patron of some of the greatest creative couturiers of our time - Valentino, Karl Lagerfeld, Emanuel Ungaro, Bill Blass, Jean Paul Gaultier and many others - has agreed to Chair "Fashion: The Business of Turning Dreams Into Reality," Wednesday, 5 May, 2010 5:30 p.m. George Marshall Worthington, Immediate Past President of the MBA Council and the Event Organizer said, "Lynn Wyatt has an insightful and discerning grasp of haute couture as both art and investment. Consequently, she is a voice of authority on matters of fashion. Further, as a style icon Lynn Wyatt is an inspiration to the profession and, thus, the ideal person to chair this event meant to educate, inform and encourage aspiring designers and other entrepreneurs in their pursuit of a career and business in the Fashion Arts." In confirming her acceptance, Lynn Wyatt stated, "I love creative people! For that reason, I am thrilled to chair this showcase of some of Houston's most creative design talent meant to inspire other entrepreneurs with a desire to express their individuality and pursue a professional career in fashion."

The 5 May program takes place in the context of increasing market demand for clothing and accessories from emerging designers due to consumers' enduring need for individuality and uniqueness in a world of mega luxury brands. In response to this opportunity, the MBA Council of Houston, the Fashion Group International and the Houston Creative Partnership are collaborating on an evening panel discussion examining how Houston-based designers can meet this demand. As Ken Hogan, President of the MBA Council, remarked when characterizing the event, "Not the bling, but the bottom line. Not the glitz, but the grit. We are going to be taking an informed, candid look at what it takes to succeed today when the economy and starting a fashion business are tougher than ever." The discussion will be moderated by Lynn Wyatt. She will be joined on the panel by some of Houston's leading womenswear, menswear, jewelry, and accessory designers and Fashion Arts Professionals:

Katie Campion, Katie Campion Consulting and former Program Director, the Council of Fashion Designers of America
Janet Gurwitch, Founder and Former CEO, Laura Mercier Cosmetics
David Hamilton, Hamilton Shirts
Alexandra Knight, Founder, Alexandra Knight, Former Fashion Editor and Stylist, Conde Nast
Elaine Turner, Founder/President, Elaine Turner Designs LLC
Laurann Claridge, Co-Founder, Claridge + King
And others to be announced

Recognizing that the vast majority of fashion start-ups fail, and not just because the designer didn't hit the right creative notes, the event's focus will be on the lack of proper planning and funding that lets even the most driven and creative designers down. Addressing the need for stronger strategic, business and financial planning -- keys to the success of any creative enterprise -- the expert panel will offer their insights on:

• What kinds of public policy, investment and educational infrastructure should Houston be providing to ensure the success of these entrepreneurs?
• How do we promote and improve public recognition and appreciation of the fashion arts as an important part of Houston's vibrant art and cultural scene as well as a significant contributor to Houston's creative economy?
• What is better, equity or debt financing?
• If you have to limit resources, do you emphasize production or sales?
• How does a designer create the necessary PR and marketing support for their business?
• How do you get your product on retailers' shelves?
• And other informed points of view on a range of topics such as the role of information technology, trends in sourcing, globalization, supply chain management and what it can all mean to Houston's economic future!

5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Registration and networking
6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Panel and discussion
7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Reception with appetizing ideas, food and drink and networking

The event is intended for those thinking about their own fashion businesses and how to take them forward, for investors interested in this industry, and for those charged with economic development and job creation. The public, however, is invited and welcomed to register and attend. The registration fee is $35 per person reception included ($25 for FGI Members). Credit card reservations accepted online until Monday, 3 May, 2010. Preregister on this secure page. Walkups cash or check only.

The event will take place in downtown Houston at the CenterPoint Energy Tower of Power Auditorium, 1111 Louisiana (attendees are asked to use the Milam at Dallas entrance) 77002. Speaking of the venue, Lynn Wyatt noted that "The successful designers I know are not only merchants and entrepreneurs. They also have a unique combination of creative genius and ambition, both of which require enormous energy. So there really is no better place to have this discussion than Houston - the world's Energy Capital - at CenterPoint, a major energy firm!" Ken Hogan, President of the MBA Council concurred, "This panel discussion is intended to capture the excitement, the energy of the fashion industry. Accordingly, it belongs in Houston - the world's energy capital."

With a goal of contributing to Houston's quality of life by "greening" our meetings, the organizers are asking everyone in attendance to help save Houston's natural environment by leaving their cars at home and riding the Metrorail to the Main Street Station and walking west to Louisiana and then one block south to Dallas. On-street metered parking is free after 6 pm. Attendees, however, are advised to double check and read the parking signs!! For a map of parking garages and lots, go to

For more information contact George Marshall Worthington, 713.256.8965

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