Today, the general public and GCC students were treated to wealth of knowledge and experience from an array of business leaders within the local fashion community. Our Professors, Donna Ehrhart and Rick Dudkowski, managed to bring these leading voices together in what turned out to be a very successful event. With the help of Natalie Brown, Event Project Manager, afternoon tea and sandwiches were severed along with many great talks from our dynamic panel.
Jill Bates – Jill Bates Fashion, Rochester, NY ( GCC Fashion Advisory Board)
Jill Bates, aka the “fashion physician,” is a professional seamstress and fashion designer specializing in wedding gown alterations and all types of formal wear. She has more than 30 years experience. Jill has a studio in East Rochester where she also sells a line of energy scarves called Chales and has started a hairpiece accessory line, “Something Blue” www.jillbatesfashion.com
Donald Brown – Vice President, Charles Men’s Shop, Batavia, NY (GCC Fashion Advisory Board)
Donald Brown got into retail 18 years ago after a successful decade in computer operations. That background helped him implement changes that have allowed his family’s tailored men’s clothing and sportswear store to survive in the changing retail world with the utilization of technology. Charles Men’s Shop attracts customers from througout the region who value the quality and service the store provides. www.cmssuits.com
Candace Cooper – Can’de Couture, Webster, NY
What started as a senior project, turned into an up and coming fashion line for GCC fashion design student Candace Cooper. Her Can’de Couture clothes aim to offer sophisticated yer affordable style. You can see Candace’s work in a scene she’ll design for the 32nd annual, Spring Fashion show, Fashion Forward! Click Can’de Couture to see here previous designs and find out more about this young talent.
Kathy Healey – Healey Wear, Greece, NY
Kathy Healey credits her mom as her first sewing teacher and the family ping pong table as the first cutting table shared with her six sisters After working as a buyer for Sibley’s a youth development specialist, and a cooking instructor she started her home-based business, Healey Wear, fifteen years ago. She specializes in creating custom garments and window treatments.
Kristine Iannazzi – Fashion Designer & CEO, Embrasse-moi
A Kansas native, Kristine Iannazzi landed in Rochester after a stop in New York City’s Garment District. In 2008, she opened a lingerie boutique, Embrasse-moi, that three years later was named the #1 lingerie boutique in North America. She’s expanded her offerings to include swim, shoes, accessories, resort clothing, and active wear and looks to open more stores in the future. www.embrasse-moi.com
Karen Schimpf – Sew On-Sew Forth, Depew, NY
A seasoned executive and lifelong western New Yorker, Karen Schimpf has been president of Sew On-Sew Forth since 2003. Offering everything from fabric supplies to classes and service on all makes and models of sewing machines. The business is an exclusive Brother International sewing, embroidery, quilting, and serger machine dealer for western New York. www.so-sf.com
Raul Siro Ferreira – Siro’s Fashion in Design & Each 1 Stitch 1 Fabric Store & Design Studio, Rochester, NY (GCC Fashion Advisory Board)
New York City native Raul Sirp Ferreora has created costimes for Broadway shows, films, and TV programs. Relocating to Rochester in 2007, he opened Siro’s Fashion in Design, a high-end custom clothing line. His new passion is a creative studio, Each 1 Stitch 1. Offereing classes and workspace, he envisions a gathering place for the Western New York fashion community. www.each1stitch1.com
From left to right: Jill Bates, Donald Brown, Candace Cooper, Kathy Healey, Kristine Iannazzi, Karen Schimpf, Raul Siro Ferreira