Cadet and Haus Alkire Win Top Design Entrepreneurs NYC Prizes


The Fashion Institute of Technology and the NYCEDC announced Cadet and Haus Alkire as the winners of Design Entrepreneurs NYC. The free, intensive "mini-MBA" program now in its fourth year provides New York City-based emerging designers with the education, resources and mentorship to grow their companies and complete a business plan. Raul Arevalo and Brad Schmidt of Cadet were awarded $100,000 and Jason and Julie Alkire of Haus Alkire received $50,000 to execute their business plans. The 2015 second place award was provided by Michael Gold, president of YM, Inc., in honor of his father, Israel Goldgrub.

Cadet launched in 2011 and has had industry traction including being named a finalist for the 2015 Woolmark Prize and currently contenders for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. They felt that this program was different.

Raul and I found Design Entrepreneurs NYC to be challenging - but in a good way,” said Cadet Co-Founder Brad Schmidt. “Developing a five year strategic plan was a huge learning experience and prepares us to make Cadet into the next great American brand. Our mentor, Jeanette Nostra, was instrumental in focusing us on a plan that made sense and was achievable. This program is business focused, so being recognized for our business potential and viable strategy is a true honor.

The 2015 class of Design Entrepreneurs NYC included 25 New York-based fashion businesses that were selected based on a variety of factors including sales, press, industry recognition and promise of growing their business. The program culminated in a designer showcase and business plan presentations from 12 labels which were narrowed down to four finalists. The other brands included: Abasi Rosborough, Beth Macri, Brandon Sun, Giego, Helen Dealtry, Kandice Pelletier, Mujus, Noah Waxman, Title of Work and Yestadt Millinery.

Over 100 brands have participated in the program and have been successful in growing their fashion companies. The 2013 grand prize winner Becca McCharen of Chromat, made the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, participates in MADE Fashion Week, a finalist for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and is featured in the City’s Made in NY marketing campaign. Class of 2014 alum David Hart was just five years into his menswear design business when he joined DENYC. Since participating in the program, he become Creative Director of Hickey Freeman, was a Woolmark finalist and also a finalist for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund.

To learn more, visit Design Entrepreneurs NYC. 

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