Open Call: 2020 FIT Design Entrepreneurs Program

Nora Gardner, Tommy Hilfiger and Fiona Morrison

Nora Gardner, Tommy Hilfiger and Fiona Morrison


Looking to grow your business and create a roadmap for your brand while you build community with other entrepreneurs?

FIT Design Entrepreneurs is looking for established emerging fashion businesses for their 2020 program that kicks of in January. The annual program accepts 25 businesses to participate in a “mini-MBA” program free of cost for a chance to win $100,000 and $50,000.

Each company participates in weekend intensive sessions focusing on branding/marketing, operations and financials. They also have access to FIT resources, classes and intimate salons from industry experts. Each business is paired with a mentor to help them complete a business plan. In June 2020, 12 brands will be selected to advance to pitch night where they will complete for prize money.

Fiona Morris, founder of jewelry label Wolf Circus won the grand prize and Nora Gardner, founder of her namesake womenswear label came in second.

Program Alumni:

Over the years, the program has graduated notable fashion companies running a solid business today in a range of categories including: Chromat, Flagpole, Collina Strada, Shahla Karimi, Demestik, Ilana Kohn, Thistle & Spire, Ariana Bousard-Reifel, Post Imperial, Vanessa Lianne Jewelry, Eckhaus Latta, Christine Alcalay, Abasi Rosborough, A-Morir, Nikki Chasin, Haerfest, Mimi Plange, Yestadt Millinery, Mei'Lange, Artega, Audra, Castlecliff, Mestiza, Novis and many others.

Applicant Criteria:

  • Must be a fashion business with sales, industry traction and press (cannot be in development)

  • Must provide references from industry names

  • Open to fashion designers (womenswear, menswear, childrenswear, jewelry/accessories) in and outside of the United States, but must be able to attend all weekend intensive sessions in New York in January 2020

Parisa Wang at Pitch Night

Parisa Wang at Pitch Night


The deadline to apply is October 31, 2019. Learn more and apply to FIT Design Entrepreneurs. Please use The Emerging Designer as your referral when applying.

Be sure to check out other open calls and read this article on How to Ace and Open Call.

Note: FIT is a brand partner and this is a sponsored post.

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