Marylou Luther, editor of the International Fashion Syndicate, writes the award-winning column, "Clotheslines," a question-and-answer fashion advice feature with weekly readership of over five million. In addition to her syndicated newspaper column, Luther is the creative director of The Fashion Group International, a non-profit organization for the dissemination of information on fashion, beauty, and related fields. Her twice-yearly audio-visual overviews of the New York, London, Milan, and Paris ready-to-wear shows are a must-see/read for fashion industry leaders. Her coverage of the European collections appears in newspapers throughout the US.
The former fashion editor of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Des Moines Register is biographied in "Who's Who in America." She won the Council of Fashion Designers of America's coveted Eugenia Sheppard award for fashion journalism and the Women in Communications award. Each year, the Accessories Council's Marylou Luther Award for Fashion Journalism is given in her name.
For more than 50 years, Ruth Finley has been a major force in the fashion industry. As the founder and publisher of Fashion Calendar, Finley is the master planner of all of New York's fashion events.
Whether it's a seasonal opening, benefit gala, or a new designer's show, Finley is personally involved. She is the calming influence in an emotionally charged industry. She functions as traffic director, mother, psychiatrist, and referee in helping designers settle disputes and resolve potential date and model conflicts. Her publication, with its distinctive red cover and pink pages, can be found on the desk of virtually all industry executives. They rely on it daily-as an information service and to schedule all fashion events. She also publishes Fashion International, a leading monthly newsletter of trends and market reports.
Born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, she moved to New York after graduating from Simmons College. She wrote for the New York Herald Tribune and worked in the window display department of Lord & Taylor before creating Fashion Calendar.
Julie Gilhart is vice-president and fashion director of Barneys New York. She has been with Barneys New York since 1992 and has served in a number of roles, including divisional merchandise manager and designer buyer. Barneys New York currently has 13 stores across the United States.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Kim Hastreiter received her BFA from Nova Scotia School of Art and Design and her MFA from California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA. In 1976 she moved to New York to become an artist. To pay the rent, she sold clothes at a Madison Avenue shop where she became known for the window displays she created. There she gained extensive knowledge about fashion, yet still was fascinated with its connection to art.
In 1984, Hastreiter (along with David Hershkovits) founded Paper Magazine with a budget of $4,000. Twenty-one years later, Hastreiter and Hershkovits still own, edit and publish Paper, which now has over 100,000 readers internationally. In 1995, Hershkovits and Hastreiter founded a daily publication on the internet called papermag.com, part of a multimedia subsidiary of Paper Publishing Co. Hastreiter is not only the co-publisher of both magazine and site, but also acts as fashion director and has written a monthly column on style and design for the past five years.
As fashion news/features director of Vogue, Sally Singer oversees the magazine's fashion news coverage and feature stories. She is also responsible for directing and shaping Vogue's influential "View" section. Since joining Vogue in 1999, Singer has written feature-length profiles on a variety of the most prevalent names in both fashion and entertainment, including Helmut Lang, Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Sarah Jessica Parker, Katie Couric, and John Cusack.
Singer came to Vogue from New York Magazine, where she served as Fashion Director. Her prolific career also includes roles at Elle, British Vogue, and the London Review of Books. She holds degrees from Yale University and the University of California at Berkeley.
Born Escoe Bell, Jr. in Boston, Massachusetts, Jay escaped to Philadelphia upon graduating from high school. Bell attended the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with a degree in art history and finance. Following his heart to Singapore, Bell learned the tricks of luxury trade under the eagle-eyed watch of Christina Ong, the famously chic Singaporean retail/hotel tycoon. Working with Club 21 Singapore, Bell opened numerous designer boutiques in Southeast Asia and Australia during his seven-year stint overseas. He returned to New York in 1998 to work with Jil Sander America, first overseeing the growing men's business, then buying men's and women's wear for the Jil Sander U.S. boutiques. After two years on the wholesale side of the business, Bell joined the retail team at Barney's New York, and is currently the senior buyer of men's designer collections.
The former Vice President of Fashion Worldwide at Ferragamo, Nicole Fischelis currently oversees Macy's women's ready-to-wear division. She works closely with merchants in the selection of merchandise for the company's catalogues, translating the season's trends to in-store special events, and forecasting the hottest new trends. Her keen sense for fashion began in her native France, where she was a buyer for Gimbel Saks working at a buying office that represented specialty stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Marshall Field's, Neiman Marcus, and Holt Renfrew in U.S. and Canada. For ten years, Fischelis was also the European Fashion Director at Saks Fifth Avenue.
Christopher Bollen is the editor in chief of Interview magazine, a monthly publication founded by artist Andy Warhol. Prior to Interview, Bollen was editor of V Magazine, a large-scale bimonthly art, fashion, and culture magazine, and VMAN, a biannual publication geared toward men's fashion and culture. He is a contributing editor at Visionaire and also writes regularly as an art and culture critic for such publications as the New York Times Magazine, Artforum, and The Believer. He co-edited the monograph Artists by photographer Jason Schmidt that captures contemporary artists in their studios. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Columbia University and lives in New York.
Ken Downing currently serves as the Senior Vice President and Fashion Director at luxury retailer Neiman Marcus. Since 2006, Downing has played a key role in every major style element at Neiman Marcus, and manages the New York Fashion office. Based in Dallas, Downing is a figure at every major fashion show, traveling the globe to bring luxury and style to the Neiman Marcus customer.
Downing began his career with luxury retailer I. Magnin and held various creative positions in visual planning and fashion. He joined Neiman Marcus in October 1989 at the Los Angeles store as the Fashion Coordinator. His overall challenge was to create a distinctive fashion image for Neiman Marcus. With Downing's direction, the design of windows, the interior design of the store, and special events were re-invented as he created the luxurious L.A. style for Neiman Marcus, Beverly Hills. Through various roles in Corporate Visual and Corporate Public Relations, Downing has helped direct the overall creative look and public image of Neiman Marcus stores and products.
Over the course of Downing's career, he has been no stranger to the camera. He appears as a fashion industry expert on many local and nationally televised programs, including Oprah, E! Entertainment, W.B.G.N., Fox News, Good Day Dallas, and Trendy Tuesdays.
Alex Badia is the Fashion Director of DNR, the weekly menswear trade bible, and of Menswear Magazine, a luxury fashion and consumer publication. As Fashion Director he produces and executes all fashion stories. His obsession with fashion leads to a constant search for the latest trends, fresh new talent and each season's perfect collection.
Badia started his career at DNR in 1999. In 2001 he left to work at O, the Oprah Magazine, then returned to DNR a year later. Originally from Barcelona, Spain, Alex earned his BBA from the European University in Paris and Geneva, and earned a Masters in Business Studies from London University. In 1996 he came to New York to study Buying and Merchandising at FIT, and never looked back.