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Up Close with the Fashion Leaders

Berkeley’s unique brand of career-focused education has always gone beyond the classroom, complementing the instruction from our accomplished faculty who share their firsthand professional experience.

In our Fashion Merchandising and Management program, students benefit greatly from our “Up Close with the Fashion Leaders” Speaker Series, which brings industry experts from throughout the fashion business to discuss their personal journeys to success, as well as the latest trends in a wide range of areas. 

The speaker series is typically accompanied by a walking tour of New York City’s premier fashion district, Fifth Avenue, featuring world-renowned designer windows with WindowsWear! Taking advantage of Berkeley’s location in the heart of Manhattan, these walking tours allow students to:

  • Experience the most famous fashion brands and department stores.
  • See landmarks such as Carrie Bradshaw's favorite store, where Modern Family's Sofia Vergara likes to shop, the world's largest shoe floor, and where Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs, Jimmy Choo, Michael Kors, and Tory Burch all got their start.
  • Learn how the most creative retailers design their windows, and explore the latest on display.
  • Gain unique fashion and design insights from some of the world's most iconic brands. 

Past speakers in the “Up Close with the Fashion Leaders” series have included:

Corrine McCormack, Executive, Entrepreneur, Wife, Mother, Author

Corinne McCormack is a seasoned executive and entrepreneur who conceived and created a brand of designer eyewear in 1993 that carved a new niche in the industry. Today, Corinne McCormack Reading Glasses are sold in over 2,000 stores in the U.S. including Bloomingdales, Nordstrom and Barnes & Noble. In 2009, Corinne sold her company to FGX International, the world’s largest manufacturer of reading glasses and popular priced sunglasses.

Corinne has enjoyed prominent coverage, including Live with Kelly, the TODAY Show, CNN, and Good Morning New York. Her products have been showcased in such major vehicles as In Style, Oprah, WWD, Good Housekeeping, Glamour and important trade publications. 

Corinne launched a business from her apartment and clawed her way to success. As an entrepreneur, she has identified the eight characteristics that a person needs to possess or develop to be a successful entrepreneur. McCormack also shared her “Seeds of Success” that illuminate lessons for anyone running a business or building a career.

Mara Urshel, Owner and President of Kleinfeld Bridal

With more than 30 years of unparalleled experience developing and marketing luxury merchandise, Mara Urshel is one of the best known executives in the industry. Recognized as an innovator, she is credited with introducing many designers such as Isaac Mizrahi, Donna Karan, Perry Ellis, Michael Kors, and others. 

Christina Young, founder and owner of Stia Jewelry

Christina Young began her career in New York’s fashion industry where she learned the importance of design, quality, value, and timelessly beautiful products that women want.  Since 2012, the Stia brand has expanded across the United States and internationally and has been coined “not your average bracelet company.”

Teresa Londino, Stylist, Macy’s

Teresa Londino began her career in the airline industry and completed her degree while raising her children. In her 13 years with Macy's, she has moved through various management positions and is now a Stylist. She loves helping her clients realize how fashion makes an unexpected and profound difference in the way they feel and function every day.

Kaitlyn Mattsson, Assistant Store Manager, Macy’s

Kaitlyn Mattsson started her career right out of college by participating in Macy’s Executive Development Program. She’s now the Assistant Store Manager in Macy’s Willowbrook, where she’s responsible for half of the departments in the store. 

Linz Shelton, Global Social Media Director at Michael Kors

Linz Shelton is an experienced digital and social media strategist with a focus on fashion retail and e-commerce globally for the Michael Kors brand. With a strong global experience, she manages international cross-functioning teams whose specialties include social media, digital marketing, brand strategy, advertising, luxury marketing, product development, launching and cultivating partnerships and experience innovation for Michael Kors.

Joey Buzzetta, Champion Branding Executive

Joey Buzzetta isn’t a brand or retail executive. He’s not a shot-caller making million-dollar decisions in boardrooms. But his influence in the sneaker industry, and on the culture it serves, is undeniable. Helping brands such as Armani Exchange, Adidas, Yeezy, and currently Champion, make waves in the marketplace.

Most industry insiders realize what Joey Buzzetta brings to the game. He brings New York. He knows products and has a keen sense of what the New York consumer is all about. He has the type of energy and hustle that’s required to stay on top of all that’s happening in our fast-paced industry.

The Brooklyn, NY-born Joey Buzzetta is atypical in the sneaker world. He has marketing and sales expertise that appeals to customers — but he’s also part of today’s crop of young influencers, whose style is admired by the street fashion-focused.

Joey comes from that influencer world, he has been part of the culture for a while, he knows street style and streetwear. Joey’s work ethic and what he does for these companies is just as important as how he came up. Joey is a hybrid of “influencer meets corporate meets general manager.”

Natalia Ramirez, Associate Director of Operations Chanel International

Natalia Ramirez has tenured experience at the leading French luxury atelier house in fashion, fine jewelry, and beauty, Chanel, Inc. She is responsible for managing planning, execution, and communication for collection initiatives and is highly skilled in luxury goods, retail, marketing intelligence, store management, strategy, and operations for the Chanel, Inc. brand internationally.

Stephen Braun, Manager, Tourism Marketing and Development at Macy’s

Stephen Braun represents Macy’s as a global brand worldwide and executes national and international tourism marketing programs. He has coordinated operations efforts for Macy’s Herald Square in New York City, the largest flagship department store in the world.

Marisa Lowenstein, Senior Director of Creative Services at Ralph Lauren

Marisa executes creative visual presentations for Ralph Lauren Women’s, Men’s, and Baby stores and creates fashion alignment across brand verticals.

Tim Ceci, Vice President of Retail & Operations at LVMH Celine

Tim specializes in sales operations management and performance for North America at LMVH Celine. He leads a world-class team in driving exceptional customer experience, merchandising, and effective operations to achieve clearly defined goals. As a former Vice President of Barneys Stores & Special Events, he held a pivotal role in a successful restructuring initiative. Previously, Tim also held positions with Saks Fifth Avenue, Nike, Pier Imports, and Gap.

Libra Balian, Creative & Marketing Operations for Tiffany & Company

Libra is a seasoned marketing professional with a passion for retail and fashion and a proven track record in leading the strategic execution of brand marketing for Fortune 500 companies and advertising agencies including Tiffany & Company, Ann Inc. (Ann Taylor, LOFT, Lou & Grey) AR New York, Amazon Advertising, and more. She’s an organizational change-maker with demonstrated expertise in leading brand building, traffic driving and revenue-generating marketing programs that maintain the strict standards of the brand’s DNA. Libra is a strong manager who can lead, inspire, and effectively manage a world-class team to ensure all marketing campaigns are on brand, on schedule, on budget, and exceed ROI expectations.

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Corinne McCormack and group of students at Fashion event holding books