Collaborative creativity – it’s a new world for fashion students.

Infor and FIT have created the ultimate design contest exploring partnership between fashion designers and business management teams. "This year’s Infor/FIT Fashion Design ICONS contest is a real-world opportunity for both the fashion design and fashion business students of FIT" stated Christine Pomeranz, FIT faculty advisor for the business student teams. "Historically, fashion has often been viewed as exclusive, but with social media, and powerful retail software for manufacturing, everyone in the industry is becoming much more inclusive and collaborative."

FIT Fashion Design students submitted their red-carpet ready concepts to a panel of judges including fashion and retail creatives, and industry business leaders. They selected Brandon Johnson as the fashion design winner. His design is being fabricated by couturier Paula Varsalona and will be worn by Olivia Perez, fashion influencer, founder of  Friend of a Friend, on the red carpet at the Harper’s BAZAAR ICONS event during New York Fashion Week in September.

The FIT business students gathered creative inspiration from fellow FIT student Brandon Johnsons’ winning design and collaborated with him then worked in teams of two and presented their marketing plans to take Johnson’s winning look from runway to market. After an afternoon of presentations, the judges picked team RC.e, -- "Red Carpet everyday"-- as the winners.

The exciting part for all FIT student award winners is attending the spectacular ICONS event which kicks off Fashion Week September 8. There, they saw the winning gown design, worn by Olivia Perez, fashion influencer and founder of Friend of a Friend, featured on the red carpet along with the world’s top models, designers and industry insiders in attendance.

Spectacular, eye-popping Harper's BAZAAR ICONS red carpet event features FIT students and the winning gown design.

Brandon Johnson, Katheleen Frey and Sonne Bajwa, winners of the second Infor/FIT Fashion Design ICONS award, step out on the red carpet to enjoy their moment. Says Bransdon Johnson, FIT student design winner "...I had an out-of-body's just so amazing."

Meet the three FIT students taking the fashion world by storm. Brandon Johnson, Kathleen Frey, and Sonne Bajwa saw their ideas come to life at this year’s Harper’s BAZAAR ICONS red carpet gala.

Team RC.e, Kathleen Frey and Sonne Bajwa, the FIT Business & Technology student winners of the 2017 Infor/FIT Fashion Design ICONS award program, earned the prize with creative collaboration with Brandon Johnson, the student design winner.

Brandon Johnson, winner of this year’s award, was inspired by memories of his mother putting on her pearls to go out for the evening. His hometown is Gardner, Kansas.

What does “ICONIC” mean for design?

Infor_Fashion_Design_Icons_MarigayMckee_205x205 Marigay McKee
CEO and Founder of MM Luxe Consulting

“A designer’s work is iconic when it has a point of difference – a wow factor. Many things and people are iconic today, it’s something people want to look up to, desirable. Icons used to be exclusive, and that’s changed dramatically - today icons are very inclusive.”


Infor_Fashion_Design_Icons_Temple_St_Clair_205x205 Temple St. Clair
Founder of Temple St. Clair Haute Couture Jewellery

“A design can be iconic as the centerpiece from which a larger collection is created. It’s how a piece is worn.”


Infor_Fashion_Design_Icons_Durand_205x205 Durand Guion
Group Vice President, Fashion Director of Macy’s

“Iconic means timeless, a connection to something, that has heritage and foundation. With fashion it’s about how it’s brought forward, changed or adapted for today.”


Infor_Fashion_Design_Icons_MarcScibelli_205x205 Marc Scibelli
Chief Creative Officer, Infor

“Each designer expressed their own point of view and demonstrated their goals for their designs. That’s what made them iconic.”


Infor_Fashion_Design_Icons_ErickRowe_205x205 Erik Rowe
Vice President, Infor Retail and Fashion

“In my view, iconic designs are representative symbols. The most iconic designs link us to who we are as individuals or as a society.”

The judges

Our all-star panel of judges are leaders in fashion and business. Marigay McKee is a well-known consultant in the luxury retail sphere known for her astute business acumen and elegant fashion aesthetic. Temple St. Clair is a lauded haute couture jewelry designer. Her passion for creative expression in gold and precious gemstones is recognized around the world, with museums competing to host her collections. Durand Guion provides the strategic direction for trends and fashion forecasting for Macy’s. He is known for his ability to translate his impeccable taste to meet the lifestyle needs of the Macy’s customer. And Marc Scibelli, Chief Creative Officer of Infor, leads Hook & Loop Digital—a team of strategists and creatives who partner with Infor customers to plan, design, assemble, and run large-scale digital ecosystems.

For the business plan contest, Erik Rowe, Infor Vice President for Retail and Fashion businesses represented Infor on the judge panel. Erick is leading the strategy to build the next generation of Infor software solutions to address the digital disruption taking place in the fashion and retail industry.

Who’s wearing the gown September 8 at the ICONS red carpet event?


Olivia Perez
Fashion Influencer,  founder of Friend of a Friend

Olivia Perez has been selected as the fashion influencer for this year’s ICONS event to wear the winning design. The FIT design students could learn more about Olivia through her well-established social media channels. Follow Olivia on Instagram and on her blog.

“Technology has helped advance the fashion industry. Technology is a direct influence in growing a brand’s community and gaining exposure. It expands the team.”

Why is a business software company sponsoring a fashion design contest for NYC college students?

Infor is not your typical enterprise software company. We’re committed to the success of our customers today, and investing in the next generation: the next generation of fashion designers and business leaders, the next generation workforce, and the next generation of software designers and developers.

Our software is designed to work beautifully—intuitively, responsively, and elegantly. Our industry-specific cloud applications are pre-built with last-mile functionality and requirements, and enhanced with scientific insights and predictive analytics.

We’re making a dedicated investment in next gen software for the fashion and retail industries. Retail software hasn’t seen much change in more than 20 years despite major technological advances. Infor is changing that. Learn about the Infor Retail revolution.

To continue to deliver on this promise, Infor is also investing in the workforce of the future through the Infor Education Alliance Program (EAP), we’re helping today’s students gain real world experiences that will prepare them for their professional careers tomorrow.

Our partnership with FIT includes the Infor | FIT Fashion Design ICON Award and the FIT/Infor Design & Tech Lab. The Lab will train cross-disciplinary teams of students to act as consultants to analyze and solve real world business problems, with the guidance of FIT faculty and Infor experts.