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2010 April 28

Fern Mallis Leaves IMG

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(NEW YORK) Fern Mallis, the senior vice president of IMG Fashion, is stepping down to form her own consulting and advisory firm, Fern Mallis LLC, effective tomorrow. IMG Fashion has signed on as Mallis' first client; she will continue to consult on its fashion week events as well as other fashion-related projects.

Mallis is directly responsible for the founding of New York's Fashion Week, which she conceived and executed during her tenure as executive director of the CFDA. The first fashion shows to be held, collectively, in New York's Bryant Park were held in 1993, and from that moment on, the American fashion industry was irrevocably changed. Within the first season, the naysayers who insisted that New York would never be a fashion destination like Milan and Paris were silenced, as both buyers and editors flocked to New York to see, and admire, the level of talent that had remained relatively hidden until then. 

The economic impact of a centralized and well-run show system cannot be underestimated. Aside from the thousands of jobs that were both sustained and created by show week, a new professional class of models, security guards, producers, and publicists was developed. Fashion students were welcomed by the industry, and used the Tents at Bryant Park as another classroom.

Mallis played a critical role in IMG's acquisition of the CFDA's 7th on Sixth division in 2001, at which point she joined IMG as senior vice president, where she tirelessly promoted New York, the Fashion Capital, while IMG achieved an unparalleled edge with which to develop other fashion events around the world.

“Fern was an important contributor to the successful growth of our fashion business and a consummate professional in helping our teams create events in the U.S., overseas and in diverse markets,” said Ted Forstmann, chairman and CEO of IMG, in a statement. “We are excited for her and wish her great success in this new chapter of her career.”

“I am ready to be starting my own company and look forward to advising and consulting on a wide variety of style, fashion, media and lifestyle programs, initiatives and branding strategies in the US and around the world,” Mallis said. “It’s time for me to participate in the exciting world outside ‘the tents’."

As for us at The Daily, which began as IMG's official Fashion Week publication and has since developed into an entire division of the company, including the site you're reading right now..."We never would have existed without my initial meeting with Fern," said Brandusa Niro, senior vice president of IMG Publishing. "I shared my thoughts about a fashion week publication with her, and she immediately went to bat for it. We wish her nothing but the best in her myriad projects, and we can't wait to see how her passions will play out next."

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