Known for her bold colors, evocative prints and signature silhouettes, Nanette Lepore has become one of the leading names in contemporary American fashion. Born in Youngstown, Ohio, Nanette married painter Robert Savage and headed east to New York City. Outfitted with only her talent, tenacity and a $5,000 loan from her father, Nanette launched her label in New York City’s Garment Center.
Inspired by her artsy bohemian childhood and passion for a good party, Nanette’s designs are adored by style makers and celebrities alike, including Michelle Obama, Nicki Minaj, Scarlett Johansson, Taylor Swift, Abigail Breslin, Blake Lively, Arianna Huffington, Carly Rae Jepsen and Kristin Chenoweth.
Nanette’s outspoken efforts to protect New York City’s Garment Center have helped to raise awareness and demand for American-made clothing.
Today, Nanette Lepore has grown into an international brand that offers women’s apparel, swimwear, accessories and homeware. Nanette Lepore has shops across the United States, Europe, and Asia—including boutiques in New York, Los Angeles, Bal Harbour, Las Vegas, Boston, London and Tokyo.
Radley Cramer, Fashion Program Director joined Marist as Fashion Program Director in 2006. His career has included advertising positions at Abraham & Strauss and creative concept development at Revlon. While serving as a creative marketing consultant for many years, his client list included top luxury fashion labels as well as leaders in cosmetics, fragrance, home furnishings and entertainment in both the US and Europe. Additionally Radley was the co-founder of a fiber arts retail and e-commerce business. He delights in working with Fashion Program faculty and students, and considers this his “dream job.”
Laurie DeJong is CEO of LDJ Productions, a NYC-based event management company. She is a 1987 Marist graduate and member of the College’s Board of Trustees. LDJ’s portfolio of clients include: L’Oréal, Yahoo, Live Person, Victoria’s Secret, Nickelodeon, and IMG where LDJ provides full production management services for all of IMG’s North American Fashion Weeks.
Under Laurie’s leadership, LDJ has grown to a multimillion-dollar operation. LDJ’s culture is built on a strong sense of community, dedication to professional growth, and social responsibility. LDJ was recently appointed as a founding member of Great Lakes Arts Association, a collaborative of the East African nations of Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Congo, and Burundi, working together to develop their arts programs. LDJ produced the first East Africa Fashion Collaborative in May 2014. (ldjproductions.com)
After graduating from the Fashion Program at Marist College in 1988, immediately set out to launch his own brand, Morrissey. Morrissey demonstrates the designer’s affinity for superior construction, attention to detail, quality fabric, and great fit. Building on the serge in domestic production, JR has created “Factory,” a network of boutique manufacturing within the five boroughs of NYC. Dedicated to providing brands with resources and skills necessary to streamline their sample to production process, as well as the intimacy and convenience that come hand in hand with local manufacturing.
JR presides over the Fashion Advisory Board for his alma mater, Marist College.
Dr. Dennis J. Murray
Dr. Dennis J. Murray was appointed president of Marist College in 1979 and is one of the longest-serving and most accomplished presidents in the United States. During Dr. Murray’s tenure, the College has quadrupled enrollments while becoming highly selective in admissions and establishing many new academic programs, including a branch campus in Florence, Italy. The campus has gone from 93 to 230 acres, and virtually all of Marist’s 50 buildings have been constructed or renovated. More than $400 million has been invested in the campus. Most recently, the College completed a $150 million capital campaign.
Dr. Murray is active in the civic community. In 2011, Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed him as co-chair of the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council and as a member of the statewide Chairman’s Council to help New York State become more competitive. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Roosevelt Institute and is chair of its Presidential Library Committee. Dr. Murray is also a board member of the Greenway Conservancy for the Hudson River Valley, which oversees the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area. Dr. Murray’s significant contributions have been recognized with numerous awards, and Hudson Valley magazine described him as one of the 35 most influential people in the history of the region. (marist.edu)