Berkeley College Cultivates Fashion Entrepreneurship in Brooklyn with the Launch of theBROOKLYNfashionincubator

Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
973-278-5400, ext. 1-5122


Please Join Us for a Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony


On: Tuesday, March 8, 2016 @ 5:30pm
Where: theBROOKLYNfashionincubator
            Berkeley College
            Room 309 
            255 Duffield Street
            Brooklyn, NY 11201
RSVP:  Sofia Anzalone, email: by March 1, 2016 

TheBROOKLYNfashionincubator (BFI) at Berkeley College will be revealed at an exclusive ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 8, 2016. Sponsors of theBROOKLYNfashionincubator include: Berkeley College, Macy’s, United Parcel Service, PGM Dress Form, and Express Trade Capital.

The mission of theBROOKLYNfashionincubator is to provide support and direction for the participants in residence to grow their businesses and succeed as entrepreneurs. BFI at Berkeley College stands out due to its future involvement with Brooklyn Fashion Week. BFI at Berkeley College also will be hosting panel events to involve the Brooklyn fashion community in the project. 

“We are thrilled to welcome theBROOKLYNfashionincubator to our campus, and to grow local talent that will impact the New York economy and the futures of our students,” said Michael J. Smith, President of Berkeley College. 

As the host institution in Brooklyn, Berkeley College provides the design space for the incubator and the necessary equipment, including sewing machines, dress forms, work areas and more. In addition, the Berkeley College Fashion Department, represented by Co-Chair Joshua Williams and Professor Nancianne Esposito, facilitate internship opportunities for students and career coaching for the involved designers, along with lectures and panel discussions for students and local fashion entrepreneurs. 

“This is an opportunity for Berkeley fashion students to interact with working designers, to see a fashion design studio, to participate in internships, and to take advantage of the many planned events bringing fashion professionals to our campus.  It’s a win-win for everyone involved,” said Mr. Williams. 

Four local fashion businesses are provided with work and office spaces, as well as mentoring by BFI at Berkeley College’s executive director, Maria Barraza. The businesses are also provided with invaluable exposure to experts in all facets of the business of fashion, including leading experts in sourcing, production, marketing, e-commerce, social media, public relations, branding, finance, and law. 

The BFI at Berkeley College program is conducted over a 12-month span.  One of the companies is BlackPhumelele, owned by Phumelele Kunene, a Berkeley College Fashion Merchandising and Management student. Ms. Kunene said her brand name is meant to empower black entrepreneurs to follow their dreams. The South African designer grew up in Swaziland, where her experience shaped her 1970s-inspired fashions. Ms. Kunene's company is based in Brooklyn, NY. 

A leader in providing career-focused education since 1931, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls approximately 8,300 students – including more than 700 international students – in its Baccalaureate and Associate degree and Certificate programs. Students can study in more than 20 career fields, including Fashion Merchandising & Management. The School of Graduate Studies offers a Master of Business Administration degree in Management online and in Woodland Park, NJ. 

Berkeley College has three New York locations – Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains. In New Jersey there are six locations – Clifton, Dover, Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park. Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. In January 2016, U.S. News & World Report named Berkeley College one of the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Degrees for the third consecutive year.  The website address


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