The Michigan Fashion Media Summit, an annual event put on by students at the University of Michigan, has curated an impressive lineup for its first virtual event. This year, the summit — which has welcomed 350 industry professionals and more than 700 annual attendees over the last three years — features fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, designer and celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe, MSNBC Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski, and more.
This year’s MFMS takes place March 8-10. The virtual summit includes panels, networking opportunities, and other activities, and it will focus on how professionals in the fashion, retail, and media spaces are pivoting during this time. Speakers will discuss how they’re reacting to the pandemic, social activism and social movements, and the changing economic landscape.
The first day of the conference kicks off with an opening keynote from Maverick Carter, CEO of the Springhill Co., and Nathan Forbes, president and managing partner of The Forbes Co. The day features panels on career and industry pivoting, social impact and brand purpose, confidence and career empowerment, and landing your dream job. Among that day’s speakers are Nancy Berger, senior vice president/ publishing director and chief revenue officer of Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, and Seventeen magazines; Courtney Wartman, global brand marketing director for Free People and FP Movement; and Matthew Trent, senior vice president of human resources for L’Oréal’s Luxury Division.
Day two features a talk on tech and fashion with panelists such as Scott Zalaznik, senior vice president of digital at Adidas, and Aliza Licht, a PR pro who hosts the podcast Leave Your Mark. Attendees can also tune into a keynote conversation with Zoe and her husband, Rodger Berman, who work as co-CEOs of the Rachel Zoe brand, and a chat about mental health in fashion with Peiman Raf, co-founder of Mad Happy, and Katie Sands, founder of the blog Honestly Kate.
The last day begins with a panel on the pandemic’s impact on retail and e-commerce with professionals like Marianne D’Elia, head of global merchandising and planning at Shinola Detroit, and Thibaut Perrin-Faivre, senior vice president of retail at Burberry. A fireside chat on style, culture, and the power of brands takes place around mid-day with Kejuan Wilkins, global vice president of enterprise communications at Nike, and Desmond Marzette, a partner and creative director at CAA AMP, a marketing company launched by NBA star Dwayne Wade. And finally, the closing keynote features Furstenberg, who releases her new book, Own It: The Secret to Your Life, next week, in conversation with Brzezinski.
The event, which in past years has taken place over one day at the U-M campus in Ann Arbor, is able to expand its reach this year with its new virtual platform. The summit is geared toward college students who are exploring career opportunities, but anybody is welcome to attend. There is an unlimited number of free tickets for the summit. However, those who are interested in checking out the MFMS are encouraged to register online as soon as possible.
For more information and to register, visit michiganfashionmediasummit.com.