Momentum Women™ Honor Fern Mallis
MOMENTUM WOMEN™ HONOREE FERN MALLIS, SR. VICE PRESIDENT OF IMG FASHION
On Wednesday January 13, 2010 Momentum Women™ honored Fern Mallis with the 12th Momentum Award™ for her outstanding accomplishments, which have captivated and changed the fashion industry and had a huge impact on fashion related charities. The memorable evening was held in a gorgeous private room at the legendary Le Cirque restaurant in New York City. The host committee for the event included Holly Cao, Alina Cho, Sue Devitt, Heidi Diamond, Kara Young Georgiopoulos, Di Petroff, Lisa Silhanek, Cynthia Ekberg Tsai & Momentum Women founder and president Ceslie Armstrong.
Known as as the most influential woman in the fashion industry and referred to as the founder of Fashion Week, Mallis' official position is the Senior Vice President of IMG Fashion. She has had a compelling career path including Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the International Design Center, Principal of Fern Mallis Public Relations, Executive Director of 7th on Sixth Productions, Executive Director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and currently holds the position at IMG Fashion that produces Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York City and other major cities around the globe. She is recognized for bringing runway shows to the arena of the big, white tents at Bryant Park that has been home to New York Fashion Week since 1993 and for the spring/summer 2011 collections (held in September 2010) she will oversee the move of the official shows to Lincoln Center.
Among her many charity related endeavors, during her 10-year tenure at the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Mallis implemented Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, a campaign that has sold over $100 million in merchandise and has generated more than $50 million in donations for hundreds of breast cancer organizations worldwide. She was a founding board member and former vice chair of the Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids (DIFFA). She also oversaw the successful AIDS fund-raiser, 7th on Sale, which twice grossed more than $8 million for charities. (more text below)
(L) Ceslie Armstrong, Fern Mallis (R) Kara Young Georgiopoulos, Bethann Hardison
(L) Alba Cera, Caroline Alexa McBride (R) Paula Batson, Nick Buzzell (executive producer of NBTV and a producer of the Momentum Women "You, Better!" show)
(L) Willow Jarosh, Stephanie Clarke (R) Meredith Dichter, Jessica Stark, Di Petroff (B) Tomoe Odahara, Alex Lee, Mickey Ateyah
(L) Tanya Pushkine, Amy Pellicane, Erin Cohen (R) Cynthia Ekberg Tsai, Mona Shah
(L) Ceslie Armstrong, Jill Gabbe, Pamela Morgan (R) Gail Blanke, Di Petroff (B) Ceslie Armstong, Fern Mallis, Petra Lieb
(L) Evette Rios (R) Enid Shor, Laura Lanteri
Founder Ceslie Armstrong addressed the membership with news about the organization including acknowledging Susan McCue of the White Ribbon Alliance (dedicated charity of Momentum Women) who attended and educated the members about the WRA's US campaign "Mother's Day Every Day." After her inspiring remarks, Ceslie introduced Mallis who she has known since her magazine career and attending more than 26 seasons of NY Fashion Week's shows. Ceslie spoke about how Fern is a respected woman in business who is approachable, pragmatic, caring and always reminds the press about the importance of the financial impact the fashion industry has on New York City, the U.S. and globally. Mallis was humbled as she received her Momentum Women Award presented by co-sponsors CESLIE: The Women's Network and Kara Young Georgiopoulos of Hair Rules.
Mallis spoke to the group of how women need to help one another and empower each other. “Whom do you always turn to?” Mallis asked the group, "your girlfriends!" She spoke of how women in the work community need to treat each other just as girlfriends do rather than competing. She remarked that the basic tenets of the Momentum Women organization are inspiring because the group fosters a non-competitive and truly empowering networking and social platform for professional women. She showed her dedication in wanting to help others succeed and share her knowledge. (more text below)
(R) Heidi Diamond, Sue Denison, Ceslie Armstrong (L) Sirio Maccioni, Fern Mallis, Cesie Armstong, Marco Maccioni
Kristy Engels, Anthoney Dickey of Hair Rules, Holly Cao
Hair Rules founder and fashion industry veteran Kara Young Georgiopoulous said, “Fashion is an inherently chaotic industry. Fern Mallis was able to create order out of chaos, turning Fashion Week into a well-oiled machine. Her commitment to commerce and charity are an inspiration to me both personally and professionally."
Another host of the evening, celebrity make-up artist Sue Devitt and founder of Sue Devitt Beauty spoke of Mallis: “The quality I love most in Fern is her open heart that’s filled with compassion. We all know she’s successful, brilliant, hilarious and courageous but maybe you don’t all know how wonderfully supportive and compassionate she is. Fern really walks the walk and it’s an honor to be her friend,” said Devitt. (more text below)
Jill Lynne, Ceslie Armstrong, Lisa Silhanek
Tavalon Tea Products and Tavalon SmarTEAnis
Le Cirque Atmosphere
Above Photos by PMc Photographer Carrie Shaltz
(L) Fern Mallis, Petra Lieb (R) Kara Young Georgiopoulos, Ceslie Armstrong, Fern Mallis
Mallis got her start in the Fashion Industry by winning Mademoiselle magazine's “Guest Editor” competition. At the event, she addressed the Momentum Women members and special guests with a touching and relevant story about how she has paid it forward and helped another young woman get her start in the industry. Fern met a thirteen year-old named Maggie outside of the tents of Bryant Park one day during Fashion Week. Maggie approached Fern to pose for a picture and Maggie’s mother expressed how much a simple photo would mean and that the family was excited to be outside the tents feeling the excitement and energy of the shows. Maggie was driven and stayed in contact with Fern. Fern helped Maggie with her own online publication called “Maggiezine” which Fern helped her name. Maggie sent Fern an email telling her she was thankful and how Fern impacted her life as her mentor and friend. Fern was touched by what Maggie had done for her as well. Her emotional story was so relevant to the women in the room and generated a few tears and recognition in the crown about what others have done for them, and what they have given back to others.
Kelly Cutrone, founder of People’s Revolution and star of Bravo's "Kel on Earth" made a statement from the crowd after Mallis’ remarks and shared how much Fern meant to her. She spoke of her first time being near Fern Mallis during Fashion Week and feeling intimated, but wanted to make a good impression to prove she was a hard worker who wanted to succeed and learn from such an icon. Kelly expressed that sometimes women who have had great successes and power forgot how it is to be an intern who is afraid, but full of passion; and, that a wave, wink, smile, or a simple gesture from someone they look up to can have a huge impact. Successful women make other women successful and this was a very cherished moment to experience at this Momentum Women Award acceptance speech.
(L) Fern Mallis (R) Kelly Cutrone, Ceslie Armstrong
Lisa Silhanek, Mickey Ateyah, Ceslie Armstrong, Joanna Coles, Petra Lieb
Above Photos by Steve Barkaszi
Le Cirque was a gorgeous venue to hold the Momentum Women event and bring the group together and celebrity proprietors Sirio Maccione and son Marco joined for a toast to long-time restaurant patrons Fern and Ceslie. The Momentum Women members continued to indulge on the healthy hors d'ouevres from Le Cirque's chef and sip the delicious MoTEAtos and SmarTEAnis expertly mixed by Tea Sommelier and co-founder of Tavalon Tea, Chris Cason. The group shared a memorable time with each other and left in style with goodie bags from sponsor Hair Rules and a white ribbon pin to remember the importance of the WRA supporting the awareness of women's and infant mortality and safe motherhood. This was an event that left women with a story to share about the importance of supporting and empowering one another while having fun and sharing advice in style.
CEO John-Paul Lee, Sommoliere Chris Cason and Tavalon Tea Team
Above Photo by Quinn Fisher