Thank you to our sponsors! Click on each logo for more about these companies.

1 :05PM EST


Learn the key trends, platforms and how fashion gaming is igniting creativity for new marketing


CAITLIN SHELL  CBO, Brandible Games & BD Director, Tilting Point

Caitlin is the Chief Business Officer of Brandible Games and also a BD Director at Tilting Point games. She is the Founder and Director of a consulting firm, C-Shell consulting, which specializes in bridging the gap between fashion and gaming. She has spent the last few years as a c-suite advisor to brands and games studios.

Prior to that she was part of the executive board at the mobile fashion game Drest and led Product Content and Business Development, managing the teams responsible for all game content as well as all external partnerships. Prior to living in London, Caitlin was in Silicon Valley where she was the Head of Business Development for Glu Mobile, overseeing all studios. Before the acquisition by Glu, she ran partnerships for Covet Fashion and Design Home at Crowdstar.

Preceding this career in lifestyle gaming Caitlin lived in New York City where she worked in fashion for nearly a decade. She worked in partnerships and sales across a variety of both small and large designers such as Vince Camuto and Ben Sherman. Her unique experience in both the fashion and lifestyle gaming industries makes Caitlin a clear leader of the next generation of entertainment products that blend together brands and games, redefining the player experience.

COLE WASSNER  CEO, Wassner Management Group

Cole Wassner founded Wassner Management Group in 2017 after spending a decade at other agencies creating partnerships in the fashion space.  Once launched, Cole branched out beyond just fashion to incorporate fashion, sports and all lifestyle under the WMG umbrella. Cole has created unique partnerships, throughout his career, with the likes of Sony Pictures, Amazon Studios, The NBA, IndyCar, Russell Westbrook of the NBA, Andre Leon Talley, Zappos, Saks Fifth Avenue, Paramount Pictures, T.J. Maxx, Selfridges, 47’ Brand, Fila, MCM, and many others.

Cole focuses on creating long term partnerships which are unique in the world and can truly stand on their own and survive the test of time.  These partnerships come from his long-standing relationships across multiple industries. Cole grew up in the fashion space; his father’s company, Hilldun Corporation has been financing and factoring the fashion industry for 50 years.

In recent years, Cole has created partnerships, which range from licenses to collaborations and even publishing deals, which will reshape the industries they’re rooted in.  In 2022, Cole received the “Entrepreneur of the Year” award from Fashion Group International due to his unique partnerships and status in the industry.

DAVID BALLIN  Senior Director of Brand Heat, Puma Group

David Ballin is senior brand management and product creation professional with over 18+ years of experience in the footwear and apparel industry. Working in various roles inside two of the largest companies in the industry, Puma SE ($9.3B), and New Balance ($5.3B), he has built a reputation for leading large scale commercial projects that drive consumer connectivity, build brand cache, and increase sales. Through data analytics, marketplace contacts, and an in depth understanding of consumer behavior David has been an integral part leading Puma’s growth in the last 12+ yrs. Currently in his 13th year at Puma he is now the Sr Director – Brand Heat at Puma, tasked with ensuring brand strategies, concepts and partnerships are aligned to the needs of the target consumers.

JEFF PETRIELLO  Producer, New York Times & Adjunct Faculty, NYU Game Center

Jeff Petriello is the producer of new games at the New York Times, and an adjunct at the NYU Game Center where he teaches Game Design. Previous to his work on games like Connections, Wordle, and Spelling Bee, Jeff produced the 2023 BAFTA and IGF Award-winning narrative game IMMORTALITY, and shipped HBO’s Insecure: The Come Upgame. He also designed a queer, Italian-American themed Tarot deck, The Past Tarot, published in 2022 by Penguin Random House / Clarkson Potter. Prior to his work in games, Jeff produced digital media at Mashable and NowThis News, and worked with clients like the NBA, GAP, SoulCycle, and Bleacher Report. He eagerly awaits a Wordlebot plushie.


ELAINE MENSAH  Founder & CEO, Showroom Etc

Elaine Mensah is the Founder & CEO of Showroom Etc, a business advisory + multi-brand showroom dedicated to redefining how the world experiences African fashion & luxury with clients spanning fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and hospitality.
Through new thinking, strategic advisory, and curating collaborations, Elaine enables her clients, partners, and projects to reach and meet the needs of the global-minded luxury consumer – wherever they are.

Elaine has 20+ years experience working with brands large and small across industries to elevate their presence and position in the market. Her expertise is in business development, strategic partnerships, brand positioning & scaling.

www.showroometc.com | @showroometcetc



Discover the revolutionary impact of AI in the beauty industry in our expert panel, exploring cutting-edge technologies transforming our
perception and engagement with beauty.

Presented by:


BAZE MPINJA  Beauty Writer & Consultant

Baze is a former senior beauty editor for Glamour magazine and one of the original contributors to Glamour.com’s ground-breaking beauty blog. Before Glamour, Baze served as beauty editor for Vibe Vixen, a girly spin-off of the music title Vibe. She was also the associate beauty editor for Suede, a multicultural fashion and beauty magazine. Her television credits include The Today Show, The Tyra Banks Show, The CBS Early Show and the WCBS evening news. She also penned a book, Seventeen Ultimate Guide to Beauty.

As a freelance writer, Baze has explored topics such as the enduring appeal of supermodels, the evolution of aesthetic procedures and the hair struggles of Black women in the military. She has also profiled pioneering entrepreneurs, a refugee turned supermodel and New York City’s hottest chef, among others.

Baze’s writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Elle, Allure, Oprah Quarterly, Essence, Real Simple, New York and HuffPost, among other outlets.

In addition to her editorial work, Baze is a coveted copywriter and brand consultant. Her past and present clients include The Ritz-Carlton, Ami Colé, Unilever, NARS, Maybelline, Prose and Think Common Entertainment.

Find her online at bazempinja.com or @bazempinja.

DOMINIC-MADORI DAVIS  Venture Capital Reporter, TechCrunch

Dominic-Madori Davis is a venture capital reporter at TechCrunch.

JOY FENNELL  Founder & CEO, The Future in Black

Joy Fennell is a visionary and innovator, masterfully blending the worlds of technology and Black beauty. Her journey has been nothing short of transformative, evolving from a highly sought-after fashion makeup artist to a pioneering Afro-surrealist AI artist. With over two decades in the pulsating heart of New York City’s fashion scene, Joy has collaborated with industry titans like Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, and Marc Jacobs, earning acclaim as a talented artist and creative force.

Her extraordinary creativity and love for beauty led to the birth of The Joy in Beauty, an online platform that goes beyond the typical beauty destination. It stands as a celebration of individuality, art, fashion, design, and culture, offering a space for women to discover and embrace their unique selves.

As a passionate advocate for the Black creative community, Joy utilized The Joy in Beauty to foster conversations around representation, inclusivity, and diversity within the beauty and fashion worlds. This commitment to elevating Black beauty and her spirit of innovation paved the way for her transition into an Afro-surrealist AI artist.

Joy’s latest venture, The Future in Black (www.thefutureinblack), further amplifies her innovative pursuits. As the founder of this cutting-edge design studio, she guides beauty, fashion, and art brands into the Web 3.0 space, employing AI, AR, and immersive technologies to create unique digital experiences. Her work here continues to push boundaries, showcasing the endless possibilities of technology-infused creativity.

Additionally, as the founder of the All Black Everything Summit (www.allblackeverythingsummit.com), Joy has created a platform for amplifying Black voices and talents in the creative sector, further cementing her role as a trailblazer in the industry.

Today, Joy is a beacon of artistic innovation, seamlessly integrating Afro-surrealist themes with cutting-edge technology to craft spellbinding AI art. Her work, rich with historical, identity, and futuristic elements, occupies a distinctive niche at the crossroads of technology, fashion, and beauty. Through her artistic endeavors, Joy Fennell continues to inspire, challenge conventional norms, and redefine the future of art and creative expression.

NEAHLE JONES  VP, US Consumer Engagement, Consumer Products Division – L’Oréal

Neahle I. Jones is a seasoned strategist with 20+ years’ experience helping marketers build successful communications strategy and maximize efforts in digital marketing and transformation. She began her career at Ogilvy & Mather/Mindshare and served on several top
tier advertising accounts including Kimberly-Clark, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, American Express and L’Oréal USA. For this work, she was named as one of the Top Women in Advertising and Marketing by Black Enterprise Magazine (2013 and 2014). She left the agency world in 2015, joining L’Oréal USA to support the organization’s digital journey and modernize consumer communications strategy. Neahle currently serves as VP, US Consumer Engagement for the Consumer Products Division, providing expertise on brand engagement, influencer strategy,
advocacy, & content.


TOMI TALABI  Co-Founder, The Black Beauty Club

Tomi Talabi co-founded The Black Beauty Club, a social enterprise to build authentic community and resolve the inadequate representation of Black-owned beauty brands. In 2023, she launched The Black Beauty Club digital web series featuring thought leaders, critics, and founders within the black beauty space to discuss and celebrate the impact of black culture on the global beauty industry. Tomi was named to the ULTA MUSE 100 as a thought leader for her work in the beauty space and drive to bridge the economic gap for Black beauty founders.

Tomi is an impact-driven communications leader with a track record of developing consumer-centric strategies to increase brand awareness, authentic engagement, and brand advocacy and drive transformative global business results. She is passionate about bridging the gap between new technology and underrepresented demographics. She led the launch of first-to-market inclusive AI innovations and has held executive communication positions in the fashion and beauty industry for 15+ years with legacy brands like Bobbi Brown, Estee Lauder, UGG, boohoo.com, and more.

Tomi is a global citizen who grew up in West Africa and the United Kingdom. She lives in Harlem, New York, with her son, Rizzy. Tomi completed her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Communications at DePaul University in Chicago.



Join us to learn about the newest Retail technologies advancing the business of fashion, beauty and more.

Presented by:



Alex Nisenzon is the CEO of Charm.io, a New York-based company revolutionizing the DTC Brand Discovery & Analysis landscape. Passionate about leveraging complex data to drive strategic growth in large enterprises, Alex combines a deep technical understanding of data with commercial acumen. His career spans over a decade in the data realm, and includes significant contributions at Similarweb where he supported scaling the company’s revenue from $30M to
over $210M ARR through its IPO journey.

At Charm.io, Alex leads a team dedicated to offering unparalleled insights into more than 4 million brands, enhancing decision-making for retailers, investors, and B2B SaaS businesses. Leveraging proprietary AI models, Charm is the first comprehensive brand analysis platform of its kind.

With a foundation in web development and a history of driving significant projects in the digital and ecommerce sectors, Alex’s career reflects a blend of innovation, leadership, and strategic vision. His work at Wiser Solutions and ServiceRunner.com, among other roles, has established him as a leader adept at navigating the complexities of the digital landscape to deliver tangible business outcomes.

Alex holds a dual degree in Finance and Operations & Technology Management from Boston University’s Questrom School of Business where he was a recipient of the Dean’s Scholarship. Beyond his professional pursuits, he resides in Connecticut with his family, indulging in hobbies like crossword puzzles, films, and sports. Alex’s commitment to data-driven decision-making and strategic growth continues to set new benchmarks in the industry, making him a visionary leader at Charm.io. You can follow Alex on LinkedIn @nisenzon and https://nisenzon.com/home.

CLAUDIA POCCIA  CEO, Grace de Monaco

Claudia Poccia is the Chief Executive Officer for Grace de Monaco, a luxury-for-good maison wholly-owned by the Princess Grace Foundation-USA. She brings over 30 years of industry experience having previously held C-suite positions at notable companies including Estee Lauder, Laura Mercier, Avon Beauty, and bareMinerals for Shiseido to name a few. Claudia is recognized for her expertise in visionary brand stewardship through an unwavering passion for identifying game-changing opportunities to revitalize brands and drive business transformation. Claudia joined Grace de Monaco in 2022 and is thrilled to bring her expertise to the first global luxury brand for good. Claudia’s talent for energizing brands at all stages has earned her numerous industry accolades. Beauty Inc. named her one of the Top 50 Most Influential People in Beauty. She has also been the recipient of the Cosmetic Executive Women Achiever Award, Women’s Wear Daily Beauty Biz Award for Innovative Marketer and Girl Scouts of Greater New York Woman of Distinction.

KIMBERLY CARNEY  Founder & CEO, FashWire

Kimberly Carney is the Founder and CEO of The Wires, three high-growth global B2B2C platform marketplaces: FashWire, GlossWire and CasaWire. Kimberly is an entrepreneur who is passionate about tech, supporting emerging brands, and a fierce advocate for both individual and company success. She is deeply experienced in building and growing successful businesses.

With over 20 years of experience in marketing for mobile and tech companies and 15 years in the multi-brand retail space, Kimberly has a unique perspective into fashion and beauty’s interplay of data and marketability. The drive to bridge the connection between technology, consumers and brands was the catalyst for Kimberly to launch FashWire. In 2018, she seized the opportunity in the fashion sector to connect fashion designers and consumers by leveraging technology in an innovative, low cost and scalable way. Kimberly combined her previous experience in tech with her retail knowledge and industry experience to develop a platform where emerging and established brands could co-exist in one space, providing valuable data for the industry.

In addition to disrupting the fashion space, Kimberly launched into beauty in 2021 with GlossWire, a one-stop technology platform solution catering to emerging beauty brands. GlossWire has grown to over 300 beauty brands and Kimberly is already making a significant impact in the beauty industry, including being a named a finalist in Unilever Prestige and WWD’s Project Connect in 2021 and in the 2022 Glossy Beauty Awards for Best Use of Emerging Digital Platform. With the success of FashWire and GlossWire, Kimberly recently launched into the home and décor $700B global market with CasaWire.

Kimberly was the 1st Place Winner for Women in Business in the 2021 for the International Trade Council’s Go Global Awards and won New Retail Concept for Fashion Group International’s 2021 Rising Star Award in 2021 She serves on the Board of Gifting Brands and most recently, FashWire won Best Fashion Marketplace in the 2022 Glossy Fashion Awards. Kimberly is also recognized by New York Fashion Tech Lab as an industry expert and by Authority Magazine as a female disruptor in technology. Most recently, Kimberly received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award at Fashion Group International’s 2023 Rising Star Awards. Kimberly holds an BA in Business Management and Marketing from Seattle University.

Kimberly is a rare mix of fashion, beauty, and tech with an entrepreneurial spirit. She has an innate talent to identify market needs and delivers on those needs through passion, vision, drive and authenticity. Simply put, she is a trailblazer within the retail digital sector.

MARA SIRHAL  Chief Merchant & Brand Officer, SAKS OFF 5TH

As Chief Merchant and Brand Officer at Saks OFF 5TH, Mara oversees Buying, Planning, Creative and the overarching Saks OFF 5TH brand.

Previously, Mara served as EVP, Brand President, Bed Bath and Beyond and Harmon Beauty at Bed Bath and Beyond. She oversaw Merchandising, Planning, Stores and Brand Marketing. In this capacity, she had full responsibility for the end-to-end customer experience across all channels. Mara began her 20 year long career in retail at Macy’s as a Buyer. She held roles of increasing responsibility across various
categories eventually culminating in Vice President, Leased, Retail as a Service & Retail Diversity Strategy. Throughout her tenure she worked across multiple functions and categories, such as Women’s, Men’s, Fragrances, Home and Leased.

Mara holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Retail Management from Syracuse University.


Rohan Deuskar is the Founder and CEO of Stylitics, the leading inspirational commerce platform that powers thousands of visual outfitting, styling and bundling programs for a sizable proportion of the world’s major fashion and home retailers, working with more than 3,350 brands and providing outfitting for over 200 million shoppers a year. He is one of the most prolific inventors in retail technology, with a number of patents for technology now used by over 150 retailers across site, app, email, social and stores including Nike, Kohl’s, Puma, Express, Revolve, JCPenney, Macy’s, Crate & Barrel and more.

Rohan has been recognized for his work by New York City and by the retail industry. He was selected as a NYC Fashion Fellow by NYC’s Economic Development Corporation, and has been a keynote speaker or guest lecturer at CommerceNext, NY Fashion Week, WWD at SXSW, FIT, LIM, Parson’s, and the Wharton School.

Before starting Stylitics, Rohan completed his MBA at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Rohan lives in NYC, where Stylitics is headquartered.


KARYN SCHOENBART  Co-Founder & Managing Director, Duo Partners

Karyn Schoenbart is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Duo Partners. She was previously CEO of The NPD Group, one of the largest global providers of information and advisory services and author of Mom.B.A.: Essential Business Advice from One Generation to the Next. With over 30 years of experience in the corporate world, Karyn is well-versed in the topics of leadership, strategy, and business development. She is also a passionate advocate for women in business, and her moderating style is known for its ability to engage the audience by creating a vibrant and inclusive discussion for all participants.

Karyn has moderated dozens of successful events, including a panel discussion with women CEOs at the Women’s Foodservice Forum President’s lunch and the Keynote panel with a leading automotive aftermarket CEOs at the AAIA conference. She is also a frequent speaker at conferences and events on topics related to leadership, business, and women in the workplace.

Karyn can tap into her vast network of executives to help secure panelists for your event.

Karyn has a keen understanding of the challenges facing businesses today. She is a natural connector who loves building relationships and bringing people together. She was awarded the Accessories Council HERO Award for her work during COVID where she used her retail knowledge and relationship-building skills to connect with C-suite executives from a variety of industries. She hosted virtual meetups, webinars, and roundtables to discuss the latest trends and challenges facing businesses as they navigated the pandemic.

To learn more about Karyn visit www.karynschoenbart.com. 
For booking inquires please contact Chrystal Arifi-Blythe at cab@duopartners.com.



Esteemed FIT faculty will discuss innovations in fashion design, industry creativity, the art, science, and technology behind environmental and social change, and the concept of knit visualization via new educational technologies. 

Presented by:


DAN SHEFELMAN  Associate Professor, Chair, Illustration & Interactive Media

Dan Shefelman is a cartoonist and director with vast experience in visual media ranging from newspapers to virtual reality. He started his NYC career as an editorial cartoonist for Newsday and King Features. Moving into animation design and storyboarding, Dan worked on several major NY area productions including MTV’s first foray into animated features, Beavis and Butt-Head do America and one of Nickelodeon’s first animated series, Doug. At Blue Sky Studios, Dan was a senior story artist on their first feature, Ice Age as well as Robots and Ice Age: The Meltdown. Visual storytelling and design are at the heart of Dan’s work whether it be for mixed reality, feature films or television. As the modes of telling visual stories rapidly evolve, Dan continues to explore new ways of shaping these stories, adopting new technologies and techniques and forms. As a professor at FIT, Shefelman founded the Illustration Program’s Visual Story for Evolving Media program, leads innovation in emerging creative technology and is currently Chair of the Illustration & Interactive Media Department. In 2019 as creative director of The Animation Project (TAP) — a NYC youth workforce development program — Shefelman directed a team of TAP trainees on several projects. Among them a 300 foot mural and augmented reality experience in East Harlem and the animated short film Frog Legs.

AMY SPERBER  Assistant Professor, Fashion Design

Amy Sperber is a multidisciplinary fashion designer focused on innovative technical approaches and design thinking, Sperber aims at creating sustainable systems and creative solutions in clothing. She holds her BFA and MFA in Fashion Design from FIT and teaches in the undergraduate Fashion Design program.

KEITH ELLENBOGEN Associate Professor, Photography

Keith Ellenbogen is an acclaimed underwater photographer with a focus on environmental conservation. Through Keith’s photography, he seeks to evoke a sense of discovery and create intimate, personal connections to inspire positive social change and a global understanding of the world around us. Current affiliations include: Visiting Artist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT Sea Grant; Senior Fellow, International League of Conservation Photographers; Affiliate Partner, Mission Blue / Sylvia Earle Alliance; and Fellow at the Explorers Club.

IMRAN ISLAM  Assistant Professor, Textile Development and Marketing

Dr. Imran Islam is an Assistant Professor in Textile Development and Marketing Department at Fashion Institute of Technology. He holds a Ph.D. in Sustainability in Textiles and Apparel from Kansas State University, MBA in Marketing, MEngg. in Advanced Engineering Management, and B.S. in Textile Technology. Dr. Islam’s expertise includes sustainability, life cycle analysis, textile fibers and yarns, knitting and knit product development, textile testing and analysis, and application of textile technology to design. He is an author/ co-author of over 50 grants, peer-reviewed journal publications, and conference presentations, presented at national and international conferences. Dr. Islam is an active member of several professional societies and organizations including the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) and American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC).


JAMES PEARCE  Manager, Emerging Technologies

James Pearce is the Emerging Technologies Manager at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and runs their “Faculty Research Space”. The space is a cross-disciplinary studio where faculty and their students can research and experiment with emerging technologies – with an emphasis on practical application in the fashion and related industries. James is passionate about democratizing access to emerging tech – to be used as a catalyst to help create things of value that are sustainable, ethical, and globally relevant. James is also an adjunct professor at FIT, teaching interactive design + coding in their Creative Technology minor.