NYU Alumni & Friends Connect

September 15, 2021

In celebration of New York Fashion Week (September 8-–12, 2021), check out some of the many NYU alumni entrepreneurs who started their own businesses in the fashion and beauty industries. This round-up gives just a taste of the countless creatives who are making a name of themselves in these fields. Visit the NYU Alumni-Owned Business Directory and choose “Fashion” or “Beauty” from the industry filter to see more Violet visionaries.

NYU prepares students for careers in the field by offering a number of degrees and specializations. NYU Stern's Fashion & Luxury MBA mereges essential business skills such as finance and economics with the intricate insight of the fashion world from luxury marketing to supply chain management. Other programs at the University include NYU Steinhardt’s MA in Costume Studies, NYU Gallatin’s Program in Global Fashion, and NYU SPS’s course in fashion design, styling, and merchandising.

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This is not an exhaustive list and only highlights a small number of NYU alumni businesses. Please visit the NYU Alumni-Owned Business Directory for a more comprehensive list, including more fashion and beauty businesses, or to submit your business. Please note inclusion does not indicate endorsement by NYU.

Alf-Phi Inc.

Founded by Tia Robinson (TSOA ’97), Alf-Phi is an upcycled, ethically sourced, and sustainable children’s clothing brand crafted from preloved and vintage textiles. Alf-Phi upholds its commitment to the environment by creating beloved children’s clothing from reclaimed materials and keeping good items out of landfills—giving you beautiful clothing with care.

Discount: NYU alumni can enjoy a 10% discount on their purchase by using the code NYUALUM10.

Area Stars

A LGBTQ+- and BIPOC-owned fashion brand, Area Stars was launched by Arjun (AJ) Majumdar (CAS ’97) to help women of all backgrounds feel like a star in their own area. Think colorful, flowy, beautiful patterns that elevate tops and dresses as well as skirts and hand bags. Find them at Nordstrom, Rent the Runway, high end boutiques, and at their online store.  

Mott & Bow

Praised by Business Insider, InStyle, Men’s Health, and many other publications, Mott & Bow is a startup that makes affordable premium denim for men and women. The company was founded by Alejandro Chahin (STERN ’13) on the idea that premium grade jeans should be available at a reasonable price. Check out their home-try-on program where you can test out a second pair of jeans for free, choose the best fit for you, keep the one you like and mail the other one back at no cost.  

Sam Edelman

Whether your fall wardrobe calls for a sophisticated loafer, a stacked Mary Jane, or a stylish slip-on, the shoe collection at Sam Edelman has you covered. Started by Libby Edelman (WSC ’77), their visitation is inspired by timeless American elegance that bridges aspiration and attainability.  


Founded by Janet Rodriguez (STEINHARDT ’74), SoHarlem’s vision is to sustain a collective of designers by providing space and supportive services in design and fashion. They also share expertise by training community members in garment construction providing potential apprenticeships in the fashion industry. Learn about their designers’ studio, apprenticeships, and featured items.  

The Instylist, LLC

Interested in revamping your wardrobe? Look no further than Danielle Donovan’s (LAW ’13) company, The Instylist. Offering full-scale personal styling services, image consulting, bridal styling, and personal shopping for women, their mission is to empower people of all backgrounds, shapes, sizes, and walks of life to look and feel great.


Experience the joy of shopping and working with a personal stylist at Trove. Founder Davis Vergnolle (STEINHARDT ’21) brings customers a trove of apparel, hair accessories, hand bags, and many more items that will elevate your look for the season. Their goal is to provide clothing that is made from innovative material or by a hardworking artisan—so your closet is always full of exciting choices.  

Wearable Media

Wearable Media is a wearable technology design studio based in New York, co-founded by Hellyn Teng (TSOA ’15) and Yuchen Zhang. They identify as an AAPI-owned business and their work has been showcased with Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Alibaba/Taobao, The Wall Street Journal, The Verge, VENICE DESIGN, Viva Technology, ON CANAL by Wallplay, Paris Fashion Week, and many more.