Design Philadelphia: FASHION FACE-OFF Panel Discussion

Join Thomas Jefferson University Fashion Design faculty, staff, and students on Thursday, October 20th from 6PM-8PM for FASHION FACE-OFF, a panel discussion event featuring fashion industry professionals.  As fashion evolves, fashion must face-off issues surrounding sustainability, ethics, diversity, and inclusivity. Explore these conversations with our academic and industry panelists and how designers plan to shift the fashion agenda forward.

FASHION FACE-OFF | Fashion Design Panel at Design Philadelphia


6PM- 8PM

Center for Design & Architecture 

1218 Arch Street, Philadelphia PA































Mckenzi is a fashion design alum from Thomas Jefferson University. She is originally from Stafford, VA. During her years at Jefferson, Mckenzi was awarded the Jefferson School for Design and Engineering Outstanding Senior, Jefferson Fashion Design for Good Award, and multiple scholarships including the Eileen Komar West Scholarship and Fashion Scholarship Fund. She focused her collegiate collections and design processes on sustainability, adaptive wear, and inclusivity. In her professional life, she is a design assistant for Free People Intimately under URBN, Inc. Mckenzi’s long term goal is to continue to pursue adaptive fashion and provide a voice for those who are continually underserved in the fashion industry.


Eji Benson is a New York City based creative entrepreneur, fashion investor, and manufacturer with 17 years of experience. He is the founder and CEO of Ennui New York, founder and creative director of Ennui Home LLC, the creative director of City Junk, and a partner at FashionLab Africa. Benson specializes in manufacturing, licenses, and leadership.


Goddess Rising Intimates is an ethical women’s intimate apparel brand
providing 100% plant dyes into its organic cotton designs. Designer Kelli Burt
saw an opportunity to transform the market with sustainably-sourced and
produced bra and panty pieces, founded on the principles of truth and
transparency. Goddess Rising is natural intimates for Your Nature.


James Gaillard is a Fashion Director with more than 20 years of domestic & international experience in luxury fashion and global retail. At the early age of 17, James was selected to join the award-winning, NYC-based design studio, DDC USA. Since then, James has partnered with companies such as Dolce & Gabbana, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus & Harrods. James served as the Director of Ralph Lauren’s International Creative Services division based in London and Milan. During this time, James partnered with the company’s top executives to develop, plan, and lead the global retail expansion of Ralph Lauren’s luxury stores & campaigns across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. He currently leads QVC’s Fashion Trends & Lifestyle division as their Fashion Trends Director. James’s work has been featured in GQ, Esquire, Buro 247, Vogue, The New York Times, Mens Non-No Japan, and Interior Design magazines.
Kevin Parker is the co-founder & producer of Philadelphia Fashion Week. He is also co-creator / co-Chair of the Philadelphia Fashion & Garment Industry Task Force and Co-owner of PFW-PR. Kevin is also an internationally Published wardrobe stylist.











Lindsey Troop is the Philadelphia Regional Manager for FABSCRAP. FABSCRAP is a textile recycling non-profit dedicated to ending the fashion industry’s commercial textile waste problem, diverting as much unused material as possible from being landfilled or incinerated. Lindsey Troop is FABSCRAP’s Regional Manager and runs FABSCRAP’s second location in Philadelphia, which opened November of 2021. Lindsey joined the FABSCRAP team in 2019 after witnessing firsthand the waste being created by the fashion industry while working in styling and merchandising and is passionate about keeping textiles out of landfill and inspiring creative reuse.


Dalila Shannon is the Divisional Merchandise Manager for Branded Collaborations & Partnerships for UO Womens, and also serves as the head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Urban Outfitters. A Boston native, she graduated from Stanford University with a BA in Sociology, and worked for J. Crew HQ in New York for 5 years before moving to Philadelphia to work for UO. With professional experience spanning across Merchandising Styling, Film, Art Direction, Mentorship, and DEI strategy, she is constantly pursuing opportunities to collaborate with organizations and brands that align with UO’s mission to create a more accessible, diverse and inclusive industry.


Vanessa Fath is CEO and Creative Director of The Fath Collective.
Vanessa graduated from Jefferson in 2019 with a BS in Fashion Design, graduated in 2020 with a MS in International Fashion Design Management, and in 2022, earned the Certificate in Sustainability Leadership. During her time at Jefferson, Vanessa embraced leadership and served as Student Body President. She won awards for her menswear, womenswear, and childrenswear collections which included a showcase in Macy’s windows in Center City, Philadelphia, having her senior collection featured in GQ, and premiering at New York Fashion Week. In her professional career, she has worked at NYC design corporations, collaborated with luxury brands, designers, and photographers, and led the design and execution of two small brands. Vanessa lived in Rome, Italy and has traveled extensively exploring her personal, cultural roots. She is currently living in Philadelphia and re-entering the world of entrepreneurship, building her brand she began in graduate school, The Fath Collective LLC.

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