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Natalia Allen

2013 Speaker

Natalia Allen is a native New Yorker, who has had an eye for fashion ever since she started designing and sewing as a teenager. Fostering her creativity through formal training and education at Parsons The New School, she graduated in 2004 as Designer of the Year, a title she shares with alumna Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford and Proenza Schouler. In 2005, Allen founded Design Futurist, an award winning design consultancy that has created innovative and sustainable textiles and clothing lines for multinational brands such as Saks, Calvin Klein and Donna Karan. She also worked as an adviser to non-apparel brands such as P&G, Dupont and British Telecom. Called the “Conscientious Fashionista,” her designs, and her company have been covered by the BBC, NPR, and CNBC, and her work has been featured in periodicals including Women’s Wear Daily, Black Enterprise, New York Magazine and the Huffington Post. For her ground-breaking work, Allen has received numerous distinctions, including recognition as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative” and one of Utne Reader’s “25 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World.”  This year, Allen has taken a hands-on approach with the debut of her eponymous line.  With the freedom to choose where and how her garments are made she selected an innovative approach that allows her to create her garments in the U.S. and imbue each piece with her core philosophies of modernity, luxury and sustainability.