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The Makers of American Fashion

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Ralph Rucci, Martha, Calvin Klein, and Tory Burch. Photo by Anna Ross

With its elegant high ceilings, classic chandeliers, and smooth marble floors, Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal provided a glamorous backdrop for our first panel of the 2012 American Made Awards: The Makers of American Fashion. Sharply dressed attendees, myself included, piled in to see Calvin Klein, Tory Burch, Ralph Rucci, and J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler speak with Martha about the changing state of American fashion.

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I had a front-row seat. Photo by Anna Ross

I listened intently while Mickey told us about the future of J.Crew: "[We] keep doing what we do, better."

The designers also gave advice to young creatives trying to make it big in the fashion industry. The legendary Calvin Klein had this to say: "You have to know what you’re good at and how you’re different from the crowd. You have to have drive and work hard, but you have to be special -- give them something they don’t have." I think this is true in almost any career you pursue.

Martha and Makie

Martha and Makie on stage. Photo by Anna Ross

We also had a mini fashion show with moms and their children modeling the clothing of Makie Yagahagi, an American Made Fashion honoree. Her sweet prints and sophisticated color palette look good on all ages. Martha is a big fan and even showed off photos of Jude wearing Makie outfits. I had so much fun meeting the designers and hearing what they had to say; it was a terrific start to our first-annual American Made workshop. I can't wait until next year!