Vice-President and Executive Board Member
Cara Smyth is Vice President of Glasgow Caledonian New York College (GCNYC) the first international institution of higher education in New York to receive degree granting authority, and founder of the renown Fair Fashion Center (FFC). An executive board member of Glasgow Caledonian, Ms. Smyth is responsible for establishing the University’s New York campus and instilling its mission “For the Common Good” in all of its programs and initiatives.
Recognizing the integrated issues facing both the fashion industry and the world, Ms. Smyth leveraged her extensive apparel industry expertise to launch The Fair Fashion Center (FFC), focusing on intersection of profitability and sustainability. To transform the industry collectively, the FFC works privately with a coalition of 40 apparel CEOs, representing 246 brands, $260B in annual revenue and nearly 12% of the global industry. The ongoing CEO roundtables equip decision makers with distilled data that allows them to reduce their impact, while improving the health and key metrics of their business. A trusted and enabling space for change has been established, allowing for the constructive collaboration that is redesigning the industry from the inside out.
She is also the founder of The IN Between, a consultancy that works to close the gap between the worlds of fashion, sustainability, finance, innovation, non-profits and for-profits by creating cross-sector partnerships.
A veteran in retail and wholesale business, Ms. Smyth joined the school from an illustrious career of management, brand building and global scaling. She is the former CEO of Menichetti International, where she provided strategic business management to both the brand and the company’s other consultancies, including a diverse range of fashion and manufacturing firms. As a director at Burberry Prorsum, she played an integral role in developing the Burberry turnaround strategy, which re-launched the brand by blending English heritage with modern street style. With Ms. Smyth’s input, the business was re-positioned, resulting in storied growth and international expansion.
Prior to Burberry, Ms. Smyth was the President of Jil Sander America, where she guided the brand’s unprecedented international expansion and launched its inaugural men’s line. She began her career at Hugo Boss.
A native New Yorker, Ms. Smyth has long been a multi-lingual global citizen, having lived all over the world during her career in luxury fashion. In her role bridging the industry, academia and a sustainable future, she now serves on the Sustainability Advisory Council for Marie Claire, is a board member for Glasgow Caledonian University, Sing for Hope, and a Tribeca Disrupter and has been welcomed to present at the United Nations, SXSW, Sustainable Brands, Fashion for Good, and Accessories Council Summit. In the past year, she delivered the keynote presentations at the Textile Exchange and Bluesign conferences, spoke on the first-ever sustainability panel at the WWD CEO Summit, and presented at the Bloomberg Vanity Fair Climate Exchange.