Spotlight Series

Diana Purcell

About Diana Purcell

Diana Purcell is a current student at GCNYC in the International Fashion Marketing Program. She first discovered GCNYC when she was invited through Eileen Fisher to listen in on guest lecturer Helen Crowley (Head of Sustainable Sourcing Innovation at Kering). “Everyone here [at GCNYC] was casually brilliant and also trying to save the world,” Purcell told us. She knew from that masterclass that she wanted to be a part of the GCNYC community.

When asked why she wanted to pursue a Master’s at this point in her career, Diana said that after 12 years in the fashion industry she was still in her learning phase and wanted to get her hands dirty, digging in to the areas of the fashion industry that are often out of sight and out of mind.

We asked Diana what drove her get out of bed every morning – or in other words, “what’s your purpose?” – she answered simply and perfectly, “The status quo. The fact that there are people out there that think we can’t do any better than we’re doing right now.” She’s here to prove those people wrong: build things, gather knowledge and then give them away.

Earlier this year, Diana ventured out of the brand world and started her own business, leading sustainability consulting for fashion start-ups. You can read all about her new ventures on her website, here.

In addition to her consulting business, Diana recently co-founded a sustainability book club with Megan Meiklejohn, the head of Sustainable Materials and Transparency Manager at Eileen Fisher. They are still in the early stages but growing rapidly and excited to gain new members. Be sure to get in touch via her website if you are interested in joining!

Jessie Brenner

About Jessie Brenner

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

My name is Jessie Brenner and I am the Associate Manager, Yarn & Fabric for Women’s Sweaters at Ralph Lauren. I am 26 and from Norfolk, Virginia.

Can you give us the highlights of your career thus far?

I graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2014 and started an internship at Spanx on the raw materials team. While I studied Industrial Design and Design for Sustainability, what drew me to Spanx was Sara Blakely’s mission to empower women and her philanthropic work. It was important to me to work for a company whose values were in line with my own. I ended up staying on fulltime for 3 ½ years. This past February I moved here to pursue sustainable fashion. Currently, I’m working for Ralph Lauren in yarn and fabric for the women’s luxury sweaters team.

What made you want to pursue a Master’s degree at this point in your career?

Out of college I knew I wanted to pursue a career in sustainability I just didn’t expect to end up in the fashion industry. My time at Spanx really opened my eyes to the opportunities for sustainability within the industry. I never imagined I’d go back to school, but after speaking with some of the students in the first cohort I was convinced this Master’s would be valuable to me by providing the tools needed to prove the business case for sustainability in fashion.

Why GCNYC specifically?

I didn’t consider any alternative programs when I decided to pursue my Master’s. The students from the first cohort were incredibly enthusiastic about their experience and that was all it took for me to be convinced!

What makes you get out of bed in the morning – driving you to affect change? What’s your purpose?

I think it’s an incredibly exciting time to be working on sustainability in fashion, and I feel confident this investment in myself will help shape my career to positively impact the world around me. Every day I progress closer towards this goal.

Amanda Moretz

About Amanda Moretz

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

My name is Amanda Moretz, I am the Manufacturing and Sustainability Administrator at Theory. I grew up in a ranch outside of Kerville, TX, but have lived in Brooklyn for ten years now.

Can you give us the highlights of your career thus far?

Before Theory, I worked at Tiffany and Co for 2 years which was incredible, as part of the visual merchandising team who makes those famous windows come to life. I’ve been with Theory now for around 5 years, and it’s been fascinating. Every year my job changes just enough to stay vibrant.

What made you want to pursue a Master’s degree at this point in your career?

I wanted to learn. I didn’t take my undergrad very seriously, and waited quite a long time to start a Master’s program because I wanted to make sure it was a really dynamic and educational experience.

Why GCNYC specifically? Did the mission have an influence on your decision to come here?

One hundred percent. My goal is to be a leader in driving the fashion and textile industry to being less harmful, and I felt like this program and this organization align perfectly with that goal. Plus, I wanted a program where I could go to class on campus and interact with my fellow students. I really lucked out because my cohort is 100% composed of amazing, intelligent, insightful people.

What makes you get out of bed in the morning – driving you to affect change? What’s your purpose?

There’s so much potential right now to create change, and I love that through my daily work and through my studies at GCNYC I’m at the forefront of this change. It’s FUN!