Cara Smyth is Vice President of Glasgow Caledonian University New York (GCU) and the founding Director of The Fair Fashion Center. An executive GCU board member, 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). The first of its kind, the FFC focuses on proving the business case for sustainability in the apparel and accessories industry. The Center is closely aligned with industry leaders and strives to rebalance equity in the supply chain by eliminating inefficiencies that have environmental and social impact. Its efforts are built upon the recognition that systemic change in the fashion industry requires an approach that is aligned to the industry’s disciplines, and reconciled to the bottom line.
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 leading Menichetti, 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 World Economic Forum’s Global Advisory Council for Luxury and Apparel, is a board member of Sing For Hope, and a Carnegie Council Fellow. She serves as a mentor for Three-Dot-Dash, an organization that provides leadership and mentorship to exemplary teens, and the 92Y Fashion Fellows Program, a year-long fellowship designed for rising stars in fashion management.