2017 Newsmaker: Frances Harder Starts Fashion For Profit

After 18 years of teaching fashion executives how to make money, Frances Harder turned around and took some of her own advice.

In October, the educator created a new company, called Fashion for Profit. The venture takes its name from her book “Fashion for Profit,” which recently published its 10th edition.

This comes after Harder closed Fashion Business Inc., a nonprofit she created in 1999 to help emerging designers and new apparel businesspeople get off the ground. It shuttered in July.

FBI offered classes and webinars as well as advice at a reasonable price. But Harder said the costs of running the nonprofit were increasing and competition for nonprofit funds was getting tougher.

The Fashion for Profit group will offer seminars on entrepreneurial basics such as writing a business plan. It also plans to offer short-term, certified training programs. Some will be offered in a classroom; others will be conducted online at Fashion for Profit will also offer consulting services and be putting together design classes as well as entrepreneurship classes for Chinese students.

On the trade-show front, Harder will continue to produce seminars on sourcing at MAGIC in Las Vegas. She also will continue to produce seminars at DG Expo, which organizes trade shows for designers and small manufacturers in several cities including San Francisco, Dallas, Miami and New York.

Unfortunately for fashion-show fans, FBI’s annual fashion show will not make the transition. But Harder said there are plans to produce a fund-raiser runway show for California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.