Fashion Group International of Columbus, Inc.


Janel St. John

In 2008, I was nominated and elected to be the next Regional Director of the Fashion Group International of Columbus, Inc., a local chapter of the global, non-profit, fashion industry networking group, headquartered in New York City. Our chapter was 30-years old, but the organization, which was founded in 1928 by 17 women including, Elizabeth Arden, Eleanor Roosevelt and Helena Rubenstein, had grown to be 5000 members strong. In Dec. 2008, I was sworn into office for a 2-year term to provide oversight of a 10-member board that produced six annual events. Before I knew it, I was smack dab in middle of the elite world of high fashion, retail events and industry movers and shakers. And of course...all expense-paid trips to NYC!

During my term, I assumed the role of communications director and spearheaded a successful brand overhaul, designing all marketing communications and setting up social media accounts, electronic newsletters and press release distribution and online payments.

Our '09 annual fundraiser, 'Cocktails & Catwalk' broke all previous attendance, fundraising and media coverage records! The 2010 Trend Event followed suit.


Gracie Mansion, NYC, FGI Regional Directors Conference, May 2009. Enjoying the moment with Seattle Regional Director, Monir Zandghoreishi and my co-director, Kathleen Busche. We took a tour with the mansion interior designer and FGI member, Jamie Drake, ASID, Drake Design Association Inc., pictured far right.

Mayor Bloomberg declared May 7, 2009, Fashion Group International, Inc. Day and presented an official proclamation to FGI's President, Margaret Hayes. (center) pictured with FGI members, Audrey Smaltz, Founder of The Ground Crew and Jamie Drake.



DESIGN - some of my design work for FGI






See my photos and full review of the 2009 Regional Director's Conference in NYC. This Chapter Newsletter was one of two that I produced for our region and includes some of my original fashion photography. Click on the picture to open the 4-page PDF.


READ Newsletter


More DESIGN work


Find out more about Fashion Group - a wonderful organization - by clicking on the black FGI logo at the top of the page.




We kicked off the 2010 District Conference of Regional Directors with a dinner meeting at Sonoma in Washington, D.C. FGI President, Margaret Hayes, was in from NYC, as well as District Director, Linda Lizzio, and RDs and reps from other districts, including: Cleveland, Chicago, Indianapolis, DC and Boston.


The legendary fashion designer, Charles Kleibacker, known worldwide as the 'master of the bias,' took us on an exclusive tour of his '09 exhibition, 'Class Act: Storied Designer's, Women of Note' at the Columbus Museum of Art. He was fascinating! The following year, he passed away. I covered his memorial, also at CMA, here.


Joseph Abboud, signing copies of his book after his keynote address at our 2008 opening reception at the Algonquin Hotel, NYC.


Stan Herman was the keynote speaker at our 2009 luncheon at NY's famed Cosmopolitan Club!



At the Regional Director's Conference in 2008, I met fashion designer, Jason Wu! He was the '08 recipient of FGI's Rising Star Award and a panelist at one of our day sessions. He gave me his cell phone number, so we could connect for an interview for my magazine. Before I could make that happen, the nation's brand new First Lady, Michelle Obama, chose him to design her inaugural gown! He quickly went off the grid! And the rest, as they fashion history.