Working on “both sides” of Seventh Avenue, John R. Conte has gained his expertise in the retail and wholesale industries at some of the most prestigious brands in the United States. John began his career in the corporate buying office of Bloomingdale’s. Before transitioning from retail to wholesale as Project Manager at Vanity Fair Corp working with Nautica and John Varvatos brands in menswear, womenswear and childrenswear, John held a merchant position at Banana Republic Catalog and Banana Republic.com. He later served as Director of Retail Development for Ralph Lauren womenswear. At Lauren, John functioned as a liaison between Ralph Lauren’s wholesale operations and the nearly 1000 department store doors carrying the brand. His role was that of key visual director, corporate trainer, retail marketing and events producer, as well as director of field communication for womenswear brands. John has also been a passionate educator, serving as an adjunct professor of buying and merchandising disciplines at major New York fashion colleges including FIT, LIM College, Berkeley College and the Katharine Gibbs School. John was promoted to Vice President of Education at Wade College in December 2010 and Executive Vice President in April 2015. In this senior college administrator role, John has been instrumental in maintaining a strong, well-qualified faculty at Wade College, bringing aboard several new fashion industry professionals with strong credentials. John also manages Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Student Services, Career Services, Admissions and Marketing functions. John earned a master’s degree from New York University in business education and a bachelor’s degree from LIM College in fashion merchandising. John has been recognized for his contributions to the fashion industry and to fashion education with special awards granted by Saks Fifth Avenue and Carolee Designs and a special Business Leadership Award from the Polo Ralph Lauren company in 2006. In 2010, Fashion Group International named him a “Fashion Police,” one of ten fashion industry and philanthropic leaders in Dallas. John is a former member of the Board of Directors of Fashion Group International, and the 2011 co-chair of Four Legged Fashion:Canine Meets Couture, a non-profit animal rescue fundraising organization. He also serves as an advisory board member to the Pin Show, the largest independent fashion show organization in Texas, is also on the steering committee for Accessible Luxury, benefiting the Scottish Rite Texas Children’s Hospital, and is actively involved in the Miss Texas/ Miss America Scholarship Organization. John was the recipient of the 2015 “Points of the Crown Award” from the Miss Richardson, TX Scholarship Organization. John has appeared on the cover of Austin-based L Style G Style Magazine, and in media coverage by Dallas Style & Design Magazine, Dallas Voice, Dallas Examiner, Paper City and Dallas Modern Luxury Magazine.