A devoted, recognized visionary and trendsetter in the embroidery and embellishment industry, with extensive design mastery and production expertise. An advocate for women, minorities, the environment, fair wages and safe working conditions. Committed to educating a new work force and bringing the fashion industry and high-skilled manufacturing back to New York and the USA. A people person, entrepreneur and consultant adept in all aspects of sales, marketing and customer support with a strong ability to open effective channels of communication, network and collaborate with industry leaders, movers and shakers.
As CEO and founder of Fashion Design Concepts (FDC), Samanta Cortes specializes in guiding designers and manufacturers in the creation and development of embroidered, embellished and beaded prototypes. Launched ten years ago out of a small space in New York’s Garment Center equipped with a single one-head embroidery machine, Samanta expanded her operation to an entire floor within a two-year period with various machines and resources. Samanta travels to Europe on a seasonal basis to research the latest trends in construction and stitch techniques, a source of inspiration for the FDC prototype collection and embroidery library. A respected researcher and trendsetter, Samanta shares her research with the industry in the form of embroidery and embellishment seminars, reports and embroidery immersion workshops offered to industry events, trade shows and universities. Recognizing a need in the industry for trained professionals, new educational standards and exposure to cutting edge industry equipment and software, Samanta’s newest venture is The Technical Textile Training Institute (TX Institute), a non-profit industrial education center in the heart of New York’s garment center. Unprecedented in the industry, TX Institute provides overviews, specialized training and resources in textile machinery, textile crafts and related fields giving creative and career opportunities to students, professionals, entrepreneurs, small businesses and corporations. Committed to saving the Garment Center and bringing manufacturing back to NYC, Samanta is a founder and board member of SaveTheGarmentCenter.com, a coalition of Garment Center business owners and advocates campaigning to raise awareness of the immediate threat that gentrification is posing to the district. By organizing Pin Day and Pin Week, where supporters wear SaveTheGarmentCenter.com pins at fashion events and major runway shows, Save the Garment Center has attracted the attention of the industry and the press, resulting in coverage in WWD, Stitches, Chelsea Now, and New York Times. Samanta was the President of Fashion News Workshop, a prestigious group of fashion industry professionals; on the board of the Color Association of the US; and Creative Consultant of Schmatta; Rag to Riches to Rags, an HBO documentary highlighting the in and outs of the fashion industry and bringing attention to the Save the Garment Center mission. Samanta is frequently asked to speak at events and schools including the Fashion Institute of Technology, Fashion Law Boot Camp, a Fashion Law Institute Initiative at the Fordham Law School, DIRECTION, The #1 Textile Design Show in America and Premiere Vision New York / Indigo.