Virtual Panel: The Art and Science of Fashion in Film Panel

Fashion Group International and New York Women in Film & Television are joining forces to bring you The Art and Science of Fashion in Film. The panel will discuss the art of filmmaking and science of marketing fashion through films today, and how film is an essential branding tool for fashion and lifestyle brands. Feature films, web series, short films, branded content, live fashion events and music videos are all powerful ways to interact and create a dialogue with your audience. Taken from the point of view of both the creative and strategic marketing approaches, we’ll discuss the ingredients of a great film or campaign and how different brands are using the medium.

Join us for an inspiring conversation with Andy Hilfiger (Creative Director for Artistix Fashion), Ina Pira (Curator for Vimeo), and Matthew Rowean (MATTE Projects). Moderated by David Swajeski.


Andy Hilfiger has been blurring the lines between music and fashion for decades, spending as much time on a tour bus as in a fashion showroom. His passion for merging the two has given Andy the unique opportunity to style and create brands for some of the world’s biggest stars. At 12 years old, Andy started his first job selling jeans at his older brother Tommy’s store in Elmira, New York. At the same time, he picked up a bass and discovered music, eventually moving to New York City to perform in the downtown rock scene. Since then, he has performed with greats such as ZZ Top, Steven Tyler, Cheap Trick, Marky Ramone, Kid Rock, and members of Blue Oyster Cult. Andy currently plays with his band SWAY. In the 90s, Andy was instrumental in introducing the Tommy Hilfiger brand to pop-culture. He was responsible for product placement that made the brand ubiquitous with the latest trends in music and fashion. Andy placed products on everyone from Wu-Tang and Grand Puba, to Puffy and Snoop Dogg, Q-Tip and many more. He placed celebrities and musicians in the company’s ad campaigns, including the iconic Aaliyah Tommy Jeans photoshoot. He also helped the company to sponsor groundbreaking events and concerts. By the time Andy left the Hilfiger brand in 2001, he had helped grow the company from a 100 million dollar business to a one billion dollar business. After his departure, Andy pushed the marriage of music and fashion a step further when he founded the fashion and fragrance line JLO by Jennifer Lopez. In 2009, Andy Hilfiger, along with his brother, Tommy, founded Star Branding; a company devoted to the development of music, entertainment, and celebrity driven lifestyle brands. Their projects included the creation and development of the Nicki Minaj fashion line, the Adam Levine line, and his own namesake line, Andrew Charles by Andy Hilfiger. Andy’s most recent ventures include co-founding the La La Anthony Collection and acting as Creative Director of Artistix Fashion.

Ina Pira is a curator for Vimeo’s signature Staff Picks. Previously, she was the Senior Programmer at the Hamptons International Film Festival, the Montclair Film Festival, and the Sarasota Film Festival. Ina has extensive experience in festival programming, online curation, and digital distribution. She recently helped produce the Vimeo Festival & Awards and launched a Live Director’s Commentary screening series in New York City.




As co-founder and creative director of MATTE Projects, Matthew Rowean is a creative entrepreneur committed to developing visually stunning content and marketing campaigns for innovative brands in the fashion, tech, and lifestyle space. The roster of high-profile clients includes Chanel, Google, LVMH and Equinox. With over 12 years of marketing experience, Rowean leads MATTE’s creative team, focusing on an alternative approach to marketing and an acquired taste for culture.



Rachel Watanabe-Batton has produced film, tv and pop culture for over 20 years in development and physical production. She founded Contradiction and Struggle to champion global stories that reframe history and culture and connect cinema, causes and capital. Projects include documentary Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl directed by NYWIFT Muse Julie Dash and narrative series 1850 about mixing and migration. Her work has been supported by IFP, NEH, NEA, BPM, Ford Foundation and Radcliffe. 

A longtime advocate for empowering women, Rachel has spearheaded “Celebration of Women” festival parties, inter-guild readings, women’s mixers, diversity summits and creative impact partnerships. She programs and moderates in-depth industry conversations and screenings, and is represented by P.S. 314 Collective for media consulting. Mayor DeBlasio and former NYC MOME Commissioner Lopez honored her with a MADE IN NY Award as Producers Guild of America East Vice Chair, Diversity Chair (2008-2018) and Co-Chair of PGA Women’s Impact Network.  Rachel is Chair of Manhattan Neighborhood Network and on the boards of Women Independent Producers and NYWIFT.

David Swajeski is Co-founder and Creative Director of the creative agency, Location 8 and Founder and Director of the production company, Onerock + co. As a creative director, David has developed projects ranging from brand and advertising campaigns, TV development, documentary film, experiential multi-media events, commercials, brand films and multi-platform, digital content. He has directed projects for global brands including Adidas, Armstrong Flooring, BMW, Benjamin Moore, DuPont, Dansko, J.P. Morgan Chase, Mercedes Benz, NFL Films, Pep Boys, Ronald McDonald House, Jefferson Awards, Gore-Tex, and The Nemours Foundation. His documentary feature film Dressed about once homeless, self-taught fashion designer Nary Manivong, premiered theatrically in New York City during Fashion Week and played in selected cities and continues to screen digitally. The film’s distribution was a hybrid based on the target market of the fashion industry and educational outlets and included fashion week event screenings, a screening and speaking tour of fashion colleges with a companion educational program. During his professional career, David has produced over 300 productions and his work has been screened at international film festivals, in New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angles, New Mexico, Sonoma, Savannah, and Warsaw International Art and Fashion Festival and the Singapore International Fashion Film Festival.

May 19 @ 4:00pm
4:00 pm — 5:30 pm (1h 30′)

This program will take place virtually as a webinar via Zoom. Please register in advance, and all registrants will receive a link to attend the webinar the day of the event.

We encourage you to download and create a Zoom account in advance.


Join the conversation on social media:
#nywift | @nywift

NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.