Business professor brings a legacy of high-fashion luxury to Lynn
Published Apr. 12, 2011
Andrew Burnstine, an associate professor of fashion in the College of Business and Management, recently joined Lynn University. With 20 years of industry experience including serving as executive vice president and CEO of Martha Inc., and 15 years of teaching fashion marketing and management, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the students in Lynn’s fashion management program.
“I grew up in the retail business,” said Burnstine. “My grandmother (Martha Phillips) was a pioneer in the specialty store and women’s apparel business. When I was 18, my mother took me to Rome to attend my first couture fashion show. I remember how excited I was when I met Valentino back stage after one of the shows! My first summer job was being in charge of ‘special orders’ for customers at our Worth Avenue store, while on summer vacation.”
As CEO, Burnstine oversaw Martha Inc., a chain of high-fashion luxury retail stores created by his grandmother Phillips. The company hit its high points in the 1980s. According to The New York Times, Martha Inc. made more than $40 million in sales in 1987.
With great success, Martha Inc. expanded from Park Avenue to Palm Beach. The flagship store, Martha, was on Park Avenue near 58th Street in Manhattan; there were also stores in Trump Tower and in Palm Beach and Bal Harbour, Fla., according to the The New York Times.
Phillips dressed such stars in the early days of their careers as Marjorie Merriweather Post, Doris Duke, Brooke Astor, Gloria Vanderbilt and Diana Ross, among others, in designer evening gowns by Valentino, Halston, Geoffrey Beene, James Galanos, Pauline Trigere, Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta and Zandra Rhodes.
“I ran the day-to-day operations, as well as buying, store planning and advertising,” said Burnstine. “Before starting in the family business, I completed the executive training program at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City, and then started as an assistant buyer.”
Fashion at Lynn
Burnstine came to Lynn in the fall of 2010 and teaches apparel industry, retailing management, global marketing and principles of marketing.
“I wanted to help Lynn expand its fashion program and work with our students to help them become future leaders in the field,” said Burnstine.
Since his arrival, Burnstine has helped launch a new summer fashion program for high school students from across the country – and around the world. During the two-week course, high school juniors and seniors will earn 3 college credits, while studying fashion on Lynn’s campus – followed by a hands-on trip to New York City.
In addition, he has helped support Lynn's spring fashion shows by selling tickets, securing silent auction donations and "cheerleading our fashionistas."
“Because of my 20 years with Martha’s and the fashion business, I am able to bring real-world experience to the classroom,” said Burnstine. “Students relate to the designers and industry professionals I have met, and the experiences that I can share with them. I am also able network with these fashion leaders and innovators, which is a great source for our students for internships and industry jobs.”
Spring fashion trends
According to Burnstine, with a pop of color and lighter fabrics, old is new this spring. Some of his fashion suggestions:
- Wear wild colors such as burnt orange.
- Go for lighter fabrics and sexier looks.
- Old is new again with: '60s ladylike, sophisticated '70s, military fashion, leather, button-up collars, cut-out clothing and anything lace.
- Don’t buy new clothes, but update the old looks.
- Animal prints are still in.
More on Burnstine:
Andrew Burnstine, associate professor of Lynn University’s College of Business and Management, was the executive vice president and CEO of Martha Inc. for 20 years. He came to Lynn in the fall of 2010 with more than 15 years of experience teaching fashion marketing and management.
Burnstine was born in New York City and grew up in Palm Beach, Fla. In high school, he studied acting at Interlochen Arts Academy, and continued his education studying educational theater, costume, retail and business at New York University (NYU). He earned a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. at NYU. He was chair of fashion marketing at Berkeley College in New York, and has taught fashion, marketing and retail courses at multiple universities including: The Art Institutes, Laboratory Institute of Merchandising, Kent State University, FIT, NYU, Marrymount, S.U.N.Y. Purchase and Westchester Community College.
Burnstine teaches courses primarily about the fashion business. In this role, he is available to speak to the media regarding fashion trends and forecasting, fashion event productions and high-end fashion retail.