If Candace Marie Stewart’s life story proves anything, it’s that finance is the perfect background to have in fashion — after all, even fashion is a business.

She currently works as a social media consultant in the luxury fashion industry. She also serves as an adjunct professor at Parsons School of Design — teaching its first graduate-level social media course — and she’s the founder of Black In Corporate, an organization that seeks to champion Black professionals working in corporate America.

But before trying her hand at all fashion had to offer, she obtained a BA in finance from the University of Central Arkansas and an MBA in marketing and finance from Seton Hall University.

Over about a decade afterward, she worked in PR at Alexander Wang, as a manager at JP Morgan Chase, freelance at Lucky Magazine, a market editor at Essence, and in social media at Refinery29, before becoming the senior social media and influencer manager at the late Barneys New York, and now overseeing social media for Prada USA.

In an interview with Business Insider, Stewart talked about her rise to the top of the social media ladder, and how she and other Black professionals in fashion — such as those who created the Black in Fashion Council — are advocating for the equity of Black people, both in fashion and beyond.

“In my 10 years of being in NYC, I have heard the word no so many times, it is somewhat ridiculous. But, I knew it only takes one yes. I always could fall back on that one thing. You can receive a million nos, but literally all it takes is one yes. Then from there, the yeses start to become easier to come by. I am at a good place in my career where I do not even have to reach out or look for opportunities. People consistently come to me, which I feel is a testament to my work ethic and tenacity over the years.” – Candace Stewart

This article by was originally featured on Business Insider. Click here to read the full feature.


More about MPS faculty member Candace Marie Stewart

Candace Marie Stewart oversees Social Media at PRADA as well as serves as a distinguished creator and authoritative across an array of elite industries. ­­She is a proven leader with a MBA as well as diverse knowledge in social media, influencer marketing, partnerships, communications, PR and content. Responsible for captivating and engaging millions of people in the luxury, entertainment, fashion and editorial space through 10+ years of experience, measurable performance outcomes and creative messaging for both a domestic and international market.

She is both an advocate and curator of minority creatives in the luxury fashion space. An­­­­­­­d overall uses her respected voice in the industry to champion for people of color behind the corporate walls – where change is often needed the most.