AAPN Women Stories – Pamela DeNichilo, Tegra Global

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As a part of our ongoing series showcasing the talented members of AAPN Women – and AAPN of course – today ‘starring’ Pamela DeNichilo, Chief Product Development & Innovation Officer for Tegra Global

My name is Pamela DeNichilo and I’m the Chief Product Development & Innovation Officer for Tegra Global, a leading manufacturer of performance, sports and team apparel. I joined Tegra in November of 2017 after spending 12 years at Mast Industries developing and cost engineering for the Victoria’s Secret brand.

After spending 25 years on the retail brand side, the move to the factory side has proven to be an exciting change in my career. I love working with the top brands and helping them create solutions for the product they are developing.

I grew up in Nashville, TN where my family still resides. I knew at an early age I wanted to move to New York and work in fashion. I remember a trip to the Big Apple when I was about 11 and being in awe of the city, the people and the energy and ‘declared’ to my parents then “I will live here someday”!

After graduating from High School, I spent a year at Ole Miss and felt like something was missing so I bought a thousand page book (no Google in 1988 for this search) and went page by page to find a college I could afford and get into that focused on fashion. I landed on Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY where they had a fashion program that was about a year old being run by the former creative director for Oscar de la Renta. I moved to Poughkeepsie in 1989 and never looked back!

My passion in school was patternmaking. I learned pretty early that designing just wasn’t for me but I loved manipulating the fabric and finding ways to construct product by learning new machines and new techniques. That navigated my path into production where I worked for top brands in production and sourcing roles.

In 2000, I was living in San Francisco working for The Gap but wanted to move back to New York. That year I started their Product Development function in the New York Design office where I could work with the design team offering production friendly ideas that could be scaled into mass retail. The road hasn’t always been easy but I’ve always stayed true to my passion, even if it meant working with key leaders to create roles & functions the company didn’t know they even needed.

At Tegra, while my focus is product development & product innovation, I love being able to work with our plant managers to create solutions on the lines. I might not have all of the answers but I can help navigate the pitfalls of manufacturing to create profitable results. There’s something about walking into a factory and hearing the ‘buzz’ of the machines that is exciting. My strong technical, commercial & design skills are complemented by my ability to be a strong leader. I have learned from some of the best leaders both in and out of the fashion industry and often find myself reading new books on leadership as I continue to grow.

I met Sue & Mike in our Atlanta offices and joined AAPN in January of 2018. I enjoy spending time with others in the industry and have attended several AAPN meetings where some of the best ideas have formed. The recent summit in Honduras was especially rewarding as we were able to showcase some of the product Tegra makes. I’m looking forward to AAPN events in 2019!

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