Dana Hall School Reunion to Feature Jill Milan CEO on Entrepreneurship Panel

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Jill Milan founder will appear on ‘Fashion, Design and Entrepreneurship’ panel

Jill Fraser, CEO & Founder of Jill Milan (Photo: Moanalani Jeffrey Photography)

Jill Fraser, CEO & Founder of Jill Milan (Photo: Moanalani Jeffrey Photography)

Fraser, who holds degrees from Oxford University and is a member of Mensa, co-founded soft drink company Virgil’s Root Beer and developed the first-ever all-natural root beer, which won the "Outstanding Beverage" Award three times.

Jill Milan®, a provider of luxury fashion and accessories, announced that CEO Jill Fraser will speak on a panel at her alma mater, the Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Mass., as part of the She Sails 2017 program during the institution’s reunion weekend events. Fraser is featured on a panel entitled “Fashion, Design and Entrepreneurship” scheduled for Saturday, April 29.

“I am delighted to have been asked to appear at Dana Hall, and to have the opportunity to offer insight into the realities of bringing a company to life,” Fraser said. “In my own experience I’ve found it invaluable to hear from trusted sources who can communicate real-life experiences starting companies – it can go a long way to avoiding problems. I hope I can help some current Dana students and alumnae by sharing my experiences.”

Fraser, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oxford University in England and is a member of Mensa, is no stranger to entrepreneurial ventures. Her family founded Worcester, Mass.-based Polar Beverages, which it continues to manage and where Fraser worked on the production line during summer vacations from school. She co-founded soft drink company Virgil’s Root Beer and developed the first-ever all-natural root beer, which won the "Outstanding Beverage" Award at the International Fancy Food and Confection Show three times.

She has also been active in animal welfare causes. A longtime vegan, Fraser served on the board of Citizens to End Animal Suffering and Exploitation (CEASE), a Boston-based non-profit group dedicated to ending animal cruelty and exploitation, with a particular focus on ending the use of fur in apparel. While in Hollywood she also served as a producer on “Free to a Good Home,” a feature film project conceived to provide insight into the plight of animals.

It was Fraser’s interest in animal causes that prompted her to found Jill Milan, which launched in 2011. “I couldn’t find luxury-quality handbags that were not made of leather or other animal-derived materials,” Fraser said. “I finally decided the best thing to do was start a company to fill that void in the market.” Jill Milan has subsequently expanded its product offerings to include other animal-friendly fashion and accessories, including winter coats, scarves and wallets. The company has contributed more than 10 percent of revenue to non-profit organizations working on behalf of animal welfare causes, as well as groups supporting women battling cancer.

The Jill Milan brand appears frequently on the red carpets of Hollywood, New York and Europe. Celebrities who carry Jill Milan include Academy Award winners Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence, who carried Jill Milan to multiple premieres for their films. Numerous other celebrities have carried Jill Milan for red-carpet appearances:

  • Amy Poehler carried the Art Deco Clutch when she was both nominee and presenter for the Emmy Awards.
  • Singer Miranda Lambert carried Jill Milan to the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C. and to American Country Music Awards.
  • Academy Award nominee Hailee Steinfeld carried the Disc Clutch to the MTV Video Music Awards and the Holland Park Clutch to Vanity Fair’s Oscar Party.
  • Kerry Washington of television’s “Scandal” carried Jill Milan’s Holland Park clutch to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and has carried Jill Milan to a number of her film premieres.
  • Katie Lowes, Ms. Washington’s “Scandal” co-star, carried Jill Milan clutches to the Golden Globes and the Emmy Awards.
  • Singing duo Maddie & Tae have carried Jill Milan to New York Fashion Week and to the Country Music Association Awards where their debut video for “Girl in a Country Song” was recognized as Music Video of the Year.
  • Actress Margot Bingham carried the Holland Park Clutch to the SAG Awards.
  • Joanne Frogatt of “Downton Abbey” carried the 450 Sutter Clutch to the Golden Globes.
  • Actress Ginnifer Goodwin carried the New Canaan Clutch to the People’s Choice Awards.
  • Sarah Hyland of the ABC series “Modern Family” carried the Art Deco Clutch to the People’s Choice Awards and to a Golden Globes party.
  • Laila Ali carried the Laurel Canyon Clutch to the Soul Train Music Awards.
  • Actress Jena Malone carried the Art Deco Clutch to the premiere of her film “Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.”
  • Felicity Jones of “The Theory of Everything” carried the Laurel Canyon Clutch to the Hollywood Film Awards.
  • Jane Fonda carried the Holland Park Clutch to the premiere of her film “This is Where I Leave You” at the Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Actress Jessica Lucas carried Jill Milan to the screening of her television show “Gracepoint.”
  • Actress Katharine McPhee carried the 450 Sutter Clutch to Entertainment Weekly’s pre-Emmys Party.
  • Rashida Jones of the NBC series “Parks and Recreation” and Bryce Dallas Howard of the film “The Help” carried Jill Milan clutches to the Golden Globes.
  • Actress Fiona Gubelmann of Netflix’s “One Day at a Time” revival and FX’s “Wilfred” carried Jill Milan as a presenter at The Genesis Awards and to numerous premieres.
  • Jordana Brewster, star of “Dallas” and the “The Fast and the Furious” film franchise, has carried the New Canaan Clutch.
  • Actress Hilary Duff carried the Holland Park Clutch to the iHeart Radio Awards.
  • Nicole Anderson of ABC Family’s “Ravenswood” carried Jill Milan to a SAG Awards pre-party.
  • Singer Carrie Underwood carried the Jill Milan Holland Park Clutch to the CMT Artists of the Year awards and attended the American Music Awards carrying the 450 Sutter Clutch.
  • Actress Celina Jade carried the Nob Hill Bag to the premiere of “American Dreams” at the Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Actress Stana Katic of television’s “Castle” carried Jill Milan to the “Game of Thrones” premiere and to the Film Independent Spirit Awards.
  • Jaime King, who as a model appeared in such fashion magazines as Vogue and Mademoiselle, and as an actress appeared in films including “Pearl Harbor” and “Sin City,” carried the Octagon Clutch to the Critics’ Choice Awards.
  • Countess Michelle Czernin von Chudenitz is seen frequently in red carpet appearances carrying Jill Milan evening clutches.
  • Actress Kristanna Loken, whose films include “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” and who has appeared on television’s “Burn Notice” and “The L Word,” carried Jill Milan to the FilmBall in Vienna, Austria.

Jill Milan handbags have drawn growing attention from influential fashion media. W Magazine has covered Jill Milan in multiple issues, recognizing the Octagon Clutch and Art Deco Clutch in its “Most Wanted” feature, and The Zoe Report recognized the Newbury Street Portfolio for its ability “to go from the office to cocktail hour.”

Other participants on the She Sails panel at Dana Hall include Sarah Flint, creative director of The Sarah Flint Collection; Caroline Shirley Woodward, photo stylist; and retail consultant Sally Marrer, who will serve as moderator. The panel is scheduled for two sessions, at 10:15 a.m. EDT and again at 11:30 a.m. EDT.

Founded in 1881, Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Mass., is an independent boarding and day school for girls in grades 5-12. With emphasis on sound academic education and the preparation of students for college and later life, the school seeks to balance exposure to new ideas and the challenge of analytic and creative thinking with concentration on the development of self-esteem, leadership and respect for others. Dana Hall seeks to offer its all-female student body a particularly advantageous environment for both education and self-development.

About Jill Milan
Jill Milan is a luxury provider of cruelty-free handbags, apparel and fashion accessories. Made of exquisite materials, Jill Milan handbags are crafted in Italy by artisans who have created handbags and accessories for some of Europe’s best known fashion houses. All Jill Milan products are free of animal-derived materials, and the company contributes to animal-welfare organizations. Jill Milan, founded by Jill Fraser and Milan Lazich, is the only luxury handbag line entirely free of animal-derived materials which regularly appears on Hollywood’s red carpets. Visit Jill Milan on the Web and follow Jill Milan on Facebook.

Jill Milan and the Jill Milan logo are registered trademarks of Jill Milan LLC, and are protected by trademark laws of the United States and other jurisdictions. Emmy is a trademark of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Academy Award is a registered trademark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. All other product and organization names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

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