Nina Means

Jun 12 2024

by Katelyn Whelan

Nina is a multi-industry professional who began her career in public health research and metrics with experience in healthcare programs serving historically excluded communities globally for chronic and infectious diseases including breast cancer, safe water programs, maternal and child health, malaria and HIV.

In pursuit of a dream, Nina made a career leap into fashion with a move to Italy before returning to New York to work in the industry. As an FIT alum, she designed for notable brands such as Rebecca Taylor, American Eagle Outfitters, H by Halston for QVC. She has sold millions in designed products for global fashion brands, and received multiple awards and honors for her work.

Prior to relocating to Austin, Nina launched her namesake womenswear label available in specialty stores and online following the stint in Italy and New York to learn the ins and outs of the business.

With a passion for the next generation of the industry, she has served as an adjunct professor and is currently the Director of the Austin Community College Fashion Incubator. Nina develops students, emerging fashion businesses and creates gainful business and workforce development opportunities to the greater Austin area. She is strategic about empowering emerging fashion businesses, digital transformation, fostering key partnerships, and bridging the gap between creativity and commerce.

During the pandemic response, she advised hospitals and C-level executives on trisector solutions in health, fashion, and manufacturing during COVID-19 pandemic response.

She has since launched her consulting agency, CADRE Innovation, driving cross-industry product commercialization solutions. CADRE Innovation is a B2B consultancy with availability for product development and brand guidance opening in 2025. Individual consulting sessions are available through the end of 2024.

Nina has been featured in WWD, appeared as cover woman for Austin Woman Magazine, named one of 12 Women Shaping the Future of Austin by Austin Monthly Magazine, and was featured in a documentary on building creative teams alongside leaders from Pixar and Google.


Katelyn Whelan View More Blog Posts from this Author

Katelyn is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a dual degree in Marketing & Visual Communication Design. Settling in her hometown of Savannah, GA, she has spent the past 5 years building a career working with female owned small businesses. From events to retail, she has learned the art of translating ideas into action. Specializing in digital marketing, she seeks to bring the passion of her clients to life through the power of social media & e-commerce. She is the digital arm of a design firm founded with her two sisters, The Whelan Girls.

When she is not working, you can find her at the beach. She loves spending time with her family and can whip up a killer batch of chocolate chip cookies.

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