Berny Martin is an award-winning fashion designer and founder of Catou -- an internationally-recognized line of men's and women's professional wear. After earning a BS in Computer Technology from Purdue University in 2002, Martin realized that his real passion has always been in fashion. His lifelong dream came to fruition with the launch of Catou in 2005.
Seeing a need for fashion and expansion and exposure in the Midwest, Martin also established Midwest Fashion Week in 2006, which was recognized along as the leading fashion week in the Midwest by TIME Magazine in 2012. Over the years, this platform has showcased countless up-and-coming designers, stylists, models and photographers who would not otherwise have the opportunity.
Martin has shown his collections on runways all over the world including Paris, Hong Kong, New York, Kuwait, Senegal, Somaliland, Haiti, South Africa, Chicago, Munich and more. His label has been worn by countless celebrities including Billy Porter, Tom Wayne, Jim Parsons, and Lin Manual Miranda, to name a few. Catou has been featured on a variety of acclaimed media outlets such as L'Officiel Magazine, Vogue, BET, MTV, Fashion TV, Paper Magazine and more. Throughout his career, Martin has been awarded the United Nations Association Young Professional Award and the Best Menswear Designer in the Midwest by Fashion Group International (FGI).
Seeing the need to spread the joy and inspiration of every culture across the world through the exposure and exchange of fashion and style, Martin founded the nonprofit Fashion Community Foundation. Fashion Community Foundation aims to bring out the beauty that already exists within individuals and communities fostering economic growth, responsible consumption and production, and the reduction of inequalities. Martin has led Fashion Community Foundation in a variety of initiatives from its beginnings in 2011 in Haiti. Spanning across the globe, Martin has mentored hundreds of youth to realize their passions in the fashion industry.