Otis College of Art and Design Announces Lynette Nylander as Keynote Speaker for Fourth Annual Black
Creatives Institute

The editorial and brand director was joined by additional speakers from Nike, Apple, and Theory. 

Otis College of Art and Design announced a dynamic lineup of speakers at its 2023 Black Creatives Institute, including editorial and brand director Lynette Nylander as the opening keynote, who spoke at the event on August 18.

The Black Creatives Institute, which runs August 18 through 20, is designed to develop an inclusive and affirming campus climate for incoming Black first year and transfer students to increase their engagement with the College and with each other. The program also supports retention and degree completion. 

Nylander is a writer, editor, and creative consultant. Making her career at the intersection of youth and popular culture, she has worked as Deputy Editor of i-D and Teen Vogue magazines, was Executive Editorial Director of Dazed, and has held senior leadership positions at Alexander Wang and Pat McGrath Labs. She has been celebrated on Forbes’s “30 under 30” lists and has spoken at such global institutions as the V&A, British Film Institute, and The Smithsonian. Formerly from London, Nylander now resides in New York City.  

Additional speakers throughout the program included creative and business minds from Nike, Westman Atelier, Theory, ATTN: and Apple.  

“Our speakers at the 2023 Black Creatives Institute are going to showcase their inspiring stories and experiences, which will certainly connect with our incoming Black students” says Nicholas Negrete, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, who created the BCI speaker series in 2020. “These creative leaders come with an enormous amount of success, courage, insight, and, most importantly, the experience of what it
means to navigate the art and design world as a Black creative. Our students are extremely fortunate to be able to connect with these powerhouses and gain even greater insight into the creative economy.”   

BCI fosters a community among Black creatives by providing holistic support for their personal growth, identity formation, cultural development, and career development to create a stronger sense of belonging within the Otis
community. As part of the program, students are paired with an industry and faculty mentor. The industry mentor is a mid- to senior-level creative in the field in which the student is interested, and the faculty mentor is the student’s on-campus source of support through their first year. Monthly BCI meetups and programming throughout the academic year take place as well.  
Since its inception, BCI has doubled in size, with 40 students paired with mentors this year through BOND Creative MGMT. The agency places creatives across various art and design organizations and is headed by Leonardo Lawson, an Otis College Trustee and former BCI keynote speaker.  
“The Black Creative’s Institute at Otis is a transformative force that builds community, fosters mentorships, and forges partnerships to empower the next generation of Black and brown creative leaders in design,” says Lawson.
“As a former keynote speaker during my time as President of YZY Gap, and through my consulting firm BOND Creative MGMT’s involvement in providing industry mentors, I witnessed the incredible impact of BCI. Inspired by their work, I became a trustee at Otis, dedicated to advancing their mission. BCI’s commitment to diversity in the creative industry is vital, driving innovation and shaping a more inclusive future.”  
For more information about the Black Creative Institute, visit: