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San Francisco has an active community of creative types, but—despite strong representation on Project Runway—our fair city isn't exactly known as a place where fashion designers flock. Consider our hippest fashion exports of the moment: Alexander Wang, who long ago fled the Bay Area for the Big Apple, and Kate and Laura Mulleavy (a.k.a. the Rodarte sisters) who swapped Santa Cruz and Berkeley for L.A.
Perhaps the problem is the lack of mentorship that cities like New York and Los Angeles offer to young designers. Fashion incubators abound in NYC and LA. Here, Fashion Incubator San Francisco (FISF) is the only game in town. And the deadline to be a part of the program is drawing near.
FISF at Macy's Union Square selects six emerging San Francisco-based apparel designers each year for the incubator. The 2014 class will be the third class in the program.
The six Designers in Residence (DIRs) are provided with office space, a workshop room with sample production space, a classroom, shared showroom space, and mentorship from business and fashion industry insiders. DIRs are charged a total of $400 for rent and supplies, (which—considering the cost of living in San Francisco—is a steal).
There are, of course, about a zillion prerequisites for the program ranging from age (at least 21) to location (DIRs must have started or plan to start a fashion business in the City of San Francisco) to scheduling requirements (a one-year, full-time commitment to the incubator). Established designers with production/product development for over two years and current fashion design students are not eligible.
Like we said, a zillion specifications. You can read all of the details on the FISF site.
If this sounds like an ideal opportunity for you or a designer you know, the deadline for applications is 5 pm PST on Wednesday, December 18.
· Fashion Incubator San Francisco [Official Site]
· The Sisters Behind Rodarte Were Inspired by Their Bay Area Roots [Racked]