On Tuesday, the DC Fashion Foundation, Macy's DC, and more stakeholders officially opened the District's fashion business incubator, where every year, aspiring fashion designers will have the chance to "make it work."
The 1000-square-foot space inside Macy's at 1201 G St NW is hosting this year eight designers in residence, from the District, Prince George's County, Peru and Ghana.
The designers are not amateurs; they all have at least three years of experience, but the incubator is meant to help them further their business, learn more about marketing and create "successful and sustainable fashion companies," as one Macy's exec put it.
This is not technically the first fashion incubator; the DC Fashion Foundation ran a pilot incubator at the convention center in 2012, which president/CEO Christine Brooks Cropper said at the ribbon cutting proved that "D.C. is ready for this."
The "think tank" for designers will help keep creative jobs in the District as well as solidify D.C.'s (very) hard-earned reputation as a fashion city.
The incubator is not open to the public, but buyers' breakfasts and a small showroom mean that designers' work will always be visible to buyers at Macy's, other department stores and local boutiques, and eventually, one hopes, to the general public through those stores.
The eight designers are: