New York City’s Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) recently welcomed their first 12 designers to the CFDA Fashion Incubator located in New York City’s historic Garment District.
CFDA president Diane Von Furstenberg led the designers on a tour of their new home just last week.
The first 12 designers are: Alice Ritter; Bibhu Mohapatra; Rachel Dooley of Gemma Redux; Grant Krajecki of Grey Ant; Waris Ahluwalia from House of Waris; Joel Diaz from Jolibe; Prabal Gurung; Dao-Yi Chow & Maxwell Osborne of Public School; Yuvi Alpert & Danna Kobo from Ruby Kobo; Sang A Im-Prop of Sang A; Justin Giunta from Subversive Jewelry; and Tom Scott.
According to a press release, the incubator was announced in November 2009 by Mayor Bloomberg as “Part of the City’s efforts to foster the development of entrepreneurs across all industry sectors, and to encourage small businesses to locate and grow in New York City.”
New York City currently has five incubators currently open or in development throughout the Five Boroughs, with at least two additional spaces expected to open by the end of 2010. Other cities like Chicago, L.A., Atlanta and Dallas have their own incubators which foster affordable work spaces, networking opportunities, and financial support to designers loaded with talent who might not otherwise be able to thrive.
With this mentoring and cultivation of designers sponsored by the CFDA, will we see New York’s Garment District slowly come back to life from its rapidly decreasing amount of tenants? And from an eco-design standpoint will there be opportunities so that more than just two of the 12 are afforded and educated on sustainable materials for their collections?
We can only hope.
Regardless, NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky says “This diverse group of designers is a reflection of the depth of fashion talent New York City is known for. It is because of designers like these, as well as the retailers, wholesalers, and numerous fashion-related businesses that choose to locate here, that New York City is, and will remain, the world’s fashion capital.”
Image: Gemma Redux