Inside the CFDA Fashion Incubator

An inside look at pretty much every studio in the space, from Alice Ritter to Waris to Prabal.
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An inside look at pretty much every studio in the space, from Alice Ritter to Waris to Prabal.
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Yesterday the Council of Fashion Designers of America unveiled their latest project, the CFDA Fashion Incubator.

While there are no baby chicks, the CFDA Fashion Incubator is a home to many young designers. The way it works is the CFDA is leasing out small studios to designers for two years at a discounted price.

Designers from Prabal Gurung to Waris Ahluwalia have spots inside the Incubator, and are using them for all different purposes. Some as a showroom, while others will manufacture their products on site.

We visited yesterday and had the pleasure of meeting with the designers and getting the scoop on their plans for their spaces.

Click through to see what we found!

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House of Waris Founded in 2003, Waris Ahluwalia's jewelry brand takes inspiration from love, history, and forms found in nature. Waris created a romantic space for displaying his designs, complete with plants, photos from the African wilderness, and comfy pillows. Not only are his designs calmly beautiful, but Waris is definitely the kindest, most gracious person in the world. It's easy to see why he creates such romantic, elegant designs.

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Subversive Jewelry Justin Guinta's Subversive Jewelry created a stunning display space and studio in the Incubator. Filled with his imaginative and unique designs, the space felt like an entrance into his world of fantasy. Our favorite piece? A necklace with fake ear buds and headphone jacks. iPad chic, no?

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Prabal Gurung Fresh off Michelle Obama wearing his red dress to the White House Correspondents' Dinner, Prabal Gurung is becoming an American classic. Seeing his clothes up close was a delight since they ooze sophistication and have adorned some of the world most beautiful women, including Ms. Obama, Demi Moore, and Zoe Saldana. And hearing Prabal's adorable, slightly British accent made our visit even better!

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Alice Ritter French designer Alice Ritter's space was like a visit to Paris, complete with a miniature model of the city on the back table. While her team chatted in French, I perused her chic collection inspired by mixing elements of '70s French style and American staples. Breton stripes, flowing patterned dresses, and linen embroidery evoked Jane Birkin, while the cutest pair of plaid dropped-crotch shorts seemed fit for the Santa Monica pier. Alice cites comfort as her top priority, and she makes cozy endlessly cool.

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Ruby Kobo Ruby Kobo's jewelry is a diamond in the rough, literally. Using fine jewelry materials mixed with materials like linen string, the designs are delicate and perfect for layering. We fell instantly in love with the designs (so much so we picked up a bracelet!), ranging in price from $12 to hundreds. There is something for everyone at Ruby Kobo, so keep your eyes open for the fledgling label. We're expecting big things.

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Public School Public School's menswear is exactly what you wished your boyfriend wore. Classic pieces with unique detailing and a tough vibe, it's not for the timid. Their leathers are rugged, their knits are chunky, and the leather touches on their button downs are James Dean cool. Boys, please get yourselves into some Public School.

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Tom Scott Tom Scott's knitwear is quirky and insanely fun. Knit necklaces, elbow length gloves with the pointer and thumb fingers exposed, giant, fluffy sweaters, and a hat that was like a chic Einstein wig, everything Tom Scott designs will bring a smile to your face. He walks the line between editorial and commercial with ease. We've got our money on you, Tom.

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Bibhu Mohapatra Bibhu Mohapatra can be easily summed up with one word: luxury. From his extraordinary dresses to mind-blowing furs, Mr. Mohapatra has an eye for the exquisite. We got a special sneak-peek at a custom wedding dress that had a wealth of detail and care. He also makes quite the accessory, including a belt with a gold and Swarovski, sculptural applique that looked like a shining constellation.

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Jolibe Jolibe's minimal, streamlined collection is ideal for the artsy experimentalist. Classic pieces combine with pieces hemmed with stiff nylon to create strong shapes in a basic blue, grey, white and black palette. Some of Jolibe's best pieces are the black basics outfitted with chic details--perfect for a New Yorker on the go.

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Gemma Redux Gemma Redux's gemstone jewelry is luxe and fun at the same time. The larger, chunky pieces are fit for editorials while the lighter pieces are great for accenting an everyday look. We loved the gemstone and chain bracelets, as a little chain goes a long way.

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Grey Ant Grey Ant brings their signature mix of utility and cool to the Incubator. Their clothes, shoes, and sunglasses are great looking, comfortable (they partner on shoes with Teva), balancing trendy with wearable.

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Sang A If your handbag collection needs a facelift, Sang A is your go to brand. The New York label revamped some of its classic designs using luxe materials. The signature parallelogram clutch comes in a ton of great patterns and colors, and there's a fur evening bag that is the cutest, craziest accessory.