These outgoing designers are about to embark upon a pretty major time in their careers -- but not before showing their fall collections.
We visited the CFDA Incubator (where 10 hand-picked emerging designers are provided with studio space--which they still pay for at a monthly rent--and mentoring for about two years) for a market day during fashion week and kind of didn’t want to leave. There were lots of positive vibes. In addition to checking out the latest from designers like Timo Weiland, Daniel Vosovic, Whit and Isaora, we decided to try and find out what it's like to work in a shared space with a bunch of other designers--something designers don't really do, unless they're on Project Runway (though Vosovic tells us this is totally different).
The CFDA has just announced those 10 promising young designers who will be moving into the CFDA's garment district Fashion Incubator studios next May, WWD is reporting. The program launched in 2010 with a $200,000 grant from the city and is now underwritten by Target. Chosen designers are provided with several hundred square foot studios priced well below market value ($1,500-$2,000). It's a major help for a designer just starting out, allowing them to take the exorbitant amount of money they may have been spending on rent and put it into their business. It's also just a great way for a young designer to get on the CFDA's radar. This year, however, the program will do more than just give designers a place to work, starting with the program's first members, which include Prabal Gurung, Sophie Theallet, Waris Ahluwalia and others. They are the first beneficiaries of a new partnership with NYU's Stern Consulting Corps., a selected group of NYU Stern M.B.A. students who will provide full business mentoring to the incubatees. They'll help the designers develop "full financial statements, cash flow projections and investor-ready business plans." This added business incubation component may prove even more beneficial to the designers in the long term--especially in a time when even the most talented designers can fail as the result of poor business practices. So, who are the lucky 10?