The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator (PFI) has selected its inaugural class of emerging designers! The chosen five were announced Thursday, March 1 at a press conference with Mayer Michael Nutter, Terry Lundgren, Macy’s Inc. Chairman, President and CEO and Paul Levy, Center City District President and CEO at Macy’s Center City’s Grand Court.
“Macy’s is honored to partner with Mayor Nutter and the Center City District on this innovative fashion initiative that not only encourages new career options for emerging local talent but could very possibly discover the next great American fashion designer,” said Lundgren.
The newly-named designers-in-residence (DIR) now embark on a year-long program that will provide mentoring from industry and business professionals along with a significant schedule of monthly workshops focusing on the business of fashion. They will work out of a 600+-square-foot room in the Macy’s center city building (pictured here), where they will produce their sample collections, gain retail insight and showcase their wares to merchants from local and national retailers.
DIRs were chosen based on their talent, vision and overall business concept. Three are alumni of participating academic partners Drexel University, Moore College of Art & Design and Philadelphia University, with the fourth selected through an open call opportunity. For 2012, the DIRs are:
- Autumn Kietponglert (Drexel University). Her company, Heartless Revival, focuses on haute couture combining historically-inspired silhouettes with intense textile construction.
- Kaitlyn Doherty (Philadelphia University). Kaitlyn’s self-titled company features womens wear inspired by architecture she’s explored during her travels abroad.
- Melissa D’Agostino (Moore College of Art & Design). D’Agostino Fashion Textile Design embraces the “slow fashion movement” with hand-made and –dyed print designs and techniques.
- Latifat Obajinmi and Moriamo Johnson (open call selection). The sister duo’s African-inspired women’s wear incorporates wax print fabrics into their designs for their company, Aso Damisi.
“The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator will promote Center City’s economic development, as these talented designers grow their business here in Center City Philadelphia,” said Levy. “We’re proud to cultivate and nurture our local talent through the Fashion Incubator as they are our future shop owners and retail partners here in Philadelphia.”
Congratulations to the 2012 DIR class! We can’t wait to see your visions for the future of fashion in Philadelphia and beyond.