Application Process

The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator at Macy’s Center City is currently accepting applications from emerging designers for the 2018 residency.

The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator (PFI) at Macy’s Center City provides six (6) emerging Philadelphia-based apparel and/or accessories designers with the resources – including workspace, curriculum, and mentoring – to launch and grow their fashion businesses.

Throughout the course of one year, the Designers-in-Residence (DIR) will be required to attend and complete a mandatory core curriculum of workshops and seminars focused on business development.  Conducted at both PFI as well as at off-site locations, these workshops are essential to the PFI program and attendance is mandatory. At the time of acceptance, a calendar with proposed monthly workshop dates for the year will be provided. These dates are subject to change, and the DIR’s need to adjust their schedules accordingly.

The DIR’s will be provided with office space, including a workshop room with sample production space, as well as a shared conference room/showroom space.  DIR’s will receive mentoring from Philadelphia-based industry leaders and feedback from Macy’s at Center City merchant team along with a number of press, sales and event opportunities.

The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator will support talent that understands the program is a business proposition, not merely a creative opportunity.

The Incubator program will begin March 1, 2018. The Designers-in-Residence (DIR) are expected to complete the full year and are limited to their one-year term in residence.  After the year, alumnae are encouraged to stay connected through various programs and events.

TO Apply Click Application Form Tab Above


Applicants seeking admission to the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator at Macy’s Center City are required to:

  • Reside in the Philadelphia Region: 8 county area includes Philadelphia, the 4 PA Counties (Montgomery, Chester, Delaware and Bucks) and NJ – Camden, Gloucester, Burlington.
  • Be 21 years of age or older.
  • Provide a minimum of five (5) images of your garments. Ideally work that best reflects your vision for your brand. If called back for an interview, plan to show a these samples but preferably more.
  • Have already started (6 months-3 years), a fashion business in the City of Philadelphia.
  • Must already have sales in the marketplace.
  • Serious commitment to further sustain and scale your business.
  • Pay $200/month Program Fee for the 12 months.
  • Be able to commit to PFI and their businesses completely, utilizing all available resources, similar to a full-time job (35-40 hours a week).
  • Submit a non-refundable application fee of $75.00.


Designers who are ineligible to apply to this program:

  • Established designers who have been in business for more than 5 years.
  • Designers that have businesses located outside of the City of Philadelphia, or who plan to establish a business outside of the Philadelphia region.
  • Those who cannot commit to the Incubator, utilizing the office, workshop and studio space at the Macy’s in center city for a period of one year.
  • Those who cannot attend the full curriculum of workshops.

Judging Criteria:

The PFI Selection Committee, comprised of a team of industry professionals, will review PFI applications based on the below criteria. Designers-in-Residence (DIR) should:

  • Have the ability to commit to PFI completely, utilizing all available resources, with the intent to launch their businesses as a full-time career.
  • Have a strong vision for their collection and/or a great business concept.
  • Demonstrate the highest level of responsibility and dedication to both the program and their business.
  • Demonstrate a manageable level of financial ability to fund their new businesses ($15,000+).
  • Have the ability to work well with others with the desire and flexibility to engage in and be respectful of the program’s many collaborations.
  • Understand that while we are here to provide resources and help DIR’s establish their businesses, ultimately, DIR’s are responsible for each and every aspect of beginning, operating, and growing their individual companies.
  • Understand that we cannot help teach design. We do our best to provide the resources to help lay a proper business and production foundation for our DIR’s.

Submission, Timeline and Fees:

The Application MUST be submitted to the PFI review panel in BOTH PRINTED AND ELECTRONIC format.

Electronic format MUST be sent via Dropbox or wetransfer ONLY. DO NOT SEND directly to the email listed below.

Email to via Dropbox/wetransfer:


 Mail Printed Application To:
The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator at Macy’s Center City
Elissa Bloom
Executive Director
1300 Market Street, 3rd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107

The application along with a non-refundable application fee of $75 must be received by Thursday January 4, 2018.

Payment can be received via check along with the printed application. Please make your check payable to Philadelphia Fashion Incubator.

If you would like a tour of the incubator studio or to learn more about the residency, please email our Executive Director, Elissa Bloom at to set up a time to meet.

 Any questions regarding the application may also be submitted to

 All applicants selected to continue in the application process will be expected to be available to participate in an in-person interview with the PFI review panel for approximately 30 minutes to be scheduled between January 16th and January 31st. You must be prepared with at least five but preferably more samples that best define the collection you plan to work on while at the Incubator.

The six chosen DIR’s will be notified by February 1, 2018 and publicly announced in March 2018.  Chosen DIR’s will promise to keep their acceptance private until the public announcement date TBD.  DIR’s will be expected to be involved in Incubator activities and events beginning as early as February 2018.

Designer Checklist:

Please be sure you have sent the following:

  • Application both Printed and Electronic.
  • $75 non-refundable Application Fee via mail.
  • Resume both Printed and Electronic.
  • Images of a minimum of at least five garments in a press kit, look book, line sheet or similar format. Both Printed and Electronic.
  • Two Letters of Reference both Printed and Electronic.

Application Form:

The application process for 2018 residency is open.
The application is available for download from the link below. We are accepting interested applicants for the 2018 residency program until January 06, 2018.

Step 1 of 2

  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, png, gif, tiff, psd, pdf.

2018 Philadelphia Fashion Incubator OPEN CALL APPLICATION

 Program Meet the Designers The Curriculum