Application Process

The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator at Macy’s Center City is currently accepting applications from emerging designers for the 2014 residency through December 20, 2013.
Interested designers need to be located in the 8 county area of Philadelphia and plan to continue to locate their business within the City of Philadelphia. Applicants will need to submit a minimum of five photos from their present collection, along with the application.

After the deadline, applications will be screened by our selection committee. The committee will narrow the pool and will personally interview the finalists. From that process, the four Designers-in-Residence will be chosen for the year.

2014 Philadelphia Fashion Incubator OPEN CALL APPLICATION


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 at least these samples but preferably more.
  • Either plan to start, or have already started (0-5 years), a fashion business in the City of Philadelphia.
  • Submit a non-refundable application fee of $75.00. Applicants who have applied in the past will have an application fee of $30.00.
  • Be able to commit to Philadelphia Fashion Incubator completely, utilizing all available resources, similar to a full-time job (35-40 hours a week).


Designers who are ineligible to apply to this program:

  • Established designers who have been in business for more than 3 years.
  • Students.
  • Designers that have businesses located outside of the City of Philadelphia, or who plan to establish a business outside of the City of Philadelphia.
  • Those who cannot commit to the Incubator on a full-time basis, 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 Philadelphia Fashion Incubator Board and a team of industry professionals will judge Philadelphia Fashion Incubator applicants based on the below criteria. Designers-in-Residence (DIR) should:

  • Have the ability to commit to Philadelphia Fashion Incubator 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 DIRs establish their businesses, ultimately, DIRs 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 DIRs.

Submission and Fees:

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

Email to:

SUBJECT: FIRST and LAST NAME – Philadelphia Fashion Incubator Application

Mail To:
The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator at Macy’s Center City
Attn: 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 Friday, December 20, 2013.

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

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 Philadelphia Fashion Incubator review panel for approximately 30 minutes to be scheduled between January 6 and January 20. You must be prepared with at least five but preferably more samples that best define the collection you plan to launch while at the Incubator.

The four chosen DIRs will be notified by February 2014, publicly announced in March 2014.  Chosen DIRs will promise to keep their acceptance private until the public announcement date TBD.  DIRs will be expected to be involved in Incubator activities and events beginning as early as February 2014.  Move-In will be on Saturday, March 1 or by Monday, March 3, 2014.

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 2014 residency is open.
The application is available for download from the link below. We are accepting interested applicants for the 2014 residency program until December 20, 2013.

 2014 Philadelphia Fashion Incubator OPEN CALL APPLICATION

 Program Meet the Designers The Curriculum