THE PHILADELPHIA FASHION INCUBATOR SAYS FAREWELL TO INAUGURAL CLASS OF DESIGNERS-IN-RESIDENCES, WELCOMES NEW TALENT IN 2013

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THE PHILADELPHIA FASHION INCUBATOR SAYS FAREWELL TO INAUGURAL CLASS OF DESIGNERS-IN-RESIDENCES,
WELCOMES NEW TALENT IN 2013

Fashion initiative devoted to supporting emerging designers in the Philadelphia region returns for its second year

PHILADELPHIA (March 1, 2013) – Philadelphia’s robust fashion design community continues to expand and spotlight its talent with the launch of the second year of The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator at Macy’s Center City (PFIMCC). The fashion initiative, created to help foster and support emerging local fashion design talent, enters into its second residency on the heels of a wildly successful inaugural year. The first class of Designers-in-Residence (DIRs) celebrated the conclusion of their year-long residency today, and helped welcome the new 2013 class of emerging designers.

“The immense progress and growth that I have seen in each designer since the program launched last March is absolutely astonishing,” said Elissa Bloom, executive director of PFIMCC. “I am excited to see what the future has in store for the 2012 DIRs and am thrilled to embark on a new year with five talented designers.”

Beginning today, the new class of DIRs will have access to The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator’s 800+ square-foot Project Runway-inspired production room, office and showroom/conference room housed in Macy’s Center City. For the next year, they will receive business mentoring from some of the region’s leading business professionals, as well as workshops and retail critiques with the fashion industry’s most celebrated talent.

The program is a collaboration between The City of Philadelphia, Center City District, Macy’s Center City, and several educational institutions devoted to fashion design in Philadelphia including Drexel University, Moore College of Art & Design and Philadelphia University.

“This is an extremely exciting time for the creative fashion community in Philadelphia,” said Margaret Hughes, first deputy city representative. “The City is proud to support innovative initiatives like PFIMCC that encourage, develop and support local fashion designers, and inspire total industry growth.”

In the coming year, DIRs will also participate in various fashion events including pop-up shops, trunk shows and a fashion show during the city’s annual week-long fashion celebration, The Philadelphia Collection. They will tackle workshop topics ranging from production and sourcing to marketing and financial planning, and will attend retail critiques with retailers including Nicole Miller, INTERMIX and Barney’s. The DIRs will also participate in monthly trips to New York to meet with industry experts such as Fern Mallis, Terry Lundgren, Tommy Hilfiger and Steven Alan.

“The program’s success in its first year was made possible by the amazing partners that we’ve found in Macy’s Center City, our academic institutions, and the incredible business professionals who have donated their time and expertise to our designers,” said Michelle Shannon, VP of marketing and communications for Center City District. “Our generous community partners are contributing to the growth of our local retail economy, as we support our future shop owners here in Philadelphia.”

PFIMCC said farewell today to the 2012 inaugural class of DIRs, Autumn Kietponglert (Heartless Revival), Kaitlyn Doherty (Kaitlyn Elizabeth), Melissa D’Agostino (D’Agostino Fashion Textile Design), and Latifat Obajinmi and Moriamo Johnson (Aso Damisi). PFIMCC will continue to support the designers throughout their careers and exciting plans for future collaborations will be announced later this spring.

After reviewing countless applications from designers from across the region, a selection committee consisting of professionals from Philadelphia’s fashion and business sectors selected five designers to make up the 2013 class of DIR.

DIRs were selected based on their talent, vision for their collection and overall business concept. Three DIRs are alumni of the participating academic partners (Drexel University, Moore College of Art & Design and Philadelphia University) and the final two DIRs were selected through an open call opportunity. There was only one intended slot for the open call designer, however, the committee simply couldn’t refuse the impressive talent and the space was offered to two lucky designers.

The PFIMCC 2013 Designers-In-Residence are:

Melissa Choi & Pia Panaligan
– Academic Partner: Philadelphia University
– Focus: Delivering great quality and timeless pieces, showcasing textile influences from around the world.
– Company: Senpai + Kohai

Annina King
– Academic Partner: Drexel University
– Focus: Capturing the spirit and forms in nature while embracing techniques that to pay homage to both the ancient and yet continuously new world around us.
– Company: Granaté Prêt

Devin Anne Pauley
– Academic Partner: Moore College of Art & Design
– Focus: Hand patterned, sewn and constructed gowns made in the US with the attention to every detail based on the clients feedback.
– Company: Morgia Bridal

Leah Delfiner
– Open Call Selection
– Focus: Fresh, fun, and colorful items created with hi-quality fabrics using detailed construction and designed for comfort and function, handcrafted in Philadelphia.
– Company: Pretty Pretty Rebel

Trisha Williams
– Open Call Selection
– Focus: Emphasizing the strategic use of color combined with a trained attention to construction while paying homage to her Barbadian heritage.
– Company: Trisha Will

“We are thrilled to officially welcome the 2013 class of DIRs to their new ‘home’ in Macy’s Center City for the next year,” said Ed J Goldberg, senior vice president of government & consumer affairs for Macy’s. “Macy’s strongly believes in fostering local talent and helping Philadelphia’s designers succeed. This program could very well nurture the next generation of great American fashion designers and Macy’s is very proud to play a significant role in this effort.”

Sponsors of The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator at Macy’s Center City include: The City of Philadelphia, Center City District, Macy’s Center City, Philadelphia University, Drexel University, Moore College of Art & Design, QVC, Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at Wharton, TD Bank, Reed Smith Law Firm, The Jones Group, SA VA, Fashion Group International Philadelphia, LevLane, Jim Cottingham Photography, Skai Blue Media and Cashman & Associates. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, program details, and application process for The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator at Macy’s Center City, please visit www.philadelphiafashionincubator.com or contact Elissa Bloom, Executive Director, at elissa@philadelphiafashionincubator.com. Join the conversation on twitter @philaincubator or facebook.com/philadelphiafashionincubator.

About Philadelphia Fashion Incubator at Macy’s Center City
A collaboration between The City of Philadelphia, Center City District, Macy’s Center City and several educational institutions devoted to fashion design in Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator at Macy’s Center City (PFIMCC) is a 501 (c) (3) organization that provides select aspiring designers the workspace and essential business resources needed to run successful and sustainable fashion companies in Philadelphia. PFI encourages full support of local businesses and organizations across the city in order to achieve its mission of developing a business-savvy foundation for the growth of the Philadelphia fashion industry. Learn more by visiting www.philadelphiafashionincubator.com. Join the conversation on twitter @philaincubator or facebook.com/philadelphiafashionincubator.