The DC Fashion Incubator

Dear fashionistas, entrepreneurs, mompreneurs from the fashion industry  of the DC metro area. For years I heard about the fashion incubator here and the incubator there, and the DC Fashion Incubator (DCFI) of course. So what is it? It is  for fashion designers, a group of selected designers come here for a residence time (of about 8 months) they find resources, infrastructure and programming that nurtures them to grow their fashion business so it can reach its full potential. The Incubator is comprised of four individual incubators including the, Design/Retail Incubator, Entrepreneur Incubator, Youth Education Incubator, and the Workforce Development Incubator. DCFI serves as the foundation of business support for the fashion industry in the District and a model that can be implemented throughout the US. Isn’t that amazing!!!

It is the headquarters of talented fashion designers who are selected to spend a year and learn from trend forecast, selling their line among other technical support needed while trying to  to grow their fashion businesses and take it to the next level.

I have witness how the director of the DC Fashion Foundation (Christine Brooks Cropper), pursue this dream for  years and finally it was officially launch. Thank GOD she got the right team with her to do it all, also government officials as well local government and international agencies supported this initiative that looks forward to have and host designers from different countries each year.


The group of the 2015 designers in residence

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This year it was special for Peru because one of the most notable Peruvian designers Jorge Luis Salinas is been hosted at the DC Fashion Incubator. Kudos to him and the other designers I am pretty sure the journey isn’t easy but in the end is all worth it.

What an opportunity huh? yes, indeed. I have witness the hard work of these designers put into making their first samples to be ready for the opening ceremony that took place last Tuesday at Macy’s metro center.

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I am pretty sure each of them has different views as of where they want to see their different collections sold at, although I firmly believe there is market for everyone. I also believe the Incubator has the connections and all the sources for these designers to be successful. If you want to learn more about how to help and grow your fashion business in the DC area. You can attend the different workshops offered by the DC Fashion Foundation.

I have worked with them for over 10 years, they helped me when no one believed in my work and when few closed their doors at my face. The organization connected me with the right people to do my 1st fashion show in 2007 and ever since we have continue working together in different proyects. Now that I have experience in the accessories field I am also invited to talk to students about pricing, presentation, collections among other subjects.

Cheers to each of the designers who are part of the class of 2015/2016 of the DC Fashion Incubator!


Evelyn Brooks

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