The Saint Louis Fashion Fund, a two year old non-profit organization that supports emerging designers through education and outreach wants to show the country that their city is a premier destination for fashion and design.
The recent announcement of Eric Johnson as Executive Director of the Saint Louis Fashion Incubator is putting them one step closer to that vision.
In November of 2015, they presented the Caleres Emerging Designer Award, an annual award of $25,000 that was given to Katharine Polk of Houghton during during St. Louis’ Fall Fashion Week with key industry names serving as jurors including designer Lisa Perry; New York Fashion Week Founder, Fern Mallis; CEO of Hilldun and Chairman of InterLuxe, Gary Wassner; Senior Fashion Director of Barneys New York, Tomoko Ogura; and CEO of LaForce + Stevens, James LaForce.
Johnson was formerly Vice President – Fashion & Arts of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). He has overseen a range of fashion and retail initiatives while partnering with key New York organizations such as the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s CFDA Incubator, Design Entrepreneurs NYC, a “mini-MBA” program in collaboration with FIT and most recently, the Made in NY Fashion programs.
The St. Louis native will be responsible for recruiting designers for the fashion incubator which is scheduled to open in late 2016 and help enhance the city’s profile within the fashion industry. Other duties include working closely with Washington University in St. Louis and a national advisory board of industry professionals on programming, outreach and education programs for the community.
I am thrilled to return to my hometown of St. Louis for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring the business of fashion back to the City,” says Johnson. “St. Louis was once a center of fashion and design, known for its production of hats, gloves, coats, and especially shoes. I look forward to taking the helm of the new Saint Louis Fashion Incubator, and working with the civic and corporate community to make St. Louis a fashion destination once again.
Setting Johnson apart is his thoughtful approach to connecting with designers, strategic way of building programs and fostering a design community that spans everything from creativity to manufacturing. And, if his past successes weren’t enough, his New York drive combined with his Midwest charm will be the the icing on the cake that the city is lucky enough to get back.
Learn more at Saint Louis Fashion Fund.
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