Open Call: Saint Louis Fashion Incubator Seeks Designers for their Inaugural Class


The Saint Louis Fashion Incubator is looking for six talented emerging designers for their inaugural class. Led by the Saint Louis Fashion Fund and run by Executive Director Eric Johnson, former Vice President for Fashion & Arts at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), the two-year residency program is set to shape the future of fashion. Gary Wassner, CEO, Hilldun, Co-Founder and Chairman, InterLuxe Holdings and fashion industry mentor believes that the incubator will have an impact on the greater fashion community.

 The strategy and thought that has gone into the planning for the Saint Louis Fashion Incubator is so different from other incubators around the country. Not only will it impact emerging designers’ businesses, but it will also impact the entire fashion and design ecosystem of St. Louis and the region. The Saint Louis Fashion Incubator is a new model for how to develop emerging design talent.

The Incutbator Space

The incubator space, will be located on Washington Avenue, once known as "Shoe Street USA" for its role in manufacturing shoes. The building will include shared work, retail and education space, state-of-the-art equipment, and access to small run sampling and manufacturing.



Those selected will have the opportunity to build their brands and grow their businesses over the course of two years through educational tools, connections and support. Specific benefits include:

  • Free studio space
  • A stipend that can be used at the designer’s discretion to offset the cost of relocation, travel, supplies, etc.
  • Mentorship and business support
  • Sales and collaboration opportunities
  • Professional development

  • Applications will be accepted in the following categories: Mens and Womens Ready-to-Wear, Childrens, and Accessories (Jewelry, Shoes, Handbags, Millinery).
  • Applicants must be 21 and a United States resident with a business based in the U.S.

Judging Panel

Designers will be chosen by a premier panel of industry professionals including:

  • Christene Barberich, Global Editor-in-Chief and Founding Member, Refinery29
  • Michael Fink, Dean of School of Fashion, Savannah College of Art Design Fern Mallis Creator, New York Fashion Week and Industry Consultant
  • Lisa Smilor, Executive Vice President, Council of Fashion Designers of America
  • Gary Wassner, CEO, Hilldun, Co-Founder and Chairman, InterLuxe Holdings
  • Timo Weiland, Designer

Learn more about the Saint Louis Fashion Incubator and apply by July 14, 2016.

Please note that we are not affiliated with this open call and all questions should be directed to the Saint Louis Fashion Incubator.

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