By Sydia Bell
For the first time since its initial launch over two years ago, the CFDA’s (Council for Fashion Designers of America) Fashion Incubator program hit the road leaving their home in New York City to share their work, and themselves, with the Atlanta market. Of the ten participants, Project Runway season two finalist and All-Start Champion Daniel Vosovic, jeweler Emanuela Duca, the Burkman Bros, and Whitney Pozgay of WHIT brought their latest collections to show off and found time to connect with aspiring designers here in Atlanta.
The purpose of the Incubator program is to help support the next generation of fashion designers in New York City. For the next two years, the ten participating brands will receive unprecedented access to business mentors (like longtime executive for Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, Roopal Patel), networking opportunities, educational seminars and low cost studio space to foster their promising fashion talent.
On December 12th CFDA took over the W Hotel in Buckhead and began the day with a mentorship breakfast attended by Savannah College of Art and Design senior fashion majors. Conversations delving into life after graduation were held in small groups over roasted potatoes, scrambled egg muffins and fruit cups. Fashion Incubator designers dispensed invaluable information as it pertained to the importance of internships and working for others before undertaking the task of starting their own line. Students were also urged to bring their portfolios for review.
For many, like aspiring designer Juanita Holmes, this experience not only allowed her to receive feedback from these noteworthy people in the fashion industry, but more importantly helped her to grasp ideas from branding to understanding your customers’ demographic