This Friday, Project Runway’s Fallene Wells is presenting Forever Darling, an exciting fashion event that will benefit the Denver Design Incubator. The DDI is a great resource for local fashion professionals to create and grow their businesses. While New York and Los Angeles might be traditionally associated with the fashion industry, it’s inspiring that more cities throughout the U.S. are nurturing and supporting homegrown talent through programs like DDI. DDI is helping lifelong seamstresses and fashion newcomers alike to realize their dreams. I had a chance to ask Holli Gibson (Director of Education and Design) a few questions about the DDI program:
Where did the concept for the Denver Design Incubator originate?
Holli: The Denver Design Incubator is the brainchild of Rustin Coburn. He wanted to create an environment where designers could work and learn the trade. He started doing this with his business DVLP clothing, and as he talked with other professionals in town, the idea grew. Rustin and I met at the last Fashion Group International Rising Star event, where we were both competitors. I have a children’s clothing line, LamanBlu. Not too long after that, we started talking about creating an incubator and I became involved in the startup team which eventually launched DDI.
What is the mission of the Denver Design Incubator?
Holli: The Denver Design Incubator is dedicated to providing resources, education
and professional development to the local fashion community that will
enhance and support a thriving, profitable and sustainable local fashion
How does DDI help designers create a viable fashion business?
Holli: DDI offers the education, experience, resources and mentoring necessary for designers to build viable fashion businesses. We are a resource center to the community, including the ability to book time to use our state of the art industrial sewing equipment provided by Ralph’s Industrial Sewing. We offer classes and workshops open to the community on varying subjects from how to develop a linesheet to business plans, to marketing and so on. Our Designer-In-Residence program is an intensive 2 year program that accepts talented designers every six months in a juried process. In this program, designers create their collections and business plans, including hands-on experience in sales, samplemaking, production patterns, etc. At the end of the program, the designers will graduate with up and running businesses. We are accepting applications now and will be conducting interviews in early November. Selected candidates will start the program in January. Anyone looking for more information on any of DDI’s programs can can visit DenverDesignIncubator.com or email info@DenverDesignIncubator.com.
What resources are available for fashion and sewing professionals in your town or city? Share in the comments section below, and stay tuned for pictures and a recap of Forever Darling!