City of Renton Partners on Garment District

Seattle Fashion Incubator Partners with City of Renton on Seattle Garment District

The Seattle Fashion Incubator is part of a growing collection of cities dedicated to jumpstarting their regional Creative Economy. As part of this movement, the Seattle Fashion Incubator follows the progress of other incubators closely to further educate our strategy. While all fashion incubators are tailored to their region, examining successes of other fashion incubators helps inform the growth potential of greater Seattle’s apparel market.

Fashion incubators unite business and community resources to accelerate a region’s apparel industry. In 1987, retail industry leaders in Toronto recognized the need for such support and founded the Toronto Fashion Incubator. Featuring a renowned mentorship program, the Toronto Fashion Incubator has built a robust network of advocates who help artisans further their careers.

The Chicago Fashion Incubator provides an example of the advantages corporate retail support can lend artisans early in their careers. With assistance from Macy’s, selected Associate Designers and Designers in Residence at the Chicago Fashion Incubator work in a studio filled with design and manufacturing equipment that is often too expensive for young artisans to purchase independently. These production resources, as well as the existence of a designated space for creativity and craftsmanship, provide Chicago artisans with tools that help them bring their product to market.

With knowledge of fashion incubator initiatives such as these, the Seattle Fashion Incubator is actively recruiting advocates to support Seattle’s Creative Economy. Our network of Seattle industry professionals provides mentorship and intends to offer classes to assist member growth. Through our membership programs, local artisans gain access to pre-qualified resources with an interest in cultivating fresh talent.

Currently, the Seattle Fashion Incubator is concentrated on increasing our impact by securing an affordable design space in partnership with the City of Renton. This Maker’s space is part of the City of Renton’s downtown revitalization program to create a vibrant work and retail space that builds on the area’s existing amenities. Through our collaboration with the City of Renton, Seattle’s garment district will soon be part of a historic community featuring specialty shopping and artisan services.

Author: Adriane Holter

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