ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The St. Louis Fashion Fund, a nonprofit working to revive the city’s fashion scene, will announce the six winners of their inaugural class of designers for their fashion incubator this Wednesday.
St. Louis Fashion Fund’s board chair Susan Sherman says the history of fashion in St. Louis “is as rich as beer and baseball.” “We were a major manufacturing hub, a center of manufacturing design at that time around the turn of the century until the end of World War II, second to only New York City,” Sherman says.
Sherman and other members of the Fashion Fund found countless documents at the Missouri History Museum about the city’s bustling fashion business. She says hundreds of people were once employed as sewers, pattern makers and manufacturers of everything from hats to shoes. St. Louis was known as “Shoe Street USA,” which according to Sherman “is beyond fascinating.”
43 applications from 16 cities applied for the six spots in the incubator. The winners will move to St. Louis for a two-year residency where they will receive a stipend, free design space, mentoring and business support as well as the chance to sell their merchandise.
Their first design challenge will focus on the World Chess Hall of Fame and feature a $10,000 prize.
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