Since the days of the Gold Rush when Levi Strauss began making durable denim pants for miners, the San Francisco Bay Area has been a hot bed for U.S. apparel manufacturing. As recently as twenty years ago, the fashion industry was the second largest sector in San Francisco, behind tourism, but lower costs drew many operations overseas, and the industry across the U.S. declined. In the last few years, locally produced clothing has been at the forefront of the green fashion movement, with many brands reconsidering overseas production, realizing that they can produce here in San Francisco with only a minimal end price difference.
Fashion Incubator San Francisco at Macy’s Union Square (FISF) is an initiative of the SFCED, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office and local fashion, retail and business development experts that aims to reclaim San Francisco’s legacy as a leader in the fashion apparel industry and keep creative talent in San Francisco. Established in September 2012, the group’s mission is to turn creative fashion apparel designers into successful San Francisco entrepreneurs.
Each year FISF provides six Designers in Residence with exclusive workshop space at Macy’s offices in downtown San Francisco, with yearlong business operations training from experts in the San Francisco fashion and economic development communities. After a very successful inaugural class of 2012, FISF is preparing to welcome the class of 2013 and is now taking the program out into the broader San Francisco community with talks and lectures by experts in the apparel industry.
Learn more at www.fashionincubatorsf.org.