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Fashion Incubator Class’ Styles Hit Runway

As midnight rolled around, five adrenaline-fueled fashion designers did what comes naturally after a big runway show. They partied, and put off thoughts of fabric and fit, at least for a little while.

They’re unknowns now, but not for long, they hope. The inaugural class of the Fashion Incubator of San Francisco officially said hello to the society set at the 87th annual Junior League fashion fundraiser held at Fort Mason on March 1. This is the first time the league has included new designers in the lineup. There were several other firsts as well: a new venue, on-site shopping events and a new buzz.

“I’m happy the fashion show tradition has new life breathed into it,” said interior designer Jean Larette, a longtime league supporter. “They did a wonderful job of turning the cavernous Fort Mason space into an intimate venue. It felt fresh and polished, and there were plenty of great deals from the local vendors.”

The five fledgling designers created both spring and fall collections in the year they spent at the incubator program, sponsored by Macy’s San Francisco. They all “made a quantum leap from spring to fall,” said Executive Director Jeanne Allen. Her husband, Marc Grant (they formerly ran the fashion apparel company Jeanne-Marc), took on the Tim Gunn role.

“We were all over them about styling, fit, fabrics, cost and production. Now they all have orders and can go into small production runs. I guess it’s time to let them loose.”

Read more: San Francisco Chronicle Fashion Incubator class’ styles hit runway