Newport International Runway Group Latest Trends - A Start-Up In

November 26, 2014  |  By  | 

A Peace Treaty, hit a wall. They were looking for an opportunity. The designers, who produce in 10 countries, had organized communities of older artisans to train younger generations in order to revitalize dying craftsmanship techniques, such as camel bone carving in Rajasthan. Ms. Malik said the kind of mentoring they had fostered was missing for their own business. Before the incubator, the C.F.D.A. already had a designer development program in partnership with Vogue magazine, which has been responsible for launching such designers as Rodarte, Proenza Schouler and Alexander Wang. However the organization’s proprietary incubator is more of a slow cooker for young br ands rather than the fast-paced cutthroat competition of the C.F.D.A./Vogue Fashion Fund, which is filmed as a Project Runway-like reality show. Ms. Smilor describes the incubator program as less marketing for the organization and more “nuts and bolts” of supporting emerging designers. “The concept was to create a space where we can help nurture designers,” she said. After applying to the C.F.D.A./Vogue Fashion Fund and making it through the first round, the designers of A Peace Treaty ultimately decided it was not right for the brand. Ms. Malik said they decided to focus on a “sure shot that would be more lucrative.” A friend and incubator designer Jonathan Simkhai suggested they apply to the two-year program. The C.F.D.A. underwrites half the cost of a studio in a collective workspace in the heart of New York’s garment district, which Ms. Malik likens to being on a school campus. Before moving into their studio at the incubator, she said, the designers were “isolated” in their Midtown Manhattan office. “The excitement and creativity buzzes with us all there,” Ms. Malik said. “It’s nice to know we’re all struggling with the same business issues. That kind of shar ing is really reassuring. We crack a lot of codes together.” Ms. Smilor said that for 10 brands competing for the same investment dollars and editorial attention, the incubator is more of a community than a competition for the fellows. “They really are all for one and one for all,” she said. In the first part of the two-year program, designers selected for the incubator get an intensive eight-month business finance and marketing education as part of the C.F.D.A.'s partnership with Stern School of Business at New York University. Because the designers have established businesses, their brands also act as a case study project for the M.B.A. students, who work with the designers to develop business plans that include e-commerce and finance strategies. Having the tough love of aspiring business sharks pick apart and critique her business was sometimes uncomfortable for Ms. Malik. “We’ve been very proud about building our business ourselves from the ground up,” she said. “Sometimes it felt too big and I