NEW YORK — The Council of Fashion Designers of America and New York City Economic Development Corporation have tapped 12 designers as the first tenants of the CFDA Fashion Incubator.

This story first appeared in the February 1, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“The CFDA Fashion Incubator is a natural extension of what our organization already does to support emerging design talent,” said Lisa Smilor, CFDA associate executive director. “We are thrilled to welcome this illustrious group of designers into the program, and are most appreciative for the support and involvement of our esteemed industry colleagues.”

The inaugural batch of designers are Alice Ritter, Bibhu Mohapatra, Prabal Gurung, Sophie Theallet, Rachel Dooley with Gemma Redux, Grant Krajecki of Grey Ant, Waris Ahluwalia of House of Waris, Joel Diaz with Jolibe, Alison Lewis with the Lewis label, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School, Yuvi Alpert and Danna Kobo of Ruby Kobo and Justin Giunta of Subversive Jewelry.

To win individual design studio space at 209 West 38th Street, the designers needed to submit a business plan, show they had garnered “substantive editorial coverage” as well as orders from high-level retailers, have been in business for more than a year and a half and have a staff working for them. The designers received two-year leases on spaces that range from 800 to 1,000 square feet for below market rates of between $1,500 and $2,000 per month.

The CFDA Fashion Incubator program was announced last fall with Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The NYCEDC is also offering the CFDA a $200,000 grant over three years to help establish the program.

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