DALLAS — The Art Institute of Dallas will give the Dallas Fashion Incubator a much-needed boost today when it presents it with a $10,000 check at a cocktail party for supporters.
This story first appeared in the November 18, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Plans for an incubator began over a year ago, but the project has moved slowly because it lacked the nonprofit status critical to obtaining funding. That application has now been made and nonprofit tax status is expected shortly.
“We have a fashion design program, and it’s been very successful, but we hate to see the fashion industry leave town or move out,” said Paul McGuirck, president of the Art Institute of Dallas. “We decided to put our money where our mouth is.”
The contribution will go toward securing a retail space for the Incubator in the Main Street District downtown, said Kourtney Penn, a board member who is assistant director of the Downtown Partnership, a group seeking to reinvigorate the city center.
“The Fashion Incubator has the power to help retail as well as wholesale in Dallas,” said John Clutts, chairman of the Incubator’s board and the owner of an eponymous talent agency.
The board is finalizing criteria for admitting five to eight fashion and accessories designers to the Incubator. The goal is to enable the fledgling entrepreneurs to sell their wares in a retail space with a shared workroom in back. Organizers are unsure whether applicants will be limited to residents of the city, region or state.
Plans call for enlisting industry executives to offer advice and give seminars on the nitty-gritty of planning, sales and production.
The private Art Institute college offers courses in fine art and interior and graphic design, among other subjects. Its faculty and students have created a logo and Web site for the Incubator: Dallasfi.org.