Emerging Designer Incubator

The IFF Emerging Designer Incubator sits at the intersection of DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) and educational advancement.

This intensive certification program was developed to educate Indiana-based designers in the areas of business development, fashion design, and the evolving fashion industry structure. The goal is to equip participating designers with the tools necessary to build sustainable, market-ready fashion businesses.

About the Emerging Designer Incubator

The IFF Emerging Designer Incubator program equips Indiana-based fashion designers with tools to build a sustainable fashion business and navigate the global fashion industry. To achieve these objectives, we are presenting a diverse mix of methodologies to educate and prepare the participating designers.

The program will include…

  • Weekly group sessions that will equip the designers with the core knowledge necessary to build a fashion business.
  •  Mentors who will be paired with designers to advise them as they develop a strategic plan to aid in the success of their start-up phase.
  • Open office hours, which will give designers access to program coordinators and other participants to receive additional knowledge and advice regarding the development of their strategic plans.
  • An opportunity to pitch strategic plans to a panel of cross-industry experts for a chance to win grants and/or resources that will aid in manufacturing and selling their garments.

Program Schedule

The IFF Emerging Designer Incubator consolidates eight weeks of learning into an intensive four week program that will run from October 12 thru November 5, 2021.


Time: 6:00pm

The Functions of a Fashion Business

  • Pillars of a fashion business
  • Business planning
  • Implementation


Time: 11:00am

Design Elements & Technique

  • Garment construction & technique
  • Garment quality
  • Ideation to Implementation (Illustration to construction)


Time: 6:00pm

Supply Chain & Sustainability

  • Sourcing
  • Production Management


Time: 11:00am

Marketing & Retail

  • Retail/Sales model
  • Marketing channels & strategies


Time: 6:00pm

Media & Press Relations

  • Understanding press-worthy news
  • Crafting your story
  • Best practices


Time: 11:00am

Designer Portfolio Critiques

Designer portfolios will be reviewed by a panel of cross-disciplinary industry experts who will offer live critiques & recommendations to aid in refining portfolios prior to the pitch event.


Time: 6:00Pm

Open Office & Mentoring Session


Time: TBA

Emerging Designer Pitch Event

Application & Selection Process

The application for the IFF Emerging Designer Incubator is open from September 7, 2021 and will remain open until October 1, 2021 at 11:59pm EST.

Applicants will be required to submit a portfolio of their previous work.
Applications & portfolios will be reviewed as they are received and up to fifteen (15) designers will be selected to participate in the program.

Selected participants will be notified no later than October 5, 2021.

Participant Investment

The investment for selected participants is a one-time fee of $400

This fee will cover the cost of program material, administrative fees, instructors, mentors, and admission to attend the Making it IN Fashion Industry Conference on November 4 & 5, 2021 where we will host the pitch event and completion certificate ceremony.

Selected participants will be required to pay the fee in full by October 8, 2021.

Please note that fees are nonrefundable.

Apply Now

Congratulations! You are about to begin the application process to participate in the IFF Emerging Designer Incubator. Your decision to apply is helping you get one step closer to building a healthy, strong fashion business.

We estimate that it will take approximately 35 minutes to complete the application.
Unfortunately, there is currently no option to save your responses. We suggest drafting your responses in a document and pasting them into the fields when you are ready to submit your application.

Each applicant will be required to submit a professional design portfolio as a single PDF file that is no more than 10MB in size.
If you are unsure of what to include in your portfolio, please watch this video.

This form is currently closed for submissions.

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