The DC Fashion Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization supporting the fashion business community in the Washington, DC area through educational programs, workforce training initiatives, and networking and mentoring opportunities. The Foundation strives to:
• Develop entrepreneurs’ business skills and workforce preparedness
• Improve the quality and availability of fashion industry opportunities
• Strengthen the connections and networks that form the foundation of the Washington, DC fashion community
The DC Fashion Foundation originated from the Greater Washington Fashion Chamber of Commerce (GWFCC), a Washington, DC-based trade association for the fashion industry. Founded in 2007, the GWFCC began developing Washington, DC into a global fashion capital. The GWFCC influenced legislation to bring fashion-related business to the area; established youth and adult arts education programs; and formed the first Congressional Apparel Manufacturing and Fashion Business Caucus on Capitol Hill.
In 2009, the DC Fashion Foundation launched with a mission to serve established and emerging designers as well as design students transitioning to full-time positions in the creative economy. The DC Fashion Foundation also continues initiatives that the GWFCC began, including arts education, fashion industry advocacy, and research.
Since its inception, the Foundation has made a wide-reaching impact on the DC community and:
• Taught approximately 1,000 youths through its summer program, Camp Runway
• Trained approximately 500 aspiring and established professionals through its small business technical assistance program, Fashionably Business
• Developed 47 designers through its DC Fashion Incubator at Macy’s and its Public Program
• Attracted hundreds of attendees to each of its Fashion Showcase events, including about 300 guests at its most recent installment
A sampling of programming that the DC Fashion Foundation has offered to fashion industry professions, students, and enthusiasts in the Washington, DC area includes:
DC Fashion Incubator at Macy’s Metro Center
The premier program of the DC Fashion Foundation, the DC Fashion Incubator is a two-year residency in a glass-enclosed design and learning space at Macy’s Metro Center. This application-only program offers space to work and showcase designs, seminars on business development, access to mentors and networking, and specialized consulting. The next class of DC Fashion Foundation Designers-in-Residence will begin in October 2017 and end in September 2019. Applications for next class will begin in Spring 2019.
DC Fashion Foundation Public Program
Open to all stakeholders in the DC fashion industry, the Public Program seminars encourage and equip talented local professionals to maintain and grow their businesses in the Washington, DC area. It offers a track for designers, a track for business leaders, and a hybrid track.
Fashion Showcase Series
These joint runway presentations, pop-up boutiques, and networking events draw together hundreds from the Washington, DC fashion community. Hosted at storied DC venues such as the W Hotel and Southwest Arts Club, these showcases provide an opportunity for designers, event planners, university students, and journalists to display and market their creativity and talents.
Internships for Credit
The DC Fashion Foundation partners with local colleges and universities to design enriching internship programs. Local students have the opportunity to independently manage a high-stakes workstream, from interacting directly with industry press to playing a crucial role in event management and execution.
Board of Directors
Kesha Hamlin, Chair
Chonita Dixon, Treasurer
Lilyan Satz, Secretary
Matti Miranda, Director
Rachel O’Connell, Director
Executives and Staff
Christine Brooks-Cropper, President, CEO, and Founder
Henry Tucker, CFO
George Brown, General Counsel