Designers in the DC Fashion Incubator – the premier program of the DC Fashion Foundation – have been hard at work preparing for a unique opportunity: Showing off their designs in a highly-publicized New York runway show, featured on supermodels, actresses, and – most importantly – women’s health advocates.

Each year, Macy’s hosts the Red Dress Collection show to benefit the American Heart Association. Everyone involved in the show, from the fashion enthusiasts to the celebrity models to the designers themselves, demonstrate support for women’s heart health.

In the 2017 show, the DC Fashion Incubator was honored that supermodel Veronica Webb walked the runway in a dress by our Designer-in-Residence Amanda Casarez. The DC Fashion Incubator connected Amanda to Macy’s for this incomparable and memorable opportunity.

Supermodel Veronica Webb walks in a design by Amanda Casarez, a Designer-in-Residence in the inaugural cohort at the DC Fashion Incubator. 

This year, Macy’s has once again welcomed the DC Fashion Incubator designers to enter their top ideas for consideration. Seven DC-based designers prepared impressive, highly competitive entries for the show. Two entrants – Dur Doux and Nikki Hendricks Designs – are advancing for final consideration.

Dur Doux is an upscale fashion brand that translates into hard-soft, or edgy-elegant. Its signature style includes avante garde shapes, exquisite details, and unusual fabrication. The daughter-mother leadership team of Najla A. Burt (Creative Director) and Cynthia L. Burt (Co-Designer) have personally experienced the pain of a heart health struggle in their family that began several years ago. “Our entire family has worked as a team to continually learn more about heart disease and [makes] advocating for cures a top priority,” they explain.

Dur Doux has submitted highly dramatic and dynamic designs for the Red Dress Collection show. Its signature cutting-edge shaping is on full display in these entries’ sculptural yet flowing skirts and cut-out bodices.

One of the striking designs that Dur Doux, a daughter-mother design duo, submitted as part of their entry to the Macy’s Red Dress Collection show. 

Nikki Hendricks Designs employs bold patterns and eclectic materials in its distinctive pieces. Head Designer Nikki Hendricks draws inspiration from the futurism genre as well as race, religion, gender, and sexuality. A close loved one who struggled with heart health has made Nikki feel a personal connection to the Macy’s Go Red Dress Collection cause — and so has her own conviction to remain healthy while succeeding as a businesswoman and caring individual. “In a world where women are constantly making sacrifices for their families and careers,” she believes, “it is important that women still make time for the most important person; herself.”

In Nikki’s entries, the detailed descriptions of fabrics that she intends to use demonstrate her ability to create a harmonious piece by merging seemingly disparate fabrics.

Entries by Nikki Hendricks Designs for the Macy’s Red Dress Collection show. 

Macy’s will announce the final designers selected for the show in the coming weeks. The DC Fashion Foundation will share the winner as soon as the news breaks.

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