FiSF offers a Designer-In-Residence program to help designers scale their businesses. The program is focused on one-on-one mentoring, workshops, events, pop-up space, and business development opportunities.
What Designers Get
You receive access to mentors who have specialized experience unique to fashion businesses but curated to your business needs. Our mentors can help pinpoint the weak links in your business chain, helping you scale more quickly.
A community of fellow designers to network with, share resources and learn from.
Exposure to the latest industry information spanning the spectrum of points of interest within the fashion domain – sustainability, tradeshow, retail, analytics, social media & what’s new in tech, materials & production.
Thanks to our massive network, designers build relationships and partnerships that wouldn’t be possible at their size without FiSF. Connections through FiSF also provide opportunities for exposure and sales.
The FiSF Program is focused on individual mentoring sessions with industry professionals. All sessions are one on one, focused on benefiting your business.
FiSF also provides group workshops led by industry mentors about industry topics relevant to all businesses. We also have promotional events to help promote your line and bring visibility to your business.
The program includes use of the design studio, Wi-Fi, meeting rooms, and co-working space.
Designers participate in the Program for 6-12 months. FiSF may permit participation past one year in specific cases.
Designers pay a $450 monthly Program fee to FiSF by the 10th of each month. A 10% fee will be charged for late payments. A refundable security deposit of $450 will be charged at the start of the Program.
The Program provides four hours each month of one-on-one mentoring sessions with fashion industry and business experts. Additional mentoring sessions may be arranged at an additional fee.
Applicants to Fashion Incubator San Francisco must:
Reside in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Be 21 years of age or older.
Be a U.S. citizen or able to work in the United States (documentation required).
Have an established fashion business (at least one year) in the San Francisco Bay Area (financial documentation required).
Have documented product sales of at least $15,000 in retail accounts or direct to consumer. Documentation could include invoices, purchase orders, production orders and sales receipts.
Create a SWOT analysis of their businesses.
Participate in all FiSF events that showcase apparel (existing lines and/or lines in development while at FiSF) and/or events that promote the FiSF organization.
Submit 2 copies of the FiSF application and fee of $50.00.
Pay the $450 FiSF monthly fee for contracted term.
Fund their businesses. FiSF does not provide funding.
The FiSF program is for designers with existing businesses. Current fashion design students ARE NOT Eligible.
Participants in the Program run their own businesses. They own their designs and brand. Participants are responsible for planning and managing their businesses, including staffing, design, sourcing, branding, sales, logistics, and financial reporting - paying expenses and taxes.
FiSF can help with and provide guidelines for interactions with the media.
The guidelines relate to matters such as FiSF participation, media access to the facility, trademark use, and confidentiality.
Designers are expected to participate fully and actively in all elements of the program, to diligently develop their businesses, and to comply with FiSF media guidelines and other policies. Participants are expected to seek advice from our mentors only when appropriate and always in a professional manner.
The facility is shared with other designers and located in Bloomingdale’s; there are rules about facility use. Participants and visitors are expected to comply with those facility access, safety, and conduct policies, and with confidentiality obligations.
FiSF may use participant's names, images, brands, and photos of their work in promoting and publicizing the Program. Participants may use the FiSF brand after obtaining FiSF’s prior consent. Macy’s trademarks may not be used except through use of materials provided by FiSF or Macy’s.
FiSF has an open-door policy. If a participant has a concern, please speak with the Executive Director.
The participant, FiSF, Bloomingdale’s, and Macy’s are all independent parties. FiSF isn’t responsible for a participant’s business and Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s are not responsible for FiSF’s activities. Bloomingdale’s or Macy’s have no obligation to carry products produced by designers in the FiSF program.
Participants can leave the Program at any time with 30 days notice; no refunds. FiSF can suspend or remove designers from the Program for not paying on time, non-compliance to conduct, facility, trademark, or media rules or other violations of the Designer Agreement, or if FiSF loses access to the space.
If accepted into the Program, the Designer Agreement sets out Program participation terms, including both operational and liability matters. Participants are expected to read and comply with those terms.
FiSF will use Designer’s confidential information, including business plans, financial statements, designs, and sketches only in connection with its activities under the FiSF Designer Agreement, and will keep such information confidential, using at least the same degree of care it uses to prevent the unauthorized use or disclosure of its own confidential information. FiSF may disclose such confidential information only to persons who need access to the information for the purposes contemplated by this Agreement or as otherwise required by law. “Confidential information” does not include information that is generally available to the public, information already known by FiSF before entering into this Agreement, or information FiSF independently develops. All confidential information furnished by Designer to FiSF is and will remain Designer’s property.
Ready to Apply?
The following application form PDF can be filled out, printed and saved using Adobe Reader version 8 or higher.
Or application may be mailed to:
Fashion Incubator San Francisco
ATTN: Executive Director
845 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
The $50 application fee can be mailed to this same address or paid online using PayPal.
All applicants selected to continue in the application process are expected to participate in a face-to-face interview with the FiSF review panel. Applicants must bring 5 samples of their work for review, examples of promotional materials and documentation of product sales.
Note: please review the PDF version of the application before starting an online submission. Have all materials ready, the online application form does not save.