Open House New York Offers Behind-the-Scenes Tour of CFDA Fashion Incubator

NEW YORK—Twelve emerging fashion designers, including Prabal Gurung, share a modern studio space designed by Kliment Halsband Architects.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America Fashion Incubator was established to support the next generation of designers by providing them with a creative professional environment to help them sustain and grow their businesses. The two-year program includes affordable studio space, mentoring, education sessions and networking opportunities.

The first group of designers moved into the Garment District space in May 2010, and Open House New York offered a tour of the CFDA Fashion Incubator over the weekend.

The space was previously standard office fare before the architects opened up the entire floor and using the exposed brick columns as guides created 12 individual glass-front studios. Conceived as “boutiques,” each area provides showroom, work and office space that the designers can configure to their individual needs.

Architect Natalie Rebuck, an associate with Kliment Halsband, helped design the space and led the tour. She emphasized the unique elements incorporated into the concept. The space was planned with a central “boulevard,” that doubles as a runway (which is utilized during events), with six studios on either side. The etched glass “storefronts” provide creative discretion and privacy.

In addition to Gurung, the tenants include Rachel Dooley of Gemma Redux; Grant Krajecki of Grey Ant; Waris Ahluwalia from House of Waris; Joel Diaz from Jolibe; Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School; Alice Ritter; Yuvi Alpert and Danna Kobo from Ruby Kobo; Sang A Im-Prop of Sang A; Tom Scott; and Justin Giunta from Subversive Jewelry.

The second cohort of designers will move into the incubator in May 2012.

All Photos by Arts Observer

Architect Natalie Rebuck, an associate with Kliment Halsband, explains the design concept for the space; Above, the studio of Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School.

A central “boulevard” bisects the space and can be used as a runway. The polished concrete floors feature diagonal patterns that are reflected in configuration of the ceiling lighting, “creating an impression of movement and energy.”

The studio of Rachel Dooley of Gemma Redux

Prabal Gurung’s Spring 2012 designs hang on racks in the front of his studio. Over the past year, Gurung has achieved unrivaled success among the group. First Lady Michelle Obama has worn his designs and in June, he won the CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear.

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