The Indiana Fashion Foundation is looking to help local designers heading into next year’s Indiana Fashion Week. The nonprofit, which recently wrapped up the inaugural week-long event, says it plans to launch a cohort in January to provide more technical training for people working in fashion. Mich Weston, brand manager for the foundation, says the cohort will train participants in the areas of styling, design, production and communication.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Weston said the goal is to create a "robust system" for the fashion industry in Indiana.
"We’re really looking for individuals who are saying, ‘I live in Indiana,’ ‘maybe for some unforseen reason I can’t leave,’ or ‘I just have a desire to live here because Indiana’s a great state,’" said Weston. "We’re looking for those individuals who say, ‘I want to be in the fashion industry and I want to do it from Indiana’ and so we’re going to be building up that cohort to really lead up into Fashion Week next year so that they can actually exercise what they’ve learned, what they’ve built at Fashion Week."
This year’s Indiana Fashion Week featured eight designers from throughout the state. Weston says the event was successful in showcasing the "phenomenal" talent Indiana has to offer.
"Indiana doesn’t just have talent, but it has the ability to produce on a higher level," said Weston. "I think a lot of times, people can get caught in a local mentality and think, ‘We can only go so far.’ So bringing the industry leaders that we brought here really allowed the attendees to see beyond. I wanted them to dream bigger, think bigger so as we move forward doing the work that we’re intending to do in Indiana, they’ll get with it and they’ll benefit from it the way that they can instead of being a little resistant the way they probably would have prior to seeing what we’ve done."
The Indiana Fashion Foundation officially received its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status during the final day of this year’s Indiana Fashion Week event. Weston says the foundation plans to begin accepting applications for the first cohort soon.