St. Louis Fashion Fund | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Fashion Fund

Former Project Runway star and St. Louis fashion designer Michael Drummond and his team produce hundreds of masks for the St. Louis Fashion Fund mask productiton efforts.
St. Louis Fashion Fund

Like restaurants in the St. Louis region, local fashion businesses are either downsizing or shutting down indefinitely because of the pandemic.

Although many fashion designers and boutique owners have moved to online sales or are mass producing stylish face masks, the unexpected downturn in the economy has left designers and fashion entrepreneurs in limbo.

Fashion designer Brandin Vaughn cuts fabric for a client's custom suit at Brandin Vaughn Collection, his Cherokee Street storefront and workspace. Dec. 18, 2019
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Lisa Hu wants to make St. Louis sexy. Not only in a fashionable way, but with a desirable economic engine. 

Hu's posh, eco-friendly handbag company Lux & Nyx has already been featured in national and local fashion magazines, and the St. Louis venture has only been around for about a year and a half. That’s partly because of her connection to the St. Louis Fashion Fund.  

The Fashion Incubator takes up 7,500 square-feet of a Washington Avenue building on what used to be known as Shoe Street USA.
File photo | Wayne Pratt | St. Louis Public Radio

The 4-year-old St. Louis Fashion Fund is shutting down its fashion incubator. The first class of six designers in the program will graduate next month. Executive director Kathleen Bibbins said the organization has received good feedback about the incubator, but it’s time for the fashion startup to “pivot.”

“We’re transitioning to a design co-op,” she said. “We will have six fashion-related businesses reside here in a collaborative workspace.”

The Fashion Incubator takes up 7,500 square-feet of a Washington Avenue building on what used to be known as Shoe Street USA.
File photo | Wayne Pratt | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Aug. 28 with resignation of Fashion Fund's executive director - The St. Louis Fashion Fund is looking for a new executive director. Eric Johnson has resigned after roughly a year-and-a-half on the job. A statement from the nonprofit says Johnson is leaving to pursue other entrepreneurial opportunities.

On Chess: Fashion and chess are a natural match

Jul 13, 2017
Five of the designers selected to participate in the Pinned! competition for the World Chess Hall of Fame. The project manager and author of this article, Rikki Byrd, is second from the left. July 2017
Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis

From New York Fashion Week to museum exhibits and global advertising campaigns, the intersection of fashion and chess has long been a source of inspiration.