Fashion Incubator San Francisco introduces new Designers in Residence for 2013

Fashion Incubator San Francisco was introduced early last year and brought new, emerging designers to San Francisco. This innovative non-profit operates out of Macy’s Union Square in a 3,500 square foot workshop which includes design space, education and showroom space. The incubator helps the designers in residence develop their lines and launch their businesses. FISF is headed up by the former owner and operator of Jeanne-Marc fashion, Jeanne Allen and her husband Marc Grant.

FISF is an exciting opportunity not only for the Designers in Residence who are experiencing the chance of a lifetime to launch their businesses, but for San Francisco. As our beautiful city by the bay continues to grow in the fashion industry, FISF brings new talent and innovation to the city which continues to help it grow and develop an amazing fashion industry; which is unlike industries found in other cities. Love that!

*Following text provided by FISF:

The 2013 FiSF Designers in Residence are:

Michelle Byrnes

Inspired by travel and adventure, Michelle Byrnes launched her own swimwear line, SAGA Swimwear, in 2010 after realizing she owned nearly 200 swimsuits. A San Francisco resident, Michelle was born in Hawaii and graduated from City College of San Francisco. Her swimsuits have been featured in Women’s Wear DailySan Francisco Chronicle’s Style section and Scene Magazine.

Jake Wall

An honor student with three degrees under his belt, Jake Wall worked in marketing before learning design as an apprentice at a family-run Hong Kong tailor shop. Jake founded the Artful Gentleman, producing bespoke suits and separates for men and women. His suits were worn by a folk rock band The Lumineers to the 2013 Grammy Awards and featured in Bay Fashion Magazine and Bay Area Reporter. He participated in San Francisco Fashion Week in 2012. Jake is committed to the city’s LGBT community’s fashion sense and is a published author on gender construction. Artful Gentleman is also the style curator for the nationwide 2013 “Modern Man: Art of the Suit” event, part of the Chivas Regal “Brotherhood” marketing campaign.

Sarah Liller

Born and raised in Ventura, Calif., Sarah Liller received a graduate degree in biochemistry and also studied at the prestigious Parsons The New School for Design. After moving west, Sarah launched her own clothing line, Sarah Liller, San Francisco. She has previously worked with Levi Strauss & Co. and her designs are available for sale at Loft 1513, a boutique in San Francisco. Because most of Sarah’s clients are graduate students and working professionals, Sarah designs contemporary women’s wear and custom bridal that is both feminine and versatile, fit for a “modern heroine.”

Diana Mitchell

Diana earned her bachelor’s degree from University of California, Davis, Art Studio program, focusing on sewn sculptures. DDCC, Diana’s company, manufactures socially conscious, flattering activewear. Inspired by San Francisco’s health-conscious lifestyle, Diana seeks to bring versatility to today’s busy woman – whether she is exercising or going out with friends. Dianna uses her late grandfather’s architectural drafting table to create all her patterns.

Bree Hylkema

Bree Hylkema graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and has experience in project management and fashion design, with clients including American Conservatory Theater and Theatreworks. Together with Kyra (also an FiSF Designer in Residence), Bree co-founded  Vermeulen & Co., designing fitted career wear for women with curves, whether size four or 14. Her work has been featured in Vogue and she is a recipient of the Eric Landisman Fellowship in Theatrical Design. In 2012, Bree has spent a month visiting Mongolian felters.


Kyra is a graduate of the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business, as well as recipient of the Financial Women’s Association of San Francisco scholarship and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women business leadership scholarship. She wrote her undergraduate thesis on sustainable fashion and draws inspiration from slow fashion, costume design and a desire to empower professional women. With Bree Hylkema (also an FiSF Designer in Residence), Kyra co-founded Vermeulen & Co. a line of business apparel for women with curves. Kyra also teaches East Coast Swing, Lindy Hop and Blues dancing.


To learn about FISF 2012, please click here. To learn more about Fashion Incubator San Francisco, please visit their website at


Photo: “The new class of Designers in Residence at Fashion Incubator San Francisco (from left to right): Jake Wall, Michelle Byrnes, Sarah Liller, Kyra, Bree Hylkema and Diana Mitchell.”

Photo and partial text courtesy of FISF.