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.

Fashion Incubator San Francisco unveiled

On Thursday, March 29, 2012 Macy’s unveiled the new Fashion Incubator San Francisco work space which includes offices for the six designers in residence. This highly anticipated event attracted local celebrities such as “Da Mayor” Willie Brown and David Chui from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

The Fashion Incubator San Francisco includes 3,500 square feet of workspace for six emerging designers who have access to their own professional-grade workroom, showroom, classroom and offices. The designers moved into the workspace this month and have just begun to create their spring 2013 collections.

The Fashion Incubator San Francisco or FISF was founded in 2011 as a non-profit to help turn talented designers into successful San Francisco entrepreneurs. The unveiling of the FISF workspace marks the beginning of an era for the non-profit as the first class of six designers begin their journey to launch their spring 2013 collections, followed by their fall 2013 lines.

The programs offers designers the right business education and tools to give them the skills they will need to continue and grow their businesses after the twelve month program ends. The ribbon “unzipping” ceremony revealed an incredible workspace which included production equipment such as straight stitch machines, hemmers, sergers, work tables, a large cutting table and gravity irons.

Executive Director of FISH and Co-Founder of Jeanne-Marc expressed her enthusiasm for the program: “We are thrilled to kick of FISH’s inaugural program and welcome the six Designers in Residence to the San Francisco fashion and business communities and to their new home at our facility. Through FISH, these designers will be able to tap into the many local resources and talents that the San Francisco business community has to offer, and we look forward to the opportunity to one day helping them establish businesses of their own.”

The Fashion Incubator San Francisco six Designers in Residence are:

Justin Jamison: progressive urban wear for men

Tamara Jaric: women’s urban outerwear embellished with couture details

Bethany Meuleners and Sabah Mansoor Husain: working together on Bohemian-Luxe women’s wear with artisan handicrafts and global influences

Tony Sananikone: “women’s wear reflecting empowerment and beauty

Paloma Von Broadley: embracing “slow fashion” through hand-made, sustainable patterning, sewing and knitting

Fashion Incubator San Francisco is a non-profit organization located in the executive office building of Macy’s Union Square in San Francisco. For more information, please visit

*Original version of this article was written and published by Cathy on

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New non-profit helps local fashion designers launch their business

There is a new non-profit in town by the name of Fashion Incubator San Francisco at Macy’s Union Square which will nurture and support local fashion designers. This exciting new organization will help keep localfashion designers in San Francisco by giving them local business contacts, tools and resources to help keep their creative juices flowing while launching their business. 

San Francisco has always been on the forefront of the American fashion industry, after all, it is the home of denim pants! Levi Strauss launched the pants that have been coveted by Fashionistas for a century. California Casual? Launched in the San Francisco Bay Area. Business Casual? Launched in the Bay Area by the high tech industry. Oh yeah, the Bay Area ooozes fashion. 
The incubator, also known as FISF, will launch a “Designer in Residence” program to coincide withFashion’s Night Out this upcoming September. This exciting program will house six local designers and give them a premiere workshop space inside of Macy’s Union Square’s offices. This will allow the six lucky designers to grow their business and create their lines while under the mentorship of the program. Love it!
To learn more about this exciting new non-profit, please visit
To read the news article written by Cathy on, please click here.