Press Release
CONTACT: Gia Claybrooks, Program Manager
Email: gia@ldiafrica.org. Phone: (202) 670 4182 
Washington, D.C. (September 8, 2015) –- Today Macy’s will unveil a fourth location of the highly successful Fashion Incubator program, in Washington, D.C. Officially known as the DC Fashion Incubator at Macy’s Metro Center (DCFI), this city established fashion design initiative will be devoted to supporting and promoting emerging fashion designers and encouraging local designers to grow and maintain their businesses in the Washington, D.C., metro area.
The District of Columbia, LDI Africa, We Are DC, Macy’s Metro Center, Prince George’s County Arts & Humanities Council, Africa Fashion Fund, the DC Fashion Foundation, and several educational and international institutions devoted to fashion design are all partners of DC Fashion Incubator at Macy’s Metro Center (DCFI).
"We are very excited to welcome DCFI to our Macy's Metro Center store in Washington DC, DCFI at Macy's Metro Center joins an elite portfolio of Macy's stores in downtown Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco, that have successful City-established Fashion Incubator programs in residence." Terry J. Lundgren, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Macy's Inc.
“Ideas and talents are abundant in Africa but the opportunity for business leaders to cross international borders with their ideas are not as much. We are proud to partner with Africa Fashion Fund to connect designers in Papa Oppong to the DC Fashion Incubator at Macy’s in Washington, DC.”  Gbenga Ogunjimi, CEO LDI Africa
“We are excited to partner with DCFF and DCFI@Macy's on a project that provides Young Designers with the tools and skills needed to thrive in the Fashion Industry. It is very much aligned with our objective at the African Fashion Fund.”  Roberta Annan, CEO Africa Fashion Fund
"I am proud of the DC Fashion Foundation and our partnership with Macy's to support emerging artists in the fashion industry.  By investing in the next generation of DC fashion innovators and entrepreneurs, we will give them opportunities to grow and thrive in the District.  This is a boon to our creative economy and yet another example of how this Administration is creating pathways to the middle class for all District residents," said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.
“The DC Fashion Incubator is committed to supporting and investing in the emerging local fashion industry. Our goal is to foster the growth of designers as leaders of small businesses, by providing the training, mentoring and resources designers they need to be successful,” says Shaka King, Executive Director of Operations at DCFI.
"We want to ensure that all of the DCFI Designers in Residence adopt a global view of the fashion industry, and our designers from Peru and Ghana will help develop a unique cultural exchange that will benefit the entire class as they prepare to take the fashion world by storm. We are proud to have PromPeru and The Frallain African Fashion Fund as our 2015 Cultural Exchange Partners," Alida Sanchez, DCFI  Retail and International Development Director.
The DC Fashion Incubator at Macy’s Metro Center is the latest addition to other successful city-initiated Incubator programs that have been established throughout the country and have taken up residence within a Macy’s store. The year-long program at DCFI will provide the selected Designers-In-Residence (DIR) with office space, a production room and shared showroom space/conference room. Designers selected by the DCFI’s Selection Committee which consists of representatives from local fashion and business sectors. The 2015 class consists of six locally based designers and two designers from Peru and Ghana through a cultural business exchange program between those two countries and the District of Columbia. This international arrangement is the first of its kind for the Incubator program. The DIR will receive mentoring from industry and business professionals in addition to a significant schedule of seminars and workshops dedicated to the global business of fashion. Workshops will include topics on creating a business plan, marketing strategy, and identifying legal needs and funding. The tailored curriculum will be offered by industry experts,  fashion insiders, community business leaders. The 900+ square foot space will be located on the fourth floor of Macy’s Metro Center.
LDI Africa is excited to link fashion entrepreneurs and designers in Africa to the U.S. market. The application for the Spring 2016 LDI Africa Global Fellowship Programs on October 1, 2015. Fellowship programs will include - DC Fashion Incubator at Macy’s, Emerging Institutions Fellowship Program, and the Broad Street Fund Fellowship Program. For more information about LDI Africa fellowships, please visit www.ldiafrica.org