The Brooklyn Fashion Design + Accelerator (BF+DA) is a hub for sustainable fashion design that offers young designers the resources and support they need to bring a design idea from prototype to fully produced. Last week I attended the 2016 BF+DA Positive Impact Awards honoring both the BF+DA’s second birthday as well as honoring pioneers in the sustainable fashion industry such as Patagonia and Eileen Fisher.  I also got to interact with some friends who are lucky enough to have studios there, engage with the resources there and best of all you got to see the designs, how they are produced and to talk to designers about their concepts and ideas.

BF+DA provides a one stop for apparel production center that addresses the gap in scale faced by emerging companies and designers. Resources also include educational events, an academic fellows program that engages researchers from around the world who are doing research aligned with the values of the BF+DA and multiple ways and opportunities to share space and network. Consultation services are also offered around choosing and sourcing sustainable textiles (along with a sustainable textile library you can touch and feel) and how to incorporate sustainability values during the entire lifecycle of the design and production process.  The BF+DA also offers a Ventures Fellows Program for those passionate about their sustainable business idea. Benefits include a structured mentorship program that includes one-on-one advisement on finance, brand, sales, marketing, and sustainable strategies, curated events for knowledge sharing and social networking, and a light-filled studio at the BF+DA.

I have been having the pleasure of doing some work lately with one of the new Venture Fellows, Deanna Ansara, creative director of Vincetta. Vincetta’s refined style focuses on creating timeless essentials, designed and created for the self-assured, modern woman.  Vincetta’s style focuses on celebrating individuality yet celebrates difference at the same time. Equally compelling to me and what garnered my agreement to participate, is the focus of the designer on relationship, inclusiveness, community and collaboration.

As part of creating a campaign that actualizes her brand mission and story I was engaged and asked to enter a community of other women to create a product. I am now deeply engaged and “in relationship” with this brand and the women who surround it. The experience of collaboration continues as the thoughts, stories and photos of myself and the other models are published and disseminated. On November 17th, at Tictail Market, 90 Orchard Street in NYC there will be a live event (6-9) that allows the public to interact with the clothing as well as meet and speak with the women in the campaign. In this model what is usually a static one-dimensional campaign about clothes becomes animated and performative. The clothes are breathing and alive. As Deanna says so eloquently,  “every thread weaves a story”. Come meet us and perform what you believe.