Just a few generations ago, countless dresses and pairs of boots were designed and made in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. Second only to New York in importance, the city was known as a fashion capital that helped dress the nation. That role has faded over the years, but the aims to revive the industry.
The non-profit, which provides emerging designers with studio space, a stipend, and mentorship, envisions a hub of local companies designing and producing garments. Former CEO of architecture and interior design firm Patricia Whitaker believes in that mission and connected her firm with the organization. Working at a reduced fee, Arcturis spearheaded space for the incubator’s showroom and offices. The design focused on clothing production and display, purposefully keeping many elements minimal and modest.
“Much like a museum, the incubator was conceived as a neutral backdrop,” design practice leader says. Natural light and collaborative spaces were emphasized. Furniture and production pieces had to be durable and flexible to evolve as the community’s needs change. Above all, the attention rests on clothing and its making. The street-facing graphic says it best: Fashion Lives Here.