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Fashion Incubator Helps Up-and-Coming Fashion Designers

The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator program helps up-and-coming fashion designers become entrepreneurs.

The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator is a non-profit organization sponsored by Macy's Center City, the City of Philadelphia Center City District, along with some of the local designs schools and universities. The goal is to give fashion designers all the tools they need to be successful business owners in their city.

Currently, Leah Delfiner, founder of Pretty, Pretty Rebel; and Devin Pauley, owner of Morgia Bridal are going through the program.

"As soon as I kept hearing about it, I was like, 'I need to get in. I need to get in,'" says Delfiner.

"Having the studio space, and the machine and the resources make it a lot more productive throughout the day," adds Pauley.

The sister team Moriamo Johnson and Latifat Obajinmi have experienced major success since completing the Fashion Incubator Program. Their fashion line is Aso Damisi. 'Aso' meaning 'clothing' and 'damisi' meaning 'prosperity' in their African language.

"Our brand is really dear to us because it's a fusion of our origin. Latifat and I were both born in Africa and raised here in the US and our contemporary lifestyle here. So, you will see in our collection that our fabrics are African inspired but our cuts are very modern, very chic pieces," says the Nigerian-born Johnson.

Since completing the program, the sisters sell their clothes in 10 boutiques, and they showed their line at Miami Fashion Week this year.

"I feel like the Incubator is an MBA program in 12 months. Our ultimate goal is for our brand to become a household name where a lot of people will see African fashion in a new light," says Johnson.

Her sister, Obajinmi adds, "Our parents brought us here at a very young age wanting us to be successful. You know, really pushing us to do what we want to do. And making it happen and see it come to fruition makes us really happy that we really are creating that American Dream that our parents wanted for us."

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