Meet IMG’s New York Fashion Week Small Business Grant Winners

Designer Maxwell Osborne attends the 24th Annual Watermill Center Summer Offer and Auction at the Watermill Center on July 29, 2017 in Watermill, NY. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Shopping small helps those who think big. In February, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that New York State would partner with the IMG Fashion Alliance to implement a grant program to fund 10 independent fashion designers to be used in this season’s NYFW creations. Winners include AnOnlyChild, Barragán, Batsheva, Deveaux New York, Elena Velez, Fe Noel, Interior, Studio 189, Theophilio and Willy Chavarria. Meet the designers below.

Studio 189

Abrima Elwia and Rosario Dawson

Studio 189 is a fashion lifestyle brand and social enterprise co-founded in 2013 by Abrima Erwiah and actor Rosario Dawson. Garments are produced at our manufacturing facility in Accra, Ghana by local artisans who specialize in traditional techniques such as hand batik and kente weaving. Arwea and Dawson said of his IMG funding for the runway production, “I’m really thrilled that he was named a Small Her Business Winner at NY Fashion Week. ” says. Studio 189 has been exhibiting at NYFW since its inception, and the artisan-focused brand strives to empower through job creation and support for education and skills training. “Thanks to the grant, we are freed from the pressure of seeking funding or providing additional support for our shows, and can focus on our mission of capitalizing on fashion and social change,” he said. Says the pair.As an added bonus, “we get to be around the company of fellow grantee designers who we love and inspire!”


Edvin Thompson

Since Jamaican-born, Brooklyn-raised designer Edvin Thompson launched Theophilio in 2016, Rastafarian style has always been a staple of his brand’s collections. The 2021 CFDA Emerging Designer of the Year blends nostalgic childhood memories of growing up in Kingston, Jamaica with the progressive culture of New York City to create a modern label filled with sexy, confidence-enhancing clothing. created. This season, Thompson delves deeper into his legacy than ever before. “Homecoming” is a tribute to myself. I will be returning to Jamaica and celebrating my life in New Jersey, Atlanta and New York City,” explains the designer. “His IMG grant I received helped with the general overhead to produce the runway show for this season’s collection, which I am grateful for.”


Batsheva Hey

Batsheva Hay’s designs are about revisiting traditional styles of feminine dressing and modernizing the restrictive elements with a playful twist (think: high collars, voluminous sleeves, ruffles). skirts, etc.). “So excited to have the support” for what she calls “a true labor of love”. It seems like it, but that’s what makes live events so exciting and special.” Last year, Hay marked a big moment for her brand Batsheva, which she founded in 2016, collaborating with Ella Emhoff on knitwear and Laura Ashley on dresses, aprons and ovens on her mitts. She eschews outdated notions of femininity and crafts them into future-oriented pieces that bring out the strong qualities they hold.

Willie Chavarria

Willie Chavarria

Voluminous silhouettes and high-fashion workwear highlight Willy Chavarria’s designs on and off the runway. The California-born Mexican-American designer has been busy steering his fashion brand for his eponymous conceptual menswear, while also serving as Calvin’s Senior Design Director for Klein since 2021. holds the title of President of In representing and empowering the Latino and LGBTQ communities. Costumes His Institute’s ‘In America: A Lexicon of Fashion’ exhibition showcases the ‘Cut Deep’ collection of avant-garde designs that spotlight Mexican-Americans. “IMG and ESD are an important part of how the city defines itself as a leader in the fashion industry.” Fashion Fund and 2018 International Woolmark Prize Winner. “Their generous contributions have allowed brands like me to find resources to share our vision and business IRL. Promote economic success. ”


Victor Barragan

Victor Barragán, a self-taught designer from Mexico, launched his namesake label in 2016. Three years ago, Barragán was named one of his ten finalists for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. He’s especially excited to have his own label presenting in person for the first time in two years. “Live shows are important because they always help bridge a stronger connection with our community,” he says.


Devoe New York

Founded in 2018 by designers Matthew Breen and Andrea Tsao, Deveaux New York aims to redefine classics for the modern world through fit, manufacture and silhouette. The brand’s wardrobe staples and uniform items are a departure from the traditional, creating a sophisticated new American dressing standard. The heart of the brand is right here in New York, as the studio is located in New York and all the garments are also designed and manufactured locally. “After her three-year hiatus from NYFW, Deveaux New York is back with a collection inspired by the revitalization of New York City and all new demands,” she says Tsao. “The show, which also features a reintroduction of menswear, follows a brand refresh, a new site launch, and a new artistic direction.”

Elena Velez

Elena Velez

Brooklyn-based designer Elena Velez’s creations blend her Puerto Rican heritage with a love of her Midwestern roots. She grew up in Milwaukee, where she developed an interest in the city’s metalworking industry. Now she’s working on all three together under her label umbrella, which she founded in New York in 2018. Velez, a finalist in her CFDA/Vogue Her Fashion Her Fund for 2022, made her NYFW her debut last year. Her ability to share her story through fashion. Her latest collection “visually references the surgical, biblical, and sexual to tell a story of physical ambiguity,” she says.


Jack Miner and Lily Miesmer

Founded in 2020 by designers Jack Miner and Lily Miesmer, Interiors offers an artisanal approach to dressing. From sportswear to evening his wear, from tailored to deconstructed, the interior emphasizes the juxtaposition of trendiness and timelessness, nostalgia and innovative futurism. Focused on exemplary fit and sophisticated fabrication, the interior is created with impeccable craftsmanship in mind. A subversive and contradictory play on words, the pair dubbed their label “Interior” because clothing is essentially the outside. But the name also evokes how style expresses our inner feelings. “We are excited for next season and look forward to taking people deeper into the world of interiors,” said the duo, adding, “IMG is excited to bring our vision to life in this new and exciting way. It helped make it happen.”

debtE. Noel

Felicia “Fe” Noel

Womenswear designer Felisha “Fe” Noel entered the industry at just 19, opening a vintage boutique in her native Brooklyn. With her experiences that inspired her to launch her own brand, Fe Noel, the designer aims to help women embrace their femininity. Inspired by her travels and Caribbean heritage, Noel incorporates bright colors and bold prints into her collections. Her brand’s philosophy, she says, is to “eat well, travel well, and dress to inspire.” — but her silhouette speaks for itself. While Noel has called preparing her presentation on the runway this September a “huge job,” she said, “With the support of resources and grants from the IMG Alliance, my brand is streamlined and has a strong production team.” We were able to build a ,” she adds.

only child

Designer Maxwell Osborne attends the 24th Annual Watermill Center Summer Offer and Auction at the Watermill Center on July 29, 2017 in Watermill, NY. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)”n”n

Maxwell Osborne is best known for founding Public School with Dao-Yi Chow in 2008 and launched his latest venture, anOnlyChild, in 2020. Last season, the designer made his first presentation over Labor Day weekend at his parents’ home in Mount Vernon, N.Y. This year, he’s heading to his NYFW with a new look. It’s an experience that pushes boundaries. “This generous grant has given us the freedom to develop an overarching vision for our debut NYFW collection and present it in both an intimate and completely unique setting,” says Osborne.

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