The Fashion Institute Guild supports the Fashion Institute Midwest through volunteerism, fund development and support.
The Fashion Institute Midwest (FIM) is a non-profit committed to nurturing aspiring designer talent and supporting the Midwest fashion ecosystem. FIM’s mission is to provide regional fashion designers with mentoring, training, resources and industry network opportunities to fulfill their creative potential in the fashion industry.
Developing the Whole Designer
The Fashion Institute Midwest develops the whole designer and the fashion ecosystem through four project pillars: Creative Inspiration, Skill Development, Resource Development and Business Incubation.
Designers learn all facets of the fashion industry from technical classes such as fabric and pattern draping, business classes (formation and marketing) and a technology workshop (June 2016).
Designers can attend trips outside the Midwest designed to increase their exposure to industry resources and contacts. Trips have included visiting fabric wholesales, meeting with working designers, seeing exhibitions and visiting design colleges.
Need and merit-based grants
These are available for designers to apply for to take their craft to the next level of economic impact. Examples of this investment have included sending a designer to show at LA Fashion Week, purchasing logo’ed materials for a press package and sending a designer to a specialized class outside the Midwest.
Mentoring and support
This is available for designers at all levels. Whether just starting out or seeking manufacturing partners, our local designers need assistance with business plans, networking, strategic actions and marketing knowledge. FIM helps them to sharpen creative abilities, hone business acumen and connect resources and opportunities.
Access to Resources
FIM is purchasing the capital equipment many designers need and simply cannot afford. This includes industrial tools, professional dress forms and materials such as muslin, oak tag and pattern paper. We look forward to the day when our fundraising will enable us to have a permanent home where designers have access to:
- Professional machines in a well-appointed work room
- A permanent educational room
- A fabric and design inspiration library
- A retail store where the designers learn how to sell, price and market
- A small manufacturing bay where designers can employ local seamstresses
Nurturing Four Pillars of Success
The Fashion Institute Midwest (FIM) is a nonprofit organization that supports the growth of regional fashion designers by providing talented individuals access to four pillars of success: Creative inspiration, technical training, resources and business education.
Creative People = Creative Entrepreneurs
In short, we want to turn creative people into creative entrepreneurs. We want to provide our designers with the resources and skills to produce innovative and beautiful works of art, as well as profitable, consumer-friendly garments. Our goal is to marry the necessary components of creativity and market knowledge to produce successful fashion businesses.
Developing the Whole Designer
FIM’s mission is to develops the whole designer and the fashion ecosystem through four project pillars: Creative Inspiration, Skill Development, Resource Development, and Business Incubation. We’re planting seeds – or should we say “laying stitches” – through year-round designer programming. In recent months FIM has:
- Provided four months of mentoring and support for designers leading up to each season, helping them sharpen creative abilities, hone business acumen and connect resources and opportunities.
- Awarded need and merit-based grants to designers for travel, materials and educational opportunities.
- Hosted pattern grading workshops where designers learn new techniques with pattern grading expert Isabell Lott of Pattern Works International.
- Provided funding for designers to attend a creativity workshop at KANEKO with Dr. Shelley Carson, Harvard University psychology Ph.D. and author of Your Creative Brain.
- Partnered with Develop Model Management to bring professional designers Jerell Scott and Amanda Valentine of Project Runway to Omaha Fashion Week for designer discussions and Q & A.