There is a wonderful organization in the Bay Area that is the San Francisco Fashion and Merchants Alliance, or SFFAMA. It is a social development network that supports all aspects of the fashion market. The SFFAMA provides fashion information and resources in a wonderfully organized manner. Everything from art-to-wear to tech-wear can be found. Models, and model calls, portfolio reviews and fashion socials. Anything the aspiring fashion designer needs can be found in this one umbrella group-including connections to that most valuable thing for a designer: merchants.
Resources include, #SFFASHIONLAB, SFFAMA’s Fashion Incubator, which creates pop-up shops for local designers; GreenStreetSF, which addresses sustainability in fashion, and the true cost of clothing; and the San Francisco Fashion Industry (SFFI), another resource for apparel, beauty, fashion, manufacturing, retail and tech businesses. These are all tremendous fonts of knowledge that any fashion designer can benefit from.
Next up on the SFFAMA calendar is their student fashion social this Tuesday at 6 pm at the X institute. Bring your your resume, your portfolio, your work samples, your look book and your business cards. You will discover how to find fashion jobs in the local fashion industry,
how to participate in local fashion shows, become a stylist, and more. Don’t discount the value of simply networking. Bring those business cards!
Networking will open many doors, spark fresh ideas for your own work, and expand on your current ideas by taking advantage of knowledgeable guest speakers. Owen Geronimo, the founder of both San Francisco Fashion Week, and the SFFAMA, has assembled a talented board of advisors to assist you in your fashion journey, including Robert Burns Nixon, Natalia E. Thurston, and Gwendolyn Wright. The best place to meet them is at one of the SFFAMA socials. The flurry of passing business cards is a sight to see, and an indicator of the vitality of the community. It’s something you will want to be part of.
After the student fashion social, Owen Geronimo brings to us is TECH Fashion Week ™ 2016, or the “Digital Age of Fashion” (February 20 – February 28). One of the events at this function is a “hackathon” meant to bring together designers, developers, and business professionals so that they can explore the future of technology and fashion—a perfect mix for the Bay Area. And there are prizes, too!
The SFFAMA offers an extensive list of services:
Apprenticeship and Mentorship Programs
Entrepreneurship & Business Education
Crowd Funding Marketing
Education & Training
Peer2Peer Product Development
Social Media Marketing
Relevant Industry Events
High-end Fashion Shows, Fashion Installations & Runway Showcases
Pop-Up Shops & Trunk Shows
Speaking Forums & Workshops
Networking Opportunities & Mixers
Marketing and Consulting with Web 2.0 Technology Development.
VC, Funding, Accelerator Referrals
The best way to plug into the San Francisco fashion scene is to start with the San Francisco Fashion and Merchants Alliance. You will find connections, all with like minds, that will propel you along your career path. You will learn from others who range in experience from just a few steps ahead of you, to years ahead. What better way to smooth out the bumps that any fashion career will encounter?