Caleres Continues Support Of St. Louis Fashion With Fashion Entrepreneur Competition
With a partnership that has lasted over a decade, St. Louis-based footwear giant Caleres continues its support of the local fashion community and Saint Louis Fashion Week with an all new event, the Caleres Fashion Entrepreneur Competition, which will award two local designer winners $10,000 and $5,000 during a Shark Tank-style fashion presentation on Nov. 10.
Although their business is global, footwear powerhouse Caleres—whose portfolio includes top contemporary brands like Sam Edelman, Franco Sarto, Vince, Via Spiga, Diane von Furstenberg and Fergie Footwear—was born and matured in St. Louis, which still serves as its worldwide headquarters. Over the years Caleres has given more than $20 million to the St. Louis community, supporting institutions including STLFW, Forest Park, the St. Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Art Museum and the Saint Louis Fashion Fund.
The Caleres Fashion Entrepreneur Competition will serve as the cornerstone event for Saint Louis Fashion Week’s 2016 season, combining the company’s mission of partnering with people and organizations that benefit of the growth of the St. Louis community, and supporting the cities vibrant fashion industry, of which Caleres has been a leader of for over 135 years.
“This competition supports the potential of St. Louis’ local fashion community,” says Caleres CEO, President and Chairman Diane Sullivan. “The grants will provide two St. Louis-based fashion makers with the resources and mentorship necessary to help grow their brands.”
The Caleres FEC is accepting designer applications through Sept. 30 for any STL-based fashion maker, and a roster of semi-finalists will have the opportunity for themselves and their brand to be placed in front of distinguished members of the fashion and business community—including Ginger Imster, Executive Director, Arch Grants; Jason Hall, Vice President of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, St. Louis Regional Chamber; Talia Goldfarb, Owner, Myself Belts; Eric Johnson, Executive Director, Saint Louis Fashion Fund; Eric Thoelke, President and Executive Creative Director, TOKY; and Elizabeth Tucker, CEO, ALIVE—during a private feedback session in mid-October. Five finalists will then be selected to participate in the public event, which will take place on Nov. 10 at Majorette.
The Caleres FEC will be an innovative experience for guests, moving beyond the traditional fashion show format to allow attendees to get a bigger picture view of the growth of the fashion community in St. Louis. A pre-event cocktail hour will feature fashion presentations inspired by a Caleres shoe designed by each finalist, followed by the main event, when each finalist will present their venture and give their elevator pitch live to the audience. The jurors will select and announce the two grant winners and people’s choice winner that night, and a formal announcement will be made following the event. A grand prize of $10K, secondary prize of $5K and a People’s Choice-awarded marketing package are at stake that evening.
Designers and makers are encouraged to submit their applications now via a simple questionnaire, and tickets are on sale now for only $10. Don’t wait—the event of the season is sure to sell out.