Learn what it takes to create your own fashion business! The Brooklyn Fashion Academy's 12-week intensive program will provide all the keys to succeeding in the fashion industry while creating your own garments. Get mentoring from industry experts, and create a mini Fall/Winter collection to showcase on the runway. The application process is now CLOSED, but we hope to see you at the Fashion Show on Friday, May 11, 2017! Details to come!

The “Les Sapeurs” Nikki Billie Jean Ready-To-Wear 2016 Collection
Credit: The “Les Sapeurs” Nikki Billie Jean Ready-To-Wear 2016 Collection



BKLYN Fashion Academy seeks to provide designers with the tools necessary to create a viable fashion line. Through this program, 15 aspiring women's wear designers will develop a miniature fall/winter collection of four pieces through a combination of courses and access to materials and equipment. BPL will connect participants to library resources and outside organizations that will help them market their brands, produce their collections, and sell their products. 

The program will culminate in a “Les Sapeurs"-themed fashion show. "Les Sapeurs" refers to a Congolese subculture in which individuals dedicated to the cult of style in widespread poverty stroll through the streets like walking works of art.


Program Partners

  • Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator (BF+DA), launched by Pratt Institute to assist aspiring fashion entrepreneurs in creating successful and ethical businesses
  • FABSCRAP, a 501(c)3 charitable organization that was created to meet New York City’s commercial textile recycling needs. Materials that traditionally would have gone to landfill are now being properly recycled and made available for reuse.
  • Made in New York: Fashion is a public initiative implemented by the New York City Economic Development Corporation. In collaboration with the private sector, Made in New York: Fashion is responsible for creating, developing, and implementing an array of programs to fortify New York City's fashion design, manufacturing, and educational sectors.
  • Mood Fabrics, well-known for providing materials for Project Runway. Mood Fabrics evolved from a fabric store in the Garment District to a global shopping destination. In addition to quality products, Mood also created a suite of workshops taught by industry experts called Mood U
  • Materials for the Arts, New York’s premiere reuse center, providing a way for companies and individuals to donate unneeded supplies to thousands of nonprofit organizations with arts programming and public schools.
  • VALNOIR™ was incepted in pursuit of creating timeless, luxury cashmere loungewear.  Designed in New York City, supports domestic manufacturing with factories located in Los Angeles, and is sourced from the finest Cashmere mills in the world. Their philosophy focuses on creating comfortable luxury knitwear that will serve as your favorite transitional pieces for travel, lounge, and everyday life.


Program Donors

  • SewVacDirect, offers Sewing Machines, Embroidery Machines, Sewing Machine Cabinets, and Sewing Supplies from brands like Juki, Janome, and more!
  • Strathmore, creating fine art papers since 1899. The Strathmore brand has had endorsements from artists such as Norman Rockwell and Andrew Wyeth because it has provided them with the ideal surface for creating lasting works of art.



Program Specifics

Entrants must be 18 years of age or older, live in Brooklyn, have a valid Brooklyn Public Library card, must have sewing experience, and this program is intended for individuals and not teams. Attendance to one of the information sessions is NOT required. If you missed the information sessions, you can still apply by completing the online application during the application period.

The application will be available beginning on December 20, 2017 and will close on January 15, 2018.

The application requires you to upload two files to show your design experience, and these can be PDF, JPG, or PNG files. These samples do not have to be related to the theme of the project, they just need to showcase your design work. These image samples can be either photos of fully constructed garments or photos of fashion illustrations. You are also allowed to put multiple photos or designs in one image file if you desire.

Participants will be required to attend five classes, attend the two mandatory lab sessions at Mood U, create up to four garments, complete an illustrated drawing of one garment, and feature their completed mini collection in the program’s culminating fashion show.

The required classes and labs are as follows:

  • 2/7/18 - Fashion Illustration at Mood U – 1 Day Intensive (10:00am – 5:00pm)
  • 2/13/18 - Sustainable Design & Sourcing – 1 Day Intensive (10:00am – 5:00pm) tentatively
  • 2/28/18 - Sample Development – 1 Day Intensive (10:00am – 5:00pm) tentatively
  • 2/28/18 - Open Lab at Mood U (11am-5pm)
  • 3/7/18 - Open Lab at Mood U (11am-5pm)
  • 3/12/18 and 3/19/18 - Market Research Classes at Central Library (2 hours each, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm)


The fashion show will take place on May 11, 2018 in the lobby of Central Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza.

The theme, “Les Sapeurs,” is derived from a Congolese subculture in which individuals dedicated to the cult of style in widespread poverty stroll through the streets like walking works of art. Program participants will be required to create at least one garment within their collection centered on the theme of “Les Sapeurs." All remaining garments are open to the designer’s choice, but must be completed in the time allotted.

In Brooklyn, 92% of businesses have fewer than 20 employees, and 74,000 Brooklynites are self-employed. BPL aims to propel entrepreneurs to the next level and strives to provide all the resources and tools necessary to make small businesses succeed.

BKLYN Fashion Academy is made possible by BKLYN Incubator


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