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The Runway – LEAPing into 2015!

Foster Swift was so excited to be a part of Michigan’s first and only fashion-based business incubator that we were a sponsor of The Runway long before its doors opened. I joined Jeff Henry, whose remarkable talents and endless effort made The Runway a reality, when Jeff first introduced the Designers in Residence to their shared workshop and private studio spaces. Although it was in late July, it felt remarkably like Christmas morning as the designers checked out the almost finished incubator. I was equally thrilled to be a part of The Runway’s grand opening on October 9, 2014, when the City of Lansing had its first chance to see this vibrant addition to its downtown. As we step beyond the wide-eyed enthusiasm of starting a new venture to that “get the job done” phase of incubating new talent, it is time for an update. 

We are so pleased to share great news that will allow The Runway to get the job done! The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (“MEDC”) recently announced that it will provide $65,000 in grant funding to the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (“LEAP”) to develop a strategic, sustainable curriculum for The Runway. To meet this challenge, LEAP is forming partnerships for the delivery of industry-specific services to The Runway designers. LEAP has identified Lansing Community College, Michigan Fashion Proto, Michigan State University’s fashion program, the Detroit Garment Guild Group (“DG3”), and the Michigan Garment Industry Council as prospective partners. Quin Stichfield of LEAP is seeking fashion organizations and industry professionals, statewide and nationally, to meet the needs of The Runway’s designers. We are confident that the combination of her efforts and the financial backing of MEDC will create the ecosystem needed to cultivate the talents of the fashion designers at The Runway.

As a key sponsor, Foster Swift remains actively involved in The Runway. I am on-site approximately twice a week and readily available to the designers. Additionally, the members of our Fosterfashion team will be conducting regular, topic-specific legal educational events for The Runway’s designers. Also, we will use our resources and reach, including this blog, to tell you about The Runway’s designers and its retail space. Don’t hesitate to contact me at if you have questions about Michigan’s first fashion incubator.

Categories: Fashion, Financing

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