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Texas Takes Fashion Design to a Whole New Level

by Marianne Salina
Fashion Career Center Columnist

You may be surprised to learn that Texas is home to a creative cluster of young women who are working to make their mark on the fashion design industry. Austin Craft Mafia is a cooperative of local Austin designers who have banned together to help each other gain exposure in the fashion community.

The ACM began with just four designers--Amet and Sasha, Sparkle Craft, Identity Crisis Clothing, and Naughty Secretary?s Club--who joined forces to build community, clientele, and to share marketing and business ideas.

Crafty Business Takes Hold of Texas
ACM is now comprised of ten designers--each playing her part in keeping the cooperative running smoothly and gaining momentum. While these ladies are as business-minded as they come, they are also community-oriented, each paying a monthly members fee, sharing space in magazines, and holding group trunk shows that showcase their fashion designs and accessories.

Making it to the Runway--the Texas Way
Perhaps Austin Craft Mafia?s greatest achievement so far is the annual Stitch Fashion Show and Guerilla Craft Bazaar--a showcasing of independent design and artistry held every fall since 2001. In addition to 75 craft fair booths, there are also twenty fashion designers whose skirts, dresses, blouses, and accessories make their appearance in a runway show. This event is an opportunity for Austin?s local artisans and fashion designers to share their work with the community, making a little money along the way.

Fashion Design School: Learn to DIY So how exactly do you learn from Austin Craft Mafia?s approach? First, it?s important to keep in mind that not everything in the fashion design world is cutthroat or dog eat dog. As ACM demonstrates, there are many design communities that offer support and guidance as they navigate their way through the industry.

One such support group you may consider is fashion design school--an obvious choice if you?re seeking instruction in addition to a community of artists. In fashion design school you have access to craft classes and business and marketing tutorials that offer you the resources you need to branch out as an independent designer. Whether it?s a cooperative or design school that you choose, find a place that helps you grow!

Sources:
Austin Craft Mafia
Stitch

About the Author
Marianne Salina has a B.A. in Literature and Creative Writing and enjoys researching and discussing the myriad of fashion design pursuits in her columns.