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Saint Louis Fashion Week Launches Caleres Fashion Entrepreneur Competition, Extends to Fall Season of Fashion-Focused Activity


Saint Louis Fashion Week (STLFW), now in its tenth year as St. Louis’ fashion scene catalyst, is launching a brand-new signature event as the keystone of its 2016 season, and supporting more than 10 weeks of fashion-focused activity this fall.

ALIVE magazine launched STLFW in 2006 with a mission to support and elevate the local fashion community and provide opportunities for both local and national designers to connect with a Midwest audience. The foundation and momentum STLFW has built over the past 10 years has contributed to the current progress and energy of the local fashion scene, which will see the city’s first Saint Louis Fashion Incubator open this fall, in addition to a flurry of fashion-focused events, which STLFW will support this season.

The highlight of STLFW’s 2016 season will be the launch of the new Caleres Fashion Entrepreneur Competition, a fashion-meets-Shark-Tank-style event on Nov. 10, where five St. Louis-based fashion makers will present their brands and vie for the competition win. One grand prize winner will walk away with $10,000 to kick-start their fashion business and one second-place fashion design entrepreneur will take home $5,000. A panel of distinguished members of the fashion and business communities, including: Ginger Imster, Executive Director, Arch Grants; Jason Hall, Vice President of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, St. Louis Regional Chamber; Eric Johnson, Executive Director, Saint Louis Fashion Fund; Eric Thoelke, President and Executive Creative Director, TOKY; and Elizabeth Tucker, CEO, ALIVE, will judge the competition.

Applications for the competition are open to St. Louis-based apparel and accessories makers and brands now through Sept. 30 at Tickets for the public event on Nov. 10 are also available at

“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 Fashion Entrepreneur Competition is just one of multiple STLFW-supported events happening over a 10-week period this year. Other events include:

- House Ov Beeombi presents Sept. First., September 1

- Celebrate Style, September 30

 -STLFW Fashion Panel Discussion during Saint Louis Design Week, October 5

- An Evening of Ballet & Fashion with Saint Louis Ballet and Saint Louis Fashion Fund, October 8

- The Factory Fashion Show + Night Market, October 8

- Living Collective Pop-Up Shop, October 15

- Caleres Fashion Entrepreneur Competition, November 10

“As a powerful catalyst for fashion in the region, we are not only excited to launch this new fashion-focused grant program with our long-time partner, Caleres, but we are also thrilled to support the launch of the Saint Louis Fashion Incubator and its inaugural class of designers,” says ALIVE CEO, Elizabeth Tucker. “We think Saint Louis Fashion Week’s most important mission of the moment is to do our part in contributing to the greater fashion ecosystem here in St. Louis, both through the support of the Incubator and the launch of the Caleres competition.”

With the support of Caleres and STLFW, Saint Louis Fashion Fund will announce the Saint Louis Fashion Incubator’s inaugural class of designers on Aug. 24 in New York, followed by the official launch of the Saint Louis Fashion Incubator this fall at 1533 Washington Avenue, in the heart of St. Louis' Garment District. The Fashion Incubator is a two-year intensive residency program offering emerging designers the tools, connections, and guidance to take their businesses to the next level. The program includes pro bono studio space and designer offices in St. Louis’ garment district, a stipend, mentorship and business support.

About Saint Louis Fashion Week

The carefully curated event series that is Saint Louis Fashion Week continues with its mission to support and elevate the local fashion community and provide the resources necessary for designers to launch their careers and connect with a Midwest audience. Throughout its history, STLFW has showcased designers such as Daniella Kallmeyer, Yigal Azrouel, Timo Weiland, Rebecca Taylor, Tess Giberson, Rachel Pally, Black Halo and Eva Franco, increasing awareness and demand for these brands in the Midwest, in addition to supporting a wide range of community-driven fashion events and charitable causes.

About ALIVE Magazine

Since 2002, ALIVE has been committed to moving the city of St. Louis forward by inspiring individuals to live their best life – one rich in arts, culture, wellness, style and good food and drink. ALIVE Media Group drives this mission through dynamic storytelling in print, online and at events for a dedicated audience of city dwellers, artists, civic leaders, business owners, bloggers, designers, foodies, innovators and trailblazers throughout the St. Louis area and beyond. ALIVE founded Saint Louis Fashion Week in 2006, and the event series continues to be an important part of the media group’s overall mission, vision and values.

About Caleres

Caleres is a diverse portfolio of global footwear brands, which fit people’s lives: Family, Healthy Living and Contemporary Fashion. Our products are available virtually everywhere - in the over 1,200 retail stores we operate, in hundreds of major department and specialty stores, on our branded e-commerce sites, and on many additional third-party retail websites. Famous Footwear and serve as our Family brands. Our Contemporary Fashion brands include Sam Edelman, Franco Sarto, Vince, Via Spiga, Diane von Furstenberg, Fergie Footwear and Carlos Santana. Naturalizer, Dr. Scholl's, LifeStride, Bzees and Rykä represent our Healthy Living brands. Combined, these brands help make Caleres a company with both a legacy and a mission. Our legacy is our more than 130-years of craftsmanship, our passion for fit and our business savvy, while our mission is to continue to inspire people to feel good…feet first. Visit to learn more about us.


Julia Bishop-Cross, 314-681-2094

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