Arizona Fashion Industry Takes Root in Tempe

Contact: Shannon Sowby, 602.615.6235, City of Tempe Contact: Kris Baxter-Ging 480.250.5198
Three fashion entities collaborate to create one-of-a-kind fashion resource center in the heart of the Valley
TEMPE, Ariz. (Sept. 9, 2016) – LabelHorde, Arizona Fashion Source and Arizona Apparel Foundation (LH/AFS/AAF) have joined forces with the City of Tempe to create a one-of-a-kind fashion hub in Tempe. This business incubator, production facility and educational resource will position Tempe as the upcoming U.S. fashion city.
Housed in the Tempe Performing Arts Center, LH/AFS/AAF will combine their unique expertise to support local visionaries and entrepreneurs by taking fashion from beginning to end, including everything from business consulting to design services and apparel manufacturing.
“Tempe is known as a creative, innovative city. It is the dream of many people to start their business and work for themselves. Thanks to LabelHorde, Arizona Fashion Source and Arizona Apparel Foundation, the world’s next Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren or Vera Wang could come from Tempe and this fashion incubator,” Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell said.
LH/AFS/AAF is Arizona’s first and most comprehensive resource for independent fashion companies that puts everything under one roof, including all of the fashion-related services that they need to operate and grow their businesses. It will mean that local brands will no longer have to source their manufacturing outside of the state, while also attracting out-of-state brands looking for resource alternatives. Producing apparel locally keeps money in the state while creating jobs and nurturing the growth of a creative, sustainable and in-demand industry.
“The Valley is home to incredible designers and fashion-centric businesses,” said Angela Johnson, Founder of LabelHorde. “We want to create a fashion industry environment to make it easier for Arizona students, brands and fashion lovers to learn, source, create, network and ultimately stay in Arizona.”
Beyond the creation aspects, the new venture will create opportunities for networking and business growth through events, a co-working space, a showroom and educational services, all in one convenient location.
Today, many Arizona schools are training students to work in fashion, but there remains a lack of hands-on training opportunities and even fewer employment opportunities after graduation. This new fashion center is estimated to create eight jobs immediately, with countless more as the industry takes root locally. More than a dozen independent designer brands will work out of the space, as will several photographers, videographers and fabric printers. Six companies will receive scholarships to work in this fashion hub each year. Approximately 50 people will fill this space immediately.
“In the U.S., there are only about a dozen similar manufacturing facilities, but none are quite like what’s happening in Tempe,” said Sherri Barry, Founder of Arizona Fashion Source. “The distinctive combination of services will create unprecedented opportunities for both new and existing Arizona-based companies that are looking for ways to keep their business local, sustainable and socially responsible.”
Expected to open at the end of this month, the center will create scholarship opportunities to assist budding design entrepreneurs in scaffolding their businesses, along with no-cost classes that will be open to the public. Classes will include everything from sewing to sketching and marketing.
Beyond the creative designs and new businesses this fashion incubator will bring, the city will become just a bit more colorful. People can expect to see fashion shows on Mill Avenue and inside the new facility. The Arizona Apparel Foundation has partnered with the 2016 Tempe Fall Festival of the Arts to bring local designer clothing and fashion shows to the event.
Tempe recently announced the opening of a coworking and entrepreneurial space inside the Tempe Public Library. The Business Resource and Innovation Center (BRiC) is designed to help entrepreneurs network, attend workshops and get the skills they need to launch businesses. Those working at the fashion incubator may also benefit from the opportunities at BRiC. “Many cities have business incubators and art galleries. Tempe leads the way with this innovative concept that not only helps people follow their creative path but also gives them tools to open successful businesses,” Mitchell said.
LABELHORDE is a category-driven directory of fashion businesses enabling users to easily locate local emerging and established designers, boutiques, manufacturers, photographers, models, stylists, industry supplies, fashion schools and all things fashion related in Arizona. also features a Fashion Classifieds page for local fashion jobs, a Fashion Calendar that lists all local and important national fashion events, lessons/classes, tech pack services, consulting and design studio resources that designers need to start and run their businesses.
ARIZONA FASHION SOURCE is an apparel manufacturer that uses sustainable and state-of-the-art manufacturing processes to create samples and production runs with no minimums. AFS manufactures heavy- and light-weight knits and wovens on industrial sewing equipment and the latest CAD programs.
ARIZONA APPAREL FOUNDATION is an Arizona non-profit corporation applying for 501(c)(3) status. The Foundation’s mission is to provide the knowledge and resources needed to foster Arizona’s fashion industry. Its vision is to support cutting edge research and innovation in wearable tech and to build a sustainable and exciting new industry in Arizona. CITY OF TEMPE, ARIZONA Located in the heart of the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area, Tempe, Arizona offers an innovative, urban environment, a central location and border to border light rail. Home to the nation’s largest university and named the nation’s best college town, Tempe is one of the state’s most educated communities. Arizona State University, downtown Mill Avenue and Tempe Town Lake give people opportunities to create a perfect work/play balance.