Prada and Theaster Gates’ Incubators Program for New Designers

Prada and Theaster Gates’ Incubators Program for New Designers

Recently, the newly launched Prada and Theaster Gates’ incubators program for new designers is set to house 14 new black designers.

The fashion industry is gearing up for a more inclusive and diverse environment, and this is not all talks. Then, the first batch of awardees under a new program backed by South Side artist Theaster Gates and Prada has been announced. The list consists of 14 new black designers.

Gates, brightly commented during the event about the incubators program, “Some of this is about representation, and some of this is like, ‘Oh, I didn’t realize there were so many dope-ass Black people doing dope-ass Black things.”

Interestingly enough, the list also includes artists working in industry seemingly so far away from fashion. Then, this includes artists who work in restaurants, urban farms and other niche expertise. Of course, the more traditional designers in fashion and architecture are among the awardees as well and are still dominating the list. 

However, this does speak volume to the efforts in bringing more and more inclusive industry on top of encouraging cross-niche collaboration. 

The following are the names of the awardees of Prada and Theaster Gates’ incubators program:

  • Product designer Norman Teague, founder of Norman Teague Design Studios.
  • Footwear designer Kendall Reynolds, founder of Kendall Miles.
  • Chef Damarr Brown, chef de cuisine at Virtue Restaurant and Bar.
  • Architect and maker Maya Bird-Murphy, founder of Chicago Mobile Makers.
  • Architect Germane Barnes
  • Fine artist and designer Brandon Breaux.
  • Graphic designer Summer Coleman, owner of Summer Coleman Design.
  • Jewelry designer Catherine Sarr, founder of Almasika Fine Jewelry.
  • Fashion designer Tolu Coker
  • Architect Mariam Issoufou Kamara
  • Dancer Kyle Abraham
  • Urban aquaponic farmer Yemi Amu
  • Artist and researcher Salome Asega
  • Visual Artist Kenturah Davis

All awardees from Prada and Theaster Gates’ Incubators Program will participate in the design lab for three years. They will receive financial support for their projects as well as gain networking opportunities. Moreover, they will be able to attend annual events in New York City and Los Angeles for free.

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