I'm not much of an events person. Deeply introverted, I don't venture out too late or too often. That being said, I have ventured out to many events hosted by the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator over the past year and — Instagram as my witness — have never regretted making the trek out to the space located in the Pfizer Building in South Williamsburg.
My first trip to the 21,000 square-foot facility was for the opening party. A harbinger of all events to come, it was friendly, laid back, and chock full of stylishly eco-cool people. The space was open for viewing and one of the most fascinating areas demonstrated their computerized knitting machine.
One of my favorite events was a talk with Emily Spivak, author of Worn Stories. The talk was followed by a mid-winter clothing swap made extra special because we attached tags explaining where we originally got the item.
During NY Fashion Week, the BF+DA explored the confluence of fashion and technology (they have their own 3D printers) with an exhibition called Cloud-Couture: The Intimate Connection Between Fashion and Technology.
Spring brought Fashion Revolution Day, the annual remembrance of the Rana Plaza collapse. The BF+DA hosted and an event befitting of the day, which I wrote about here. During NYCxDesign Week, they hosted a panel called ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS: Patagonia, Nike & Eileen Fisher Speak to Leading Change. Panelists from these three leading brands discussed breakthrough innovations aimed at improving the environmental impacts of their products. I was gutted to miss this one but had an early flight the following day.
I made sure not to miss FASHION=ACTIVISM: Rethink, Reuse, Respect, which opened during NY Fashion Week in September. The event included exhibits and installations from emerging and established designers. I went to the opening ceremony to hear the panel Rethinking Radical - How Radical Goals Lead to Positive Change; the exhibition continued through the week with activities and a second panel.
Why this stroll down memory lane? The one year milestone of this important institution calls for a celebration! On November 16th, birthday festivities will include launching the first annual Pratt Institute/BF+DA Positive Impact Awards to honor 15 individuals who have taken the challenge to advance the future of the fashion industry around the environment and society in 2015. Awardees will be gifted a Positive Impact Award scarf made on the BF+DA's own Shima Seiki machines, designed by Deb Johnson, BF+DA Venture Fellow Mandy Kordal, and Knitwear Director, Kelly Puertas!
The BF+DA venture fellows will be hosting open studios, the production LAB knitting machines and music will be cranking, and they’ll be serving BF+DA “positive impact” cocktails and locally produced treats. I've got my ticket and I urge you not to miss this celebration!