Factory Girls was founded in December 2013 in Atlanta, GA after co-founders Weir and Thurnher realized that the city was losing local fashion designers to larger cities such as New York or Los Angeles due to lack of resources and support in the region. With three Atlanta-based schools offering degrees in fashion design, including the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and Clark University, many design graduates choose to move out-of-state to seek work in cities with a more formidable fashion industry.
Factory Girls fulfills that void by providing designers with work space, access to pattern and sample makers and a factory able to produce small runs of clothing along with visibility and exposure to the fashion industry outside of the South-East.
“We grew tired of watching local talent reluctantly move to cities like New York or Los Angeles to find work,” says Rosa Thurnher, co-founder of Factory Girls. “We wanted to give local designers an alternative to moving and to provide them with the necessary tools needed to thrive locally,” she adds.
In addition, Factory Girls openeda clothing showroom, Ampersand, to create an additional platform of exposure for a select set of designers producing high-end, stylized looks. Ampersand will exclusively represent Southern designers and currently represents Abbey Glass and Megan Huntz. Factory Girls hopes to grow Ampersand significantly over the next two years, expanding their repertoire to at least 10-12 designers based in the South-East.
“Having lived in New York City for 12 years, and working in the fashion industry for eight of those years, I was definitely searching for something more here in Atlanta,” says Regina Kim Weir, co-founder of Factory Girls. “I’ve realized that true talent does exist here, but that it wasn’t being cultivated. That’s where I thought I could help,” adds Weir.
After signing Abbey Glass and Megan Huntz in January, Factory Girls and Ampersand will showcase their Spring/Summer 2014 collections with a trunk show tour. Factory Girls will host an in-house presentation featuring both lines at the Ampersand showroom on February 21st for media, VIP clients and local buyers. Their first trunk show will be held in New York City, in conjunction with Polyvore, on February 23rd followed by trunk shows in Atlanta, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina in March.
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Factory Girls is an incubator for fashion in the South-East and is headquartered in Atlanta, GA. Factory Girls seeks to cultivate and build an infrastructure for emerging fashion design talent in the South-East and to provide them with the tools needed to have a strong and successful career in the South-East region. For more information, visit www.factorygirlsatl.com or www.showroomampersand.com.