Four years after its start as the Indianapolis Fashion Collective, Pattern is set to debut its first retail shop on the east end of Mass Ave Friday night.
It’s the first project of a business incubator launched by Riley Area Development Corporation.
Jeremiah Williams, director of Pattern’s retail operations, says the process has been exciting.
"Because it has put us in a position that we've been able to get the inside and the assistance from a lot of local business organizations that partner with Riley as a CDC to help us," said Williams.
The $85,000 project received funding from groups like the Central Indiana Community Foundation, LISC – Local Initiative Support Corporation – and the Riley Area CDC, which also provided real estate and technical support.
The store is stocking clothes from local and national designers, aimed in part to appeal to Indy urbanites who may be strolling the Cultural Trail.
"You’re going to have people who are in a lifestyle mode, whether it’s food, whether it’s theater... they want to connect. They want to walk between these points," said Eric Strickland, the executive director of the Riley Area CDC.
He says his group is committed to advancing Mass Ave as a vibrant regional destination.
"We want things to happen and we want to showcase local businesses," said Strickland.
Pattern provides a fashion forum and highlights Indy talent in its popular magazine. Now it’ll also be able to serve as a retail hub for local designers.
"It’s going to be a place where we can do workshops, presentations on a strategic, smaller scale. So we can do the trend report that Pattern does every year here in our own space," explained Williams. "We can also work with local designers looking to get into retail, we can work with them to show them the steps in order to be in our store because we want to support local."
But is the fashion biz sustainable in Indy? Williams thinks so and he says Indy’s style scene has come a long way.
"It’s an exciting undertaking. Even when I started really becoming active in highlighting and covering local fashion in Indy, I never would have thought that we'd be in a position where businesses, investors are really looking at the fashion industry in Indianapolis as a investment opportunity for them," said Williams.
The Pattern store will be open seven days a week and a portion of the proceeds will go back into Riley Area’s incubator program.