2018-2020 Fashion Designer residency call for applications

Part of Rightfully Sewn’s mission is to propel Kansas City fashion designers to market so they can supply the burgeoning demand for high-quality, American-produced garments. We are therefore pleased to release a call for applications for the 2018-2020 Fashion Designer Residency Program.

What Does the Program Consist Of?

The two-year long residency includes:

  • Studio space and access to high-quality sewing machines and grading software
  • A full-ride scholarship to attend Kauffman FastTrac® NewVenture™ in order to develop your business plan, in partnership with Women’s Business Center and UMKC Small Business and Technology Development Center
  • Quarterly professional development sessions, including: product quality review, costing/pricing review, product focus groups, marketing and brand review, production and merchandising preparation, cash flow and accounting advice, capital investment pitch practice, and retail pitch practice
  • Highlighted presence at Rightfully Sewn events to connect to potential clients and retailers, including the opulent GOLDEN GALA
  • Inclusion in multiple media spots, including TV, magazine, and newspaper, and in every organizational presentation made to the public, high-level donors, and political bodies
  • Public speaking opportunities to hone your presentation skills
  • Rightfully Sewn leaders will wear your garments as often as possible to public engagements in order to help promote your brand
  • Seasonal open studio events to help promote your brand and sell your products
  • Advance notification of master workshops

What Does It Cost?

There is no fee to apply. If you are accepted into the program, there is a $200 per month membership fee, which is a nominal amount to help offset the cost of the space, equipment and software maintenance, and visiting professional development speaker fees. Think of it as monthly studio rent with an enormous amount of resources and connections built in.

What Are the Requirements?

Applicants must work predominantly in sewn product, have substantial online presence and experience in runway shows, and reside in the five-county Kansas City metropolitan area.

Applicants must also be available from 8:15 am - 12:30 pm on Saturday, March 3, 2018 for Interview and Collection Review, and from 6:00 - 9:00 pm on Thursday, March 29, 2018 for the Resident Designer Reveal Event at Powell Gardens.

Who Selects the Recipients?

Recipients are selected by an external, credentialed panel of retail owners/buyers, established designers, marketing professionals, and community arts leaders.

Hear from alumnae resident designer, kate nickols of kathryn lee bridal:

Video by STOMP

How Do I Apply?

Fill out this 10-question survey about your business, and email a hi-res professional headshot, your résumé, and two letters of reference to operations@rightfullysewn.org by 11:59 pm on Monday, February 12, 2018.

Please note, late applications will not be considered.


  • February 12 - deadline for all application materials by 11:59 pm
  • February 19 - all applicants will be notified whether or not they have been shortlisted to move forward to the Interview and Collection Review
  • March 3 - Interview and Collection Review with external, credentialed panel
  • March 7 - shortlisted applicants will be notified whether or not they have been accepted into the program


If you have any questions, please contact: operations@rightfullysewn.org.


    We wish you good luck!


    ©2017 Rightfully Sewn, PO Box 410861, Kansas City, MO 64141