WELCOME TO DDI
The true essence of DDI lies in its collaborative community, a space characterized by knowledge sharing, mutual assistance, and constructive feedback. This inclusive environment caters to a diverse spectrum of participants, ranging from novices taking their first steps to well-established industry leaders, creating a truly distinctive and enriching community.
Denver Design Incubator: Empowering Our Thriving Fashion Community
At the Denver Design Incubator, we're committed to offering valuable resources, education, and professional development opportunities to the local fashion community. Our ultimate goal is to help emerging designers establish a sustainable and profitable fashion business in our area.
DDI exists because of an amazing community from current and past members to volunteer staff, teachers and supporters.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Chairman of the Board &
EVP Ralph's Industrial Sewing
Jack serves as the Executive Vice President for Ralph’s Industrial Sewing, the region’s largest industrial sewing supply company. Ralph’s has been a long figure in the Denver community, opening for business more than 30 years ago. Ralph’s supplies top of the line industrial equipment to the sewing industry as well as brokers used equipment and provides repair and maintenance services. Prior to serving the sewing and design community at Ralph’s, Jack worked as a production manager for several high profile apparel companies, including his role as international operations manager for Op and Aspen Skiwear.
CEO Direct To Source
Holli Gibson is an apparel industry professional with more than 30 years experience. She is experienced in creative and technical design as well as product development and production. She has served as design director and creative director as well as vp of production in both large companies as well as startups. She has experience in domestic and international production for knits and wovens in more than 20 countries. Holli was a founder and serves on the board of the Denver Design Incubator. She is also a former instructor at Emily Griffith Technical College, teaching the Business of Fashion and Production Patternmaking. Her awards include the Rising Star Award from Fashion Group International, 303 Magazine Award for supporting the fashion industry in Denver and Lifestyles Intimate Apparel Design Award. She has been covered in the media in publications ranging from WWD to Earnshaws Magazine to
5280 and more.
Sports Authority (retired)
Donna is a veteran sporting goods retail buyer with over 35 years of experience buying softgoods, hardgoods, and footwear. Experience in buying branded, private label, and SMU’s (special mark ups) in men’s, women’s and kids categories. Strong business relationships with major sporting goods venders including Nike, Under Armour, Adidas, Soffe, Champion, Columbia and many more. Managed all aspects of the business from open-to-buy budgets to inventory balancing to markdowns and buy out plans. Expert skills in managing seasonal category buys, new business implementations and growth, and in store retail merchandising strategies. Also proficient in vendor negotiations, visual merchandising, logistics, advertising/marketing, P&L management, and assortment planning.
Board Member &
Owner Ralph's Industrial Sewing
Joe has been a long time figure in the Denver industry. Ralph's Industrial Sewing was established by his father in 1975 and the tradition is carried on by the family, Joe, his sister Peggy and their mom Irma. DDI is so thankful for their continued support.
Board Member &
Director of Customer Service MOR Kombucha
Matthew brings over 20 years experience working in a variety of industries performing sales, marketing and customer service roles. Matthew's passion is The Arts and building community. In 2010 Matthew started the Apron Artist Project to explore the connections between art, service and consciousness in monthly themed installments. This work and other community based endeavors can be found at arponartist.com. Matthew completed Colorado’s Business Community for the Arts (CBCA.org) leadership training in 2019.
Keti's original career was as a geophysicist, but she always had a love of fashion and sewing since she was a little girl growing up in Tbilisi, Georgia. She immigrated to New York City in the early 90's and began selling her designs to local boutiques. She established herself as a professional custom clothier while completing her fashion degree at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. She worked as a patternmaker, fit model, designer and technical design manager for companies including Federated, Tommy Hilfiger, Anne Klein, Tahari and Joe Fresh. She frequently traveled to overseas factories to train representatives in craftsmanship and garment construction as well as to troubleshoot production problems.
She moved to Denver in 2015 and in 2017 found upscale clothing brand: KetiVani. It focuses on creating slow fashion, a small batch of attainable luxury, timeless designs with exceptional fit and construction. Keti also offers private consultation and classes at Technical Design and Patternmaking at Denver Design Incubator.
Chi Marie Fashions
After completing her Bachelor's degree in fashion design and attending the Art Institute of Denver Colorado, Ashlie founded Chi Marie Fashions 16 years ago. In May of 2023, she joined the Denver design incubator to pursue her passion for teaching individuals interested in either becoming fashion designers or improving their sewing skills. For her, learning how to sew equals power and money, and she stands by her motto that when you look good, you do good!
Tamara Nasr Coutre
Tamara Nasr is a Lebanese Jordanian Fashion designer. She moved to Lebanon at the age of 9 with her parents. She studied Fashion and got a certificate in Fashion design/tailoring and a BA in Business Marketing.
Then finished her masters in marketing of fashion in Florence Italy. She worked for international haute-couture designers like Valentino (Paris)and Georges Chakra (Lebanon). She has had shops in Paris, Lebanon and Dubai since 2010. She moved to the USA after COVID. Her designs include women, men and dogs haute-couture with hand embroidery twists. Her main offices are in Colorado USA.
Tamara Nasr was featured in New York Fashion week in February 2023, and she was also remembered for her private fashion show in Denver, Colorado in May of the same year.
Instructor / Designer HAUS
Instructor / Designer Jae Jordan
I am a passionate, fast-paced fashion designer and wardrobe stylist expanding my vocational efforts between Los Angeles, California, and Denver, Colorado. I utilize my talents through collaboration and wardrobe tailoring and have contributed to various projects for companies such as Refinery29, Gentle Monster, and Charles David Shoes.
As the Founding Owner and Creative Director of my eco-conscious, gender affirming clothing line, HAUS, I have dedicated my passions and education to sustainable production methods, bespoke garment construction, pattern making as well as charitable event planning to benefit my community.
My line's most recent collection, Reclaim BlaQ, debuted at New York Fashion Week September 09, 2023, and since has been published on bet.com, xonecole.com, elle.com - Slovenia, and glamour.com - Bulgaria. I aspire to help educate people in the communities I belong to as well as open doors for other black and black-LGBTQIA+ creatives.
In January of 2019, she started her cut-n-sew streetwear brand “Jae Jordan”. Since then, she has also produced a number of fashion shows and events for Jae Jordan and other brands in the Denver area. Originally from Illinois, Jordan moved to Colorado as a teenager. She was taught basic sewing skills from her mom as a child, however she didn’t start sewing clothing until 2016 while in college.
The Denver Designer Incubator is a non-profit organization that depends exclusively on our members, volunteers, and donations. With your donation, you automatically become the hero for our many fashion design students!
Volunteer With Us
As a DDI volunteer, you may have the opportunity to assist with various tasks, such as organizing events, assisting with classes and workshops, or helping to create marketing materials. You can gain valuable experience in the fashion industry and make meaningful connections with educators and designers.
Come Teach at DDI
As an instructor at DDI, you will have the unique opportunity to inspire a new generation of designers who are not solely driven by profit but are also driven by a genuine passion for artistic expression and positive social impact. Email us your resume and let’s start a conversation!