Saint Louis Fashion Incubator
meet the designers
Agnes Hamerlik, is an interdisciplinary artist and designer born in Poland. With a Master’s Degree in European Literature, BFA in Fashion Studies from Columbia College, and a number of apprentices with master craftsmen; she brings a variety of skills and life experience into her work.
Open to technological advances and multidisciplinary collaborations, Hamerlik is interested in forging new design synthesis; safeguarded by traditions. Intelligent design, dramatic silhouettes, complex luxury fabric manipulations, impeccable craftsmanship, unusual detailing, and elements of surprise define the collections of limited edition pieces. She has collaborated with the Art Institute of Chicago and various prestige galleries to exhibit her work nationally. Hamerlik’s collections have been showcased during Chicago Fashion Week, and most recently during New York Fashion Week in Lincoln Center.
Allison Mitchell Handbags
Experienced in sales, marketing, and startup business development, Allison began her namesake label after the demand for her hand-made clutch went beyond friends and family to a buyer from a local luxury boutique. Her ability to move fast and capitalize on opportunity has, in only a couple of years, catapulted Allison Mitchell, LLC into a realm that would normally take several years to enter. Allison is the face, the creative drive, and the business acumen behind the Allison Mitchell label.
Allison Mitchell handbags are crafted from sustainably obtained animal skins and hides from around the world. Lined in seasonal picks fro the designer, the minimalist brand offers a polished, deconstructed look that makes a statement with unique shapes and exceptional materials. Based in Dallas, Texas, all items are handmade in the United States, making them one-of-a-kind pieces.
Allison Mitchell handbags represent the raw, gorgeous spirit that drives the avant-garde, the courageous, and the fearless. With clientele spanning beyond the United States and into Spain, France, Egypt, and Japan, the line is favored by women and men the world over.
Reuben Reuel Riddick
Brooklyn, New York
Reuben Reuel, creative director and designer of Demestik by Reuben Reuel, based in NYC found his love for fashion and style while growing up in his hometown of Virginia Beach, Virginia. His grandmother, a skilled seamstress with impeccable taste and flamboyant style, served as his primary influence and inspiration. She was the reason he decided to enroll at the Virginia Beach Tech Center where he began to hone his skills in fashion design. Upon completion he attended Norfolk State University and later moved to NYC in 2007 to attend the Art Institute of New York City.
In 2012, Reuben Reuel decided to venture out on his own and create garments with a focused aesthetic. Taking a less conventional approach, he partnered with Etsy.com to sell his products. This allowed him to formulate a case study of the type of women that are interested in his garments and the ability to sell direct to consumer worldwide.
In the past four years the business has grown 5X in sales since its conception with an increased worldwide following. The momentum of his vision and the growth of the brand are illustrated in his uncompromising product, quality and commitment to hard work.
New York, New York
After a childhood and early education in Delaware, Audra Danielle Noyes completed her Bachelor in Fine Arts at the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2010, with a concentration in Fashion Design. She was awarded scholarships by Cotton Inc. and the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund, as well as selected for the Style Lab Mentorship with Zac Posen. Upon graduation, Noyes was personally recommended by André Leon Talley to train under the direction of Alber Elbaz at LANVIN.
After relocating to Paris to work with LANVIN, Noyes developed her skills under Elbaz where she worked her way up through the design and production departments. Eventually Noyes moved to John Galliano in 2012 where she joined as an Assistant Designer. With a wealth of design experience that included couture pattern-making, draping and illustration, she was compelled to launch her own brand AUDRA in 2013, debuting her collection during Spring ‘14 Paris Fashion Week.
Since launching AUDRA and making New York City the base of the brand, the collection has been featured in the pages of Vogue Italy Talents, Vogue Japan, Vogue Mexico, W Magazine, L’Officiel, and Tatler Russia, as well as web publications WWD, Refinery29, Manrepeller, and The Sartorialist. AUDRA is seasonally reviewed by Vogue.com and featured as part of Vogue Video Fashion Week. Additionally, AUDRA has been worn by many cultural leaders such as Caroline Issa, Kim Kardashian, Keke Palmer, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jane Larkworthy, Joana Preiss, Annie Greenberg, and Chloe King.
Charles Smith II
A rising up and coming young designer originally from Harlem, New York now residing in Dallas, TX, Donald Smith is leading the art and fashion community in young generations both in his city and on an international stage. His diverse aesthetic vision is apparent in his luxury brand “Smith II” and his edgier ready-to-wear brand “S2 by Smith II,” a line for young fashionistas who are also influenced by fashion but still want to eat after acquiring it.
Donald Smith’s transition from a player in the NBA D-League, to a model, and then to a designer showed him just how powerful following your dreams can be. He has walked in Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York, Miami, Berlin, London, Paris, and Milan, experiences through which he saw one side of the industry. Living in Milan, Italy from 14 to 16 years of age and again from 19-21, Donald honed a European style through firsthand experience in the European fashion world.
He has dressed fashion notables and celebrities such as Rev Run’s daughter Angela Simmons, Chris Brown’s ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran, and also Lenny Kravitz’s daughter Zoe Kravitz, just to name a few.
Donald has inspired and influenced his young followers by showing them that a kid from Harlem can make any dream come true.
Emily Brady Koplar
Saint Louis, Missouri
Wai Ming launched in high-end specialty boutiques in 2012 and has continued to define its place in the contemporary design space with its clean, feminine-yet-graphic aesthetic, intricate design details, and thoughtfully versatile designs. The line, which has become known for its dresses, is designed for and inspired by strong, dynamic, global women who appreciate the beauty and ease of Wai Ming’s effortlessly polished aesthetic. Each piece from the collection is carefully crafted in the best factories of New York’s Garment District using luxurious fabrics from Italy and Japan.
Wai Ming meaning “gift of light” in Chinese, is the given middle name of founder and designer, Emily Brady Koplar. Emily – who divides her time between St. Louis and New York – has worked in the fashion industry for more than a decade but started designing and making clothes in her early childhood. She obtained a degree in Economics from Boston University before deciding to follow her true passion of fashion design and earning a degree from Parsons School of Design.
Wai Ming has been featured in national media outlets including InStyle, People StyleWatch, Lucky Magazine, W, TeenVogue, Martha Stewart Weddings, Women’s Health, Refinery29, and WhoWhatWear. The line has also gained celebrity fans in Taylor Swift, Emma Roberts, Carrie Underwood, Ellie Kemper, Lindsey Vonn, Katharine McPhee, Taryn Manning, Ashley Benson, Meagan Good, Holland Roden and popular fashion bloggers Chriselle Lim, Courtney Trop, Lindsey Albanese, Haya Tetroashvili, and Nichole Ciotti .