LCC fashion program works closely with The Runway in Knapp’s Center
The newly renovated Knapp’s Centre at 300 S. Washington Square in downtown Lansing provides a home to many students, business member and community members.
The Knapp’s Centre is also home to one of Michigan’s premier fashion incubators and retail showrooms, The Runway.
The Runway opened its doors to the public in October of 2014. Since then, it has become a place for local designers to show and sell designs and apparel.
Quinn Stinchfield, manager of business incubation, said The Runway has two programs: the “designer and the residents” and the “Associate designer.” Both programs give local designers a chance to get their brand out in the public eye.
“Having designs on display is a great way to test the market without doing a full-blown production,” Stinchfield said. “If a designer wants to see how the public will respond to a piece they can put in the showroom and receive feedback.”
Everything from blouses to bathing suites dangle on hangers waiting to be worn. Stinchfield said 60 to 70 percent of the proceeds go to the designer and the rest goes to operations for The Runway.
The Runway’s biggest goal is to tap into universities,” Stinchfield said.
“LCC is revamping their fashion program, so we have been working closely with the faculty and focusing on making sure students have opportunities to exceed in the industry,” Stinchfield said.
According to Stinchfield, The Runway is always looking for interns to apply.
“Interns do everything from facility maintenance, helping designers, working in the retail space, marketing and learning about entrepreneurship,” Stinchfield said.
“Internships are a great way for students to test the waters and get a sense of The Runway. We are start-ups helping start-ups.”
Stinchfield said places like The Runway are important because they bring business to the area.
“Bringing retail back to downtown is important because all thriving cities have a thriving downtown,” Stinchfield said.
Central Michigan University student and The Runway intern Nickelas Trepanier has been interning since May.
“The Runway is a really unique opportunity,” Trepanier said. “I love getting to work one-on-one with designers and being able to be so involved every day.”
Trepanier said he hopes that interning at The Runway will lead him to his ultimate goal.
“My end goal is to open a small boutique in a city with a very distinctive lifestyle where I can create a really good retail space,” Trepanier said. “The Runway provides me with good experience to do that.”
LCC student Talya Johnson said she has bought a few pieces from The Runway and enjoys being there.
“I love the idea of The Runway because when I buy something from there I have bought something that no one else is wearing right now,” Johnson said. “Everyone is wearing the same thing and there I can be different.”
The Runway is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is open to the public. For more information, call 517-230-2942.