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Moore College of Art & Design congratulates alumna Tara Higgins ‘15, who has been named a Designer-in-Residence for the fifth year of the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator (PFI) program at Macy’s Center City. The fashion initiative was created to help foster and support emerging local fashion design talent.

Five designers began their 12-month residency last month as the 2016 Designers-in-Residence. The new class of designers has access to the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator’s 800 + square-foot production room, office and showroom housed in Macy’s Center City. For the next year, they will receive business mentoring from some of the region’s leading business professionals, which helps them in building their brands, as well as workshops and retail critiques with the fashion industry’s most celebrated talent to assist them in breaking into the fashion marketplace.

The program is a collaboration between The City of Philadelphia, Center City District, Macy’s Center City and several educational institutions devoted to fashion design in Philadelphia, including Moore, Drexel University and Philadelphia University.

"After graduation, there were so many question marks as to where my journey would take me to next," Higgins said. "When I found out I had been chosen to be a designer in residence, I was over the moon! It has only been a about a month and the wealth of knowledge obtained through the business workshops and meeting with industry professionals thus far has been eye-opening. These are opportunities I would never be exposed to this soon in the game if it weren't for my acceptance as a resident designer."

Higgins graduated from Moore in 2015 with a major in Fashion Design. A Philadephia native, Higgins learned to develop and refine her craft at Moore while also apprenticing under Brooklyn designer Titania Inglis. She received many accolades for her work as a design student, including the prestigious Educators for Socially Responsible Apparel Practices (ESRAP) Award for Sustainable Design at the 2015 the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) annual conference.

Higgins won the Fashion Show 2015 Century 21 Department Store Best in Show award and the Critic Award for her senior collection. She showcased her winning garments at Philadelphia's 2016 Phashion Phest.

"I loved my experience at Moore because it is a small, tight-knit group of individuals who strive to help one another succeed," she said. "The support I had and continue to have from my professors is invaluable. Moore truly lifted my confidence to go after my dreams and work towards becoming an entrepreneur."

In her mission statement on the PFA website, Higgins said she draws her design inspiration from both nature and modern art, creating a unique juxtaposition for the modern day woman. The pieces she designs are a compilation of her vision, her soul, and her shadow self. They maintain a theme of femininity while still encompassing the rawness that is life.

Her goal is to create garments that are eclectic and edgy without compromising the wearability in a palette of neutral tones. Above all, she strives to design clothing that will make a woman feel beautiful and confident while wearing it.

Read an interview with Higgins and the other designers in Philadelphia Weekly



Moore College of Art & Design educates students for careers in art and design. Founded in 1848, Moore is the nation's first and only women's visual arts college. Moore's career-focused environment and professionally active faculty form a dynamic community in the heart of Philadelphia's cultural district. The College offers ten Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees for women and since 2009, five coeducational Graduate Studies programs. In addition, Moore provides many valuable opportunities in the arts through The Galleries at Moore; Continuing Education programs for professional adults; the acclaimed Youth Programs for young people grades 1-12, which was founded in 1921; The Art Shop and Sculpture Park. For more information about Moore, visit

Published on April 20th, 2016