ST. LOUIS – Ten years after its humble beginnings in the basement of a University City eatery, the St. Louis Fashion Fund continues to give us a reason to believe St. Louis can reclaim its roots as one of the country’s fashion capitals.

Susan Sherman co-founded the St. Louis Fashion Fund and serves as its board chair.

“I will tell you that other cities around the country are trying to create a fashion district. Are trying to attract designers. We already have them. We have the bones. We have the infrastructure. So, we’re already here,” she said. “Which makes it very attractive to young brands who want to move to St. Louis and build a business here.”

Jason Hall, CEO of Greater St. Louis Inc., believes the Fashion Fund can build on that foundation for the betterment of the city and beyond.

“Embracing the great art, creativity, and design that St. Louis is known for and recognizing this is big business,” Hall said. “We have large companies like Caleres, a Fortune 1000 headquarters in St. Louis, as well as the next generation of startups that are the next Caleres.”

The Fashion Fund’s 10th anniversary events kick off in early October. In February, the group is partnering with St. Louis City SC and GENT to celebrate Men’s Fashion Week.

“GENT is a local organization. One of the City Futures coaches, Dwight Carter, is the guy that founded it,” Lee Broughton, St. Louis CITY SC’s brand architect, said. “It’s been wonderful to be able to work with him, and we’ll feature some of our players, some of our students in the City Futures program. We’ll reveal some STL Made ensembles. I think it’s going to be a great night.”

The group also announced a special event for April 1. American fashion icon Michael Kors comes to town as part of the annual “Speaking of Fashion” series on the Washington University Campus.

“St. Louis has fashion DNA. We’re not making it up,” Sherman said.

Embedded into us, like the brick zipper pattern on Washington Avenue, marking the heart of St. Louis’ once-thriving Garment District, the St. Louis Fashion Fund is paving the way for St. Louis’s fashion future.