AUSTIN -- Austin has earned international buzz when it comes to music and technology, but city leaders believe that fashion could be the next industry on the map.
In a place where the creative and tech-savvy collide it's no surprise fashion is coming to the forefront. The sector already generates $86.3 million annually.
"It's a very exciting town for creative people," said fashion designer Ilonka S.P.
S.P. is also a teacher at The Austin School of Fashion Design, where the young entrepreneurs may be in the right place at the right time, as a city sponsored study shows the industry is set to expand.
"It benefits students, it benefits current local fashion designers, pattern makers, there's a bunch of small businesses, boutiques, that could really use the city's help," said Sandra Navarette, owner of Austin School of Fashion Design.
TXP, Inc did research and prepared a report at the request of last year's city council. It explains Austin's fashion industry has the chance to grow. The report also suggests creating a fashion incubator where Austin entrepreneurs can collaborate, train, and focus on branding.
"The lack of a historic local cluster and concentration in this industry,along with the strong human and space related resources suggest that an academically-housed organization would be the most successful type of fashion sector incubator for Austin," the study said.
It describes Austin as a center for wearable technology, pointing to Under Armour's first-ever connected fitness headquarters opening soon downtown.
"The new medical school at UT only enhances the possibilities in this space, and suggests that now is an optimal time for the City to serve as a convening force to bring stakeholders to coordinate and leverage the resources of each toward making Austin a center of the design and production of wearable technology," the study also said.
"They can contribute to medical needs, obviously fashionable needs, there's something called emotional fashion -- you can feel somebody hug you through a shirt," Navarette said.
It's a chance to weave technology into apparel and give Austin a fashion identity all it's own.
"The fashion community can totally have a base in Austin. Why not? I don't find it very impossible to believe," said S.P.