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Can Detroit become America's next fashion hub

When he was little, Nelson Sanders remembers his parents dressing up almost every time they went out. And his parents weren't the only adults in Detroit who cared about their appearance after they took off the work clothes.

"There was crazy style here," Sanders said. "My parents didn't have much, but they'd always make sure they were decked out. On Friday nights in Detroit, you had to come with it."

While dressing up in a suit and tie or your nicest dress is no longer the norm for a night out, that doesn't mean fashion is no longer important here. That's why Sanders started The Seen, which started off as a collective of fashion-conscious individuals highlighting neighborhoods and businesses, and has recently morphed into a creative marketing and talent agency.

"When people think fashion, they think of Paris, New York, London," Sanders said. "Most wouldn't say Detroit. I wanted to show people around here and the world what Detroit style looks like. There are a lot of genuinely stylish people here, but they just don't have the platform to showcase it."

Sanders isn't the only one working to raise Detroit's profile as an important fashion city, and not just in the way it dresses. In design, manufacturing and distribution for the fashion industry, Detroit is growing its local talent and businesses to become a fashion hub.

Keeping talent local

Like Sanders, Karen Buscemi was frustrated with Detroit's inability to realize its potential in the fashion industry. While the editor of fashion magazine StyleLine, she kept noticing industry talent leaving the state, almost always for New York City or Los Angeles. "They felt they couldn't make it here," Buscemi said.

To remedy the problem, Buscemi founded the Detroit Garment Group (DGG), an organization that supports Detroit's fashion industry in a variety of ways. For starters, DGG runs a business incubator program out of TechTown, which has mentors and services for the various aspects of running a fashion business, as well as access to industrial sewing machines and design studios.

"Michigan has a lot of colleges that have really good fashion programs," Buscemi said, "but not one offers a business program — they just teach the craft. Students graduate, and don't know what to do with the skills."

Another issue in the state is the scarcity of skilled industrial sewers. So DGG helped found an industrial sewing certificate program through Henry Ford College with support from Michigan Works. The program has graduated 14 classes so far, and will be adding a fabric cutting program in the fall.

The certificate program has become a pipeline to Buscemi's business, Detroit Sewn, a full-service sewing factory she started in 2015 because of the lack of garment manufacturing in the state. "I was getting daily inquiries about where you could produce garments locally," she said.

Customers have flocked to Detroit Sewn. Buscemi said the company services 130 clients and has 12 employees. And all the industrial sewers have come from the certificate program.

Detroit's innovative

Buscemi's most ambitious project is the creation of a garment district in Detroit. Renowned garment districts in New York City and Los Angeles contain concentrations of designers, cut and sew operations, bigger manufacturers, showrooms, distributors and wholesalers. The districts are a catalyst for the industry, which benefits from the vertical integration created by close proximity.

But due to rising property values, the garment district in Manhattan is no longer a practical place to locate for smaller manufacturers or warehouses, which are essential to the industry.

That's where Detroit has an advantage. Buscemi's initial plan calls for the aggregation of 40,000 square feet of space with room to grow.

Detroit Denim is an example of a small manufacturer that might benefit from locating in a local garment district. The company makes men's jeans. Each pair is hand-sewn and made from high-quality selvedge denim sourced in the United States. Because of the smaller production scale — Detroit Denim makes about 40 pairs of jeans per week — the company does limited runs, special orders, and unique cuts that other jean producers don't offer.

The result of this process is considerably less waste.

"Our country promotes a culture of disposable clothing," said Brenna Lane, production and operations manager. "Most clothes have a lifespan of months and then get thrown out. … I tell customers that they're investing in a piece of clothing, rather than something disposable."

Detroit Denim recently moved to a new retail and manufacturing space in Harbortown and currently employs eight people.

Another Detroit clothing manufacturer, Lazlo, makes plain white T-shirts out of the Corktown makerspace Ponyride. Once again, it's not your standard T-shirt. Lazlo's shirts are made of supima cotton, an extra-long staple variety that results in softer and more durable fabric, and which accounts for about 3 percent of United States cotton production. Of this, Lazlo sources organic, which is only 1 percent of supima growers produce.

Sustainability is important to Lazlo's business model. Co-founder Christian Birky said he was appalled at the waste and poor labor practices in the fashion industry, where the norm is to manufacture clothes from cheap materials using cheap labor.

"We said, 'Let's try to make white the best possible white T-shirt' and see what was possible," Birky said. "But also know who it's made by, where it's made, and what it's made out of."

The shirts are sold out of several Michigan stores as well as online.

The company also worked with the Michigan Department of Corrections to train inmates in cutting and sewing and recently hired its first returning citizen, who earns $15 an hour.

The biggest obstacle Detroit Denim and Lazlo have to overcome is consumer conventions around the cost of clothing. Higher-quality materials and fairly-compensated labor results in much higher prices — $250 for a pair of jeans and $110 for a T-shirt.

"Even though these are not traditionally luxury products, because of the quality and craftsmanship, they're priced as a luxury product," said Erin Patton, director of Retail and Marketing at Ponyride. "Fashion has struggled for many years to have proven models that are sustainable. If someone doesn't try to do it, it'll never be done. … It's a lot they're asking to shift customer behavior."

The time is now

Buscemi's been working on bringing the garment district to fruition for several years now. She said she has an important institutional partner, which she declined to disclose, and hopes to make an announcement by the end of the summer.

"This is the perfect time," Buscemi said. "Detroit is so damn sexy right now. Everyone wants to manufacture in Detroit, wants to say this is from Detroit, made in Detroit — it's ridiculous."

Shinola, founded just six years ago, is possibly the most prominent example of the popularity of Detroit as a brand. The company displays "Detroit" on all its products, which they sell from over 20 stores in every corner of the United States. Other fashion companies have capitalized on the Detroit brand, such as Detroit Is The New Black, Detroit Versus Everybody, and Detroit Hustles Harder.

While Detroit Denim and Lazlo may not be large-scale manufacturers, their impact could be significant. Birky thinks there's an opportunity to define Detroit as a center for ethical clothing manufacturing.

"There's a number of people working to bring advanced knitting facilities to Detroit," Birky said. "No city in the country owns that yet. This is new technology and a new approach that New York or L.A. doesn't have a monopoly on. Detroit can say, 'Here's what we do.' That's a movement that some city is going to seize sooner rather than later, and I hope it will happen here."Read more at:formal dresses brisbane | formal dresses melbourne

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Jeremy Corbyn's fashion choices


No matter that you and your partner may never experience the particular piquancy that comes from being reunited after a three-month spell in an expensive foreign rehab clinic. In the arsenal of wardrobe options, the reunion outfit is still a handy one. Whether by rehab/prison/work trip to Swindon/silent retreat in Thailand, we’ve all been separated from our loved ones, and we’ve all wanted to greet them looking our best. Returning from a week-long holiday in Tenerife in the Nineties, I was obsessed with looking as tanned as possible for my then-boyfriend, which meant donning white dress, white sandals, white handbag and white biker jacket for my grand arrival into Gatwick.

I looked ridiculous, like an ad for probiotic yoghurt. No wonder he dumped me for a whey-faced girl in jeans.

As Kate illustrates, the reunion outfit should ideally be bereft of those showy-offy elements that comprise the average revenge look. Instead, Kate has opted for what can best be described as classic Kate: black jeans, black tux jacket, polka dot neckerchief. We’ve seen it all before, but that’s the point. It’s comforting, just as Alexa Chung’s leopard print coat must have seemed to Alexander Skarsgård when they reunited in New York. Or, er, Kim’s tactical wearing of a Pablo sweatshirt when she reunited with Kanye. Note also the eschewal of Kate’s usual pointy black ankle boots in favour of… well, you’d have to call them slippers. How very ‘I’ve just been at home waiting for you, drinking tea and watching Netflix’. And if you believe that, Nikolai, you’ll believe anything.

Corbyn Couture

First his personal style was hailed by Vogue as ‘very Vetements’; now Jeremy Corbyn has had a fashion show created in his image. Menswear designer Martine Rose used a pic of Corbyn in his now-iconic grey shellsuit as her show e-vite, while the collection itself, shown in her Tottenham ’hood, featured items that could have come straight out of the Labour leader’s wardrobe — if you discount the small fact that they will eventually retail for more than he would ever deign to spend. Grey fleeces, utilitarian cagoules, suits worn without ties and deliberately dadsy beige shorts were pure Jezza — uncool, ergo, kind of cool. What a month it’s turning out to be for Corbyn. Soon, someone will unearth an improbably handsome son who is the spitting image of Elijah Wood. Oh, wait.

Plane Randy

If there’s one thing less likely to give me the horn than flying Ryanair, I’m yet to think of it. Maybe root canal work, or a dodgy prawn. So I almost applaud the woman who was recently caught on video straddling a male passenger she’d only just met on a flight, looking to all intents and purposes as though she was en route to joining the mile high club. Friends of the woman are now insisting that ‘no sexy time occurred’ — no doubt those sitting near the couple would agree that the experience was very far from being a sexy time, and was, in fact, revolting. Needless to say, it happened on a plane bound for Ibiza. Why Ibiza flights are always full of sex-crazed hens and stags, I do not know, but if you’re bound for one, best take your own in-flight entertainment.Read more at:formal dresses | formal dress shops sydney


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A Different Lind of Pop Up Gives Costumer a Fashion Week Preview


A Different Lind of Pop Up Gives Costumer a Fashion Week Preview
(Photo:formal dresses australia)

The Journey Fashion Festival by Malena Belafonte has made a mark in the fashion industry by creating exactly what the name says, a fashion festival. The shows are creative with visuals and experiences coming at you from every angle and the surrounding events are enticing to consumers and editors alike.

In a perfectly located storefront right off of 5th Avenue, close to Bryant Park which was the former host of Fashion Week, costumers are experiencing a preview of what is to come during New York's Fashion Week in September 2017. Browse designer collections, try on gorgeous diamond dripping jewelry, sip a glass of wine while getting a make over. Meet the designers and experience what the sponsors have to offer.

Sennheiser created a great lounge to experience the newest pro audio gear and walk away with some of the most high tech headphones in the business. Meet the team behind Fly Nyon, a new helicopter experience for the thrill-seeking millennials who love taking selfies while dangling over Manhattan, Vegas or Hawaii during the open cockpit tours. Dazzle in spectacular diamond jewelry by KVO Collections and meet the designing sisters who have created a classy, beautiful and very sparkling collection that you can wear everyday as well as on the red carpet.

"We wanted to bring The Journey designers, sponsors and brands directly to the consumer," says Malena Belafonte, the Creator and Founder of The Journey Fashion Festival. "The end game for a brand is the public and the consumer, but we also wanted to stay true to our vision and our brand which is a different fashion experience from beginning to end. At our boutique you get to meet the people behind the brands which creates and promotes integrity, something that can sometimes lack in the fast paced, yet complacent industry that is the fashion industry."

Make up artist to the Stars Kim Baker is on hand for consultations and make overs. Her brand Glamazon Beauty is a new make up line for women of all color. Egami Collections takes you back in time when tailored suits were all the rage, only to throw you right into the hottest designs, fabrics and details culminating in fabulous suits. Designer Henry Picado greets everyone at the door both visually and personally with his larger than life personality that shows in every design throughout his red carpet collection. Handbags made of the softest Italian leather by designing duo Laurent & Altieri, perfect for the city yet with a European flair sums up this perfectly curated experience that is The Journey Fashion Festival. In addition to the many other brands the store has a bar, is filled with art work and features collections by Russian artist and designer PopImpressKA.Read more at:evening dresses


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