Detroit fashion brand Deviate partners with Good Neighbor to launch local designer series

Detroit fashion brand Deviate has partnered with downtown retailer Good Neighbor to launch a new event series called “Next in Detroit Fashion,” showcasing the collections of five local designers over five weeks.

 

From Nov. 5 through Dec. 13, with a hiatus planned for Thanksgiving, the event series will feature a custom collection from one designer each week. As part of a challenge related to the project, each collection was designed over the course of one month with the clientele of Good Neighbor in mind. The collections were produced by hand at Deviate’s workshop at the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Michigan in Highland Park.

 

Each event will be held at Good Neighbor’s retail location at 1435 Farmer St. from Thursday through Sunday each week. Shoppers will have the opportunity to meet the designers in-store (with masks and physical distancing precautions in place) and purchase items from their collections throughout their respective showcase dates.

 

Participating designers include:

  • Candice Coleman of C from Da D (6 p.m. Nov. 5 through 4 p.m. Nov. 8)
  • Lisa Kierzkowski (6 p.m. Nov. 12 through 4 p.m. Nov. 15)
  • Dianne Avila of VVYE (6 p.m. Nov. 19 through 4 p.m.) Nov. 22
  • Angela Orr (6 p.m. Dec. 3 through 4 p.m. Dec. 6)
  • Deviate co-founder Kelsey Tucker (6 p.m. Dec. 10 through Dec. 13)

 

Inspired by the Netflix series “Next in Fashion,” the project is part of an effort to offer support and create opportunities for local talent in Detroit’s emerging apparel industry.

 

“I think we especially see that in Detroit, in Michigan, people really want to support sustainable local businesses here,” says Deviate co-founder Cassidy Tucker. “This [event series] is, of course, for the designers, to support them in their growth — but it’s also for the community, to connect them with brands they really, truly want to support.”

 

Good Neighbor owner Carli Goltowski says the project has helped the designers, some of whom have fashion degrees but lack business knowledge, acquire those missing skills.

 

“I think [emerging designers] are looking for that type of experience …” Goltowski says. “A lot of them aspire to have their own brands and their own lines, so it is a taste of how it actually works when you’re working with a retailer.”

 

Angela Orr, a graduate of Michigan State University’s apparel program, is one of the designers participating in the project. Orr began working with Deviate earlier this year producing personal protective equipment (PPE) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She works as a teacher in the recently launched Industry Club, an initiative of the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Michigan, Deviate, Detroit is the New Black, Ponyride, and Bedrock Detroit that offers opportunities for youth in Detroit’s apparel sector.

 

“[Designing for a retailer] was very new to me. I’ve never had to design for a customer …” Orr says. “That’s been one of the more difficult, but more interesting, parts of this whole process.”

 

After completing the design and production process, Orr says the project offers benefits for emerging designers like herself.

 

“I think that this [project] sheds light on the talent that Detroit has that’s often overlooked,” Orr says. “So often, people look to New York or California — these huge cities that are so inaccessible sometimes to people who are creative. […] I think this is broadening the opportunity for Detroiters and really just building up the talent we have here.”

 

You can find more information about “Next in Detroit Fashion” by following Deviate and Good Neighbor on Instagram or visiting their websites.

Read more articles by Erin Marie Miller.

Erin Marie Miller is a freelance writer and photographer based in Metro Detroit whose work focuses on people and small business. Inspired by the genre of New Journalism, she is passionate about connecting people to their communities through meaningful storytelling.

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