Détroit Is the New Black finds a home at Ponyride

Roslyn Karamoko didn't love Detroit at first. Plus, she had plenty of other city suitors.

Karamoko grew up in Seattle, and graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C. with a degree in fashion merchandising. She worked in corporate retail buying in New York City and then around the world. When she got married a few years ago, Karamoko and her husband moved to his hometown of Detroit. Then she fell hard for the Motor City. So much so that she launched her own fashion label here: Détroit is the New Black.

"I just love this city," Karamoko says. "I wanted to create something that captures the optimism here."

She describes Détroit Is the New Black's aesthetic as Detroit history and minimalism combined into a dynamic, modern design for urban clothing. The 2-year-old company's website put this way: "Détroit Is the New Black is a mantra for rebirth, inspiration, authenticity and culture."

"It's something that speaks to all of the different layers here in the city," Karamoko says.

Détroit is the New Black moved into the Ponyride incubator in Corktown in mid-March. The fashion label's team of four people are working on producing a wide variety of clothes for both men and women, ranging from hoodies to varsity jackets to maxi dresses.

"It's a great incubator," Karamoko says. "It offers a great opportunity to cross pollinate with a lot of different brands here in the city."

Those clothes can be purchased online, at Detroit Historical Museum, the Charles Wright Museum, various boutiques across Metro Detroit, and at the company's factory store in Ponyride. Détroit is the New Black is working to open its own store in downtown Detroit later this year.

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Read more articles by Jon Zemke.

Jon Zemke is a news editor with Model D and its sister publications, Metromode and Concentrate. He's also a small-scale real-estate developer and landlord in the greater downtown Detroit area.
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