Photography by Jordan Bowens
Shot in Eastern Market Detroit on Winder St.
Recently I read an article on InStyle magazine's website that covered "Detroit style" or at least so the publication thought. In the article there was no mention of people, stores, or restaurants in the actual city of Detroit, which is disturbing and infuriating for a native Detroiter such as myself that works in fashion. What was mentioned in the article, however, were people, stores and restaurants that are in a suburb at least 20 miles north of Detroit city.
When I read articles, watch shows, or see anything that pertains to Detroit style obviously I am interested to see what it is about and to see the validity in the portrayal. And with this I find that in some articles I have read and especially the last one, is that publications are using Detroit as the name to drive viewership/readership due to the city's resurrection and success as of late. It seems as though Detroit has become a trendy city to talk about, to be attached to, to say that you're from. Well, I have a lot to say about this.
Articles that showcase suburbs instead of Detroit city is NOT at all representative of 1.) Detroit or 2.) Detroit style. Articles that have a narrative of someone who is not from Detroit or understands the culture and history is not the/a spokesperson for Detroit or Detroit style. Articles that lists people, stores, restaurants, happenings, etc that are not in Detroit, should be respectful and accurate in their journalism by using the proper title, verbiage and actual place for articles. Journalists writing these articles about Detroit and Detroit style should do their homework and do the research on who and what is pertinent to the Detroit fashion industry within the city.
And please understand, if you are not from Detroit or understand the culture, you cannot call yourself an expert on a city that has experienced transformations that reflect the black struggle that is a city mainly populated by black people. This is the truth.
What makes the Detroit fashion industry one to talk about is its adversities and triumphs. That is the story that sets Detroit's fashion industry apart from New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Milan, and other fashion cities. Detroit's history of plight to a story of victory in a time where other cities are advance is the backdrop in which journalists and publications should incorporate and weave into articles.
How did these new stores come to be? What boutiques and stores existed before the new storefronts on Woodward? Who are the movers and shakers of this industry? Who has been around long before what is coined now as "The New Detroit"? Who is here now to contribute to Detroit's up-and-coming industry? What are the fashion trends in Detroit? Can Detroit become a viable fashion city? How and is Detroit on the path of sustaining a fashion industry? Will Detroit become a fashion city that big brands and designers want to continue to expand into? How can we get the movers and shakers of the fashion industry together and have a conversation about the industry? How do we make the fashion industry in Detroit city one that meets the standards of the whole industry? How can Detroit drive business in fashion retail and pay the industry's professionals that already live in Detroit?
I am sure I can come up with more questions that are crucial to the conversation of Detroit's fashion industry and its uniqueness in the industry as a whole. But I will let these questions sit and be the initial questions that anyone interested in the industry can ask themselves.
I have more to say on this topic but for now I'll let this post breathe. I am interested to hear your thoughts and feelings about Detroit style and the fashion industry. What would you like to see? Is there anything I can do to help continue to contribute to the fashion industry? What are your thoughts on the accuracy and representation of Detroit and Detroit style?
Leave your thoughts in a comment below.
Wearing: Forever 21 Jacket (Old) & Distressed Jeans | H&M Oversized Hoodie, Fishnets & Boots | Zara Tweety Bird Clutch