Have you ever heard about a fashion competition? Well, it’s not uncommon to see big contests where the best fashion designer wins. Quite the opposite.
The fashion competition has already turned into reality shows and won great lovers and an engaged audience. But in those moments, have you ever stopped to think on the professional side? In other words, have you, designer, ever dreamed of participating in one of these and changing your career?
Well, today we’re going to introduce you to “Detroit is Your Couture”! We guarantee that participating in this competition will not only be a turning point in your professional life, but it can also be a lot of fun. Plus, it can be inspiring and sharpen your creative side in unexpected ways.
Meet Detroit is Your Couture: The Fashion Competition In a Box
Have you ever watched – or, at least, heard about – Project Runway? Well, Detroit is Your Couture has some things in common with the show, but the difference is: everything is in a box!
The beautiful city of Detroit, in Michigan, is house to the project tailored made for rising designers. Every month, the competitor receives in their house a box with over $200 worth of fabric, notions, and product. Almost everything they need to make the monthly themed design is included.
Designers have 7-10 days as needed per challenge. Photos of final designs is then submitted to DIYC by email.
The project’s idea is to help local designers grow, prospect and find success. At the end of the competition, the winner of the month gets a prize that can help them open their store and pursue their dreams.
Designers that want to take part in the fashion competition, can check DIYC website for more information & to subscribe.
The Beginning of DIYC
DIYC came to fruition in the spring of 2020 during the COVID-19 quarantine. It started as a creative outlet for designers who were growing stagnant from mass-producing masks during COVID.
The three women behind the idea got together and made that happen even with the pandemic scenario full of uncertainties. With this, they helped several designers who were at home taking care of family, to continue exploring and improving their creativity.
Each month, the DIYC has a theme where designers are required to use the contents of the box to make up 80% of the design in 7 days. Designs are then submitted and judged.
First round of judging is done by Dan Kerin, a Metro-Detroit Native now living in New York City and former buyer for Saks 5th Ave and other top designers, like Escada and Louis Féraud. Critique is given on context, structure, balance, and theme.
Following is the second round of the fashion competition. The judging is done by an independent guest judge in the Metro Detroit Fashion Industry. Awards are given to designers in the areas of Best Representation of DIYC, Best Emerging Designer, and Audience Favorite, among others.
Meet the Women Behind DIYC
Three women who have Detroit in their hearts have come together to promote the fashion competition. Get to know them!
Briana – CEO and creative director of Mila Mara Agency: as a self-taught fashion designer, Briana leads and mentors designers and fashion industry entrepreneurs into success.
Having a degree as an accountant, she represents renaissance women teaching them and the next generation the importance of fashion and business. Her work has made appearances on the “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” television show as well as many celebrities and Sprite commercials.
Daun – CEO of Dusk Til Daun, LLC – is a fashion curator and stylist. Based in Detroit, her company produces and directs fashion shows, photoshoots, model searches, and event planning.
As an influencer in the city of Detroit, she has a very successful podcast called High Heels and Panty Hose, which you want to be sure to listen in!
As a fashion designer with her own line, coming from a background of 30 plus years in costume design, film, and theatre, she has excelled at every stage of these fields, including decades as an actress, producer, director, costume designer, and teacher.
With her not for profit, PAPA Weeze, Barbie has hosted several fashion shows in Metro Detroit. She also launched a line of couture clothing and has been the executive producer of a film starring Hollywood icons Ed Anser and Jean Smart. Recently, she has been actively involved in teaching fashion and sewing skills to refugee women and fervently believes that “Detroit Is Your Couture” will be instrumental in supporting local fashion artists and establishing Detroit as a center of the fashion arts.
DIYC: A Call To Support Your Locals
The “Support Your Locals” movement has been growing. And, of course, this is very good. But the reality is that we can’t just stop at the speech. It is necessary to act.
Ideas like DIYC are an essential step for Detroit designers. The capital of Michigan is not considered one of the great fashion poles, like NYC and Paris. However, I assure you – and the fashion competition has shown as well – that the talents there are special and should gain notoriety.
This type of action, which helps to train local producers and artists, is essential for scaling these talents. Often, for lack of opportunity, designers, singers, and small producers do not get the attention they deserve. They need their voices – and their work – to be amplified. And, that’s what DIYC is doing with the local fashion scene.
3 Tips For Raising Designers from DIYC’s Founder
- Find a mentor – It’s very difficult to learn everything by yourself. So, DIYC’s founder’s first tip is: “lean on people with more experience who can teach and help you”.
- Focus on what you believe – “To grow you don’t need to leave your values behind. In fact, that is quite the opposite”. Therefore, bring your beliefs into your creation and business.
- Be patient – To grow takes time, perseverance, and consistency. Understand that you are on a journey to success and that it takes time. Trust yourself, your work, and don’t give up!
Don’t forget to check our previous article about jewelry symbolism!