At first asking people for donations didn't even occur to me. It was a few friends of mine who said, hey, set up a donations site, we'd contribute! after I had sadly mentioned that I was invited to show at Fashion in Detroit, but was unable to afford the designer's fee of $2500. I had to think about it for a minute. What would people think of me, begging for money? A few more people then spoke up and encouraged me some more. Apparently when you're an artist, working towards a dream, people really respect that. If I could even get near the fee on my own, believe me, I wouldn't have started the fund. But i'm not going to beat around the bush. I work 20 hours a week, and make $10 an hour at the only job I currently have. My student loans are about $500 a month. You do the math. I really AM a starving artist. Well, not literally since I have an amazing fiance who also believes I'll be rich and famous one day, so he feeds me once in a while.
That being said, why? Why wouldn't I want to spend $2500 on fabric to make more clothes to sell? Or pay off a few months worth of those heavy student loans? I went to the show in October, Fashion in Detroit's first show, as a finalist in the local designer competition. I was one of three, and the winner was invited to show at the next event, which is this one up coming in March. I did not win, but at that moment I realized I needed to do whatever it takes to get into the next show, fee waived or not.
To do something new involving fashion, in a city like Detroit...and to make it succeed, you really have to do it well. There have been many attempts in the past and if you never heard of any other fashion shows in Detroit, well, its because those attempts never went very well. Fashion in Detroit was organized, clean, and impressive. The tents, lighting and sound were on par with NYC Fashion week (though obviously on a much smaller scale). Everyone went smoothly. The models and the clothes were beautiful. The photographer area was packed with flashing lights, and the press were everywhere. It's not free to pull something like this off, and FID is running on sponsors and designer's fees. They also pay for A list models, make-up and hair.
I spent 2 years in New York, and helped out on many shows at New York Fashion Week, including Diesel and Cynthia Rowley. I've seen it done by the big guns, and the Fashion in Detroit show in October did not make me miss it. It didn't make me think, wow, I need to go back to New York to ever make this work. Instead, it gave me hope for the city of Detroit and the growing fashion scene here. It made me want to be a part of it in any way I possibly could. I wanted to find a way to be remembered as one of the young designers starting out just as it was growing.
I just got back here in May from New York. In fashion you have a shot (if you're lucky), and then it's gone. This is my shot to show people what's in my mind and what I can do. There might not be another time. To me, that's well worth $2500.
(The current update is that i'm 35% of the way to the goal, with 2 weeks left.)
And to support the other side of the fence and allow the people who can't attend fashion in detroit, i'm still throwing a renegade fashion show Saturday the 20th at Oslo. This is going to be "my show". My friends are modeling, we're making the set ourselves, our friends are DJing. It's going to be amazing, and free to all. Did you ever have a dream? The one that got away? I refuse to let mine get away.