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Hour Detroit: Shop These 45 Metro Detroit Black-Owned Businesses

  Over the past couple of months, new campaigns and initiatives have popped up encouraging consumers to shop Black-owned businesses. First, there was Aurora James’ 15 Percent Pledge, which launched on June 1. Considering that Black people make up nearly 15 percent of the U.S. population, James, the founder of footwear brand Brother Vellies, asked that brands pledge to devote 15 percent of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses. Sephora, Rent the Runway, and West Elm have opted in, and the pledge has inspired customers to redirect their dollars to Black-owned brands and shops. Since then, Beyonce Knowles has also launched a directory of Black-owned businesses on her website and partnered with the NAACP to create the Black-Owned Small Business, Impact Fund....

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Ken Walker’s Fashion Collective Is Luxury Personified

In Detroit, we’re known for our alligator prints (Mauri’s), exquisite furs (Dittrich), and admiration for Cartier frames. What was your favorite clothing brand as a child? Growing up, I liked a lot of different brands. What made me like the brands was the person behind the brand. As a teenager, I was very selective about the clothes I wore. My great uncle is Levi Stubbs of The Four Tops, so I was always involved in music, fashion, and entrepreneurship. Initially, I wanted to become a music producer with my own record label and clothing brand. I wrote all of these things down when I was 14. I went to the Detroit School of Arts for music production. I chose DSA because it...

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Voyage ATL Feature

  Today we’d like to introduce you to Ken Walker.   Ken, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.My vision for starting my clothing company, K. Walker Collective LLC in Detroit started when I was 14 years old. Every day after school I would come home and do sketches of clothes. I eagerly dreamed of one day owning my very own clothing store, right here in my city, and serving my community one outfit at a time. I spent four years working in retail while I attended college at Michigan State University. While in school, I spent 3 years working at Old Navy, a few months...

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Fashionista Feature: Why The Fashion Industry Should Be Paying Attention to Detroit

Once the "Paris of the Midwest," entrepreneurs are reviving Detroit's fashion industry with style, substance — and a little grit. Written by Erin M. Miller Mention Detroit to anyone, and the first thing on their mind probably won't be fashion — instead, they'll likely think of automobile factories and assembly lines, Motown legends or even abandoned buildings, a city on the brink of ruin. Whichever version of Detroit comes to mind, it's likely at least partly accurate: The city's varied history and parallel creative and manufacturing sectors have made it a center for continuous transformation and reinvention for decades. And right now, that's happening to its fashion scene. Last year, Tracy Reese made headlines when she announced she'd opened a studio in Detroit, where she's originally from,...

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