Fashion House of F.A.B. 1st year anniversary gala Harlem Nights
Last Saturday night I was invited to be a guest speaker at the Fashion House of F.A.B. 1st year Anniversary Gala. The theme was Harlem Nights. Honestly I had no clue what that was all about. I was not born and raised in America so don’t have the same historical reference. But thanks to super powerful internet and Google, I got everything I needed and just shopped within the comfort of my own closet.
For this outfit, I started with my flapper dress and my new yellow derby hat to focus on the Harlem Nights theme. By the way, you can read here for the inside story on the designer who is behind this fabulous hat. Next, I added the nude heels. I recently bought this yellow vintage coat and it just so happened to work perfectly with my hat. Of course, that was my plan all along. It’s not like fashion just happens by accident! Then the finishing touch? Simply add pearls, lots and lots of pearls. 😉
Don’t you love those fabulous women? The beautiful lady in the middle is the reigning Ms AWB US Sherlyn Fox.
I was asked to talk about the Detroit fashion industry as I see it. Below is a part of my speech.
“As my blog grew I realized I actually had a chance and ability to use it to promote Detroit area designers, models, charity events and non-profits. I believe life is fuller and more meaningful when I serve. Detroit has been down for a long time but it’s not out. More and more, I am proud to call the D my new hometown. I’ve had the chance to talk to and work with many people in the greater Detroit area and think I have started to get some insight about the fashion industry in Michigan. I’m a great believer in the SWOC (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Challenges) system and will use that to share my thoughts.”
“The Strengths I see are – a creative, passionate fashion community. You people are everywhere! I think I hear of at least one Fashion event a day. And many times there are several. I just don’t have the time to go to them all. I have met so many local talents. And just like you don’t need a special license to be a blogger, it’s also a pretty easy process to become a designer or model.”
“The Weaknesses to me are – too many people are short sighted about the future. Someone once that told me the life you are living right now is a result of decisions you made 3 years ago. I believe that. But I see a lot of people in this industry that are only looking at today. So many people want to run fashion shows but they didn’t prepare, and there was very little attention to detail or quality control. Also I see a lot that is totally money driven. Local labels want to sell more products so they cut quality to get the price down. You will not be able to compete with Forever 21, Walmart or Target.”
“The good news is that Opportunities are plenty – The area’s needs are not being met for high quality products. I have heard so many people talk about not being able to find good quality, unique designs made locally. So they had to spend more at a fancy mall. Michigan’s economy is coming back. Don’t believe me? Try finding a parking spot at Somerset Mall on any weekend! People have money and are willing to spend. I’ve visited a few high end boutiques but they seem to aim at traditional old style buyers. We need labels with a modern twist and more personality.”
“But there are Challenges – I know of no single source for all the resources we need. For example, where would you go for training to become a designer or model? There are some organizations out there but they are not always easy to find. It just seems to be a lot harder than it should be. It’s hard to find someone to help point out the way. We need more mentors and internships. I’ve seen the downside of this. The result of lacking a support system is that a lot of local talent has left the area to pursue dreams somewhere else.”
“I’m happy to say that things are starting to turn around. With the help of great organizations like the Fashion House of F.A.B. we can keep the momentum going. Thanks very much for your time and enjoy your evening!”
I think the Fashion House of F.A.B. is going to be around for a long time so plan now to attend the 2nd anniversary!
I am running a giveaway featuring $125 worth of Nicole Lee products. This is only for residents of the USA. You just need to follow Nicole Lee’s IG, My IG, leave a comment below and retweet or repost. Please tag me when you do so. 🙂
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