Joe Faris, a Project Runway alum and metro-Detroit designer, has taken a first step towards establishing an apparel industry in southeastern Michigan with his new line, Motor City Denim Co. by Joe Faris, made entirely in his home state.
The line for men and women will include jeans, skirts, dresses, western shirts, T-shirts, outerwear and accessories. Branded “Industrial Couture” by Faris, the collection will mix high-fashion elements with industrial edge, such as an evening dress made of denim. The line, which will be ready for wholesale October 1, will begin arriving in stores in early 2011.
By partnering with TDIC, Inc., the designer and manufacturer of protective robotic covers for more than 30 years, in Sterling Heights, all it took was minor retooling of existing machinery, plus a couple of jeans-specific machines, and the factory was ready for production.
Faris added Taylor-based Arrow Uniform as his denim-wash facility, plus local screen printers and embroiderers to create an all-Michigan production team.
The partnership with TD Industrial Coverings, which took six months to establish, was the culmination of 10 years of planning for Faris, which switched into high gear when he landed on Season 5 of Project Runway, in 2008, finishing in the top 6 of 16 contestants, which ended with his collection on the runway at Bryant Park in New York.
Faris, who has designed for several brands, including Bugle Boy, Ralph Lauren, Pelle Pelle, Perry Ellis, Schott NYC and Made In Detroit, moved closer to his goal of a Detroit garment industry by co-founding Fashion In Detroit, a multi-show runway event, which made its debut last year.
“One of the goals for Fashion In Detroit was to put a spotlight on this area and get automotive companies to realize they can gear part of their business toward local fashion designers, giving them the ability to make their garments here,” Faris says.