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Style Spotlight: Lindsey Alexander {Detroit Garment Group}

Detroit fashion maven, Lindsey Alexander, shares her insight into the growing industry of fashion in Detroit. Read about her journey into the fashion world and what she loves about Detroit.

{SS}: Can you share with us your brief career background and how you got started in Fashion? la1

{Lindsey Alexander}: I went to school at Wayne State University and received a Bachelors of Arts in Fashion Merchandising. During my time there, I needed an internship to graduate, and a classmate told me that Chi Chi and the Greek in Waterford was a hiring intern. Well, I started interning there and it was amazing; I was relearning everything about vintage clothing, merchandising the store, and getting great career and life advice while doing all of it. Towards the end of my internship at Chi Chi and the Greek, I mentioned to Kelly Johnson, owner of Chi Chi and the Greek, that I loved writing and I was interested in working for a fashion magazine. She gave me Karen’s email address and told me to email her my resume that night.

A day or so later, Karen emailed me back, asked for writing samples and a few weeks after that, I started my internship with Karen at StyleLine in January 2012. I was thrown right into writing the Local Designer Spotlight and Local Look, and creating a master list of all of the local designers in Michigan. During my time there, I assisted in photo shoots and product shoots, was lead stylist for three fashion shoots, created and posted content for social media, and once I became Karen’s assistant, I helped with the layout of the magazine, came up with subjects for various magazine features, and scheduled monthly writing and photography assignments, among other things. During all of this, Karen started DGG, and I immediately wanted to help with that. So I did. And it was (and still is) great.

Once the magazine folded, I started working full time with DGG. Since we only have a staff of two, my responsibilities vary from day to day. My first role being a full-time employee at DGG was Style Factory. I wanted to create a fashion-news blog to keep those interested informed about the fashion scene here in Detroit. The Local Designer Series anla4d Industry Spotlight features were created to help spread the word about the local talent we have, and we just rolled out a new feature called Style It Local, to highlight local fashion bloggers in the community. Other responsibilities include creating and posting 90% of our social media content, research to create comprehensive spreadsheets for the local fashion and cut-and-sew industries, coordinating and assisting various events DGG puts on, including FashionSpeak, the recent DDF Design Village, the 2014 DIA/DGG Fashion Show, and 2014 DIFFA Dining by Design Fashion Show, just to name a few.

Outside of DGG, I’ve been doing freelance writing, and freelance styling with Vera Bradley, Buick and Ford.

{SS}: What inspired you to pursue the career path that you are on today?

{Lindsey Alexander}: I just really love fashion. Everything about it. I love how you can take one shirt and wear it 10 different ways, or that you can create completely different looks by just changing a few details to an outfit. When I was just going to school for fashion and not working in the industry, I would come home from work, get in my “comfies,” grab a cup of tea and just sit in my bed and browse fashion Tumblrs and blogs, read magazines – anything that was fashion related – for hours la2because I just craved it. I needed to explore the fashion world, and that’s why I went to school for fashion, which put me on the path that I took to where I am now.

{SS}: What do you love about your job?

{Lindsey Alexander}: I’m always doing something different. Of course, I will always have my daily to-do list, but since the start, we’ve always been doing different things in the local fashion and cut and sew industries, so it’s refreshing to have a variety of things to work on and new things to learn about throughout the weeks.

o-ANNA-WINTOUR-INSTAGRAM-facebook{SS}: Who inspires you in the business world?

{Lindsey Alexander}: Anna Wintour. Hands down. I’ve read her biographies, I have done a ton of research on her and I find her to be everything I aspire to be. Intelligence, decisiveness and ambition are the three things I admire most about her, however, I also love that she’s strong in her practices in beliefs. For example, the people at PETA have harassed her for years because of the use of fur in her wardrobe and in Vogue. They have thrown red paint on her, they have protested outside of her events, and every time it has happened, Anna is as cool as a cucumber. I read a story about how protesters were outside a Vogue Christmas party, and she sent out a plate of rare roast beef to them. I mean, regardless of your fur preference, you have to admire her for sticking to her guns and not giving in to pressure from the organization.

About DGG:dgg

{SS}: Give us some background on DGG?

{Lindsey Alexander}: DGG started because, working at a magazine, Karen was running into a lot of local design professionals who were experts in their craft, but lacking expertise on the business side of things. DGG’s first initiative was FashionSpeak, and it’s Michigan’s only conference for the fashion industry.

Another program we started was the Industrial Sewing Certificate Program, and we partnered with Henry Ford College M-TEC, SEMCA Michigan Works! and local cut and sew manufacturers to do that. Since its start in October 2014, we have had five graduating classes, and this year we have partnered with Lansing Community College, Grand Rapids Community College and St. Claire County Community College to take the program statewide. During the 180-hour program, students of the program will learn how to operate industrial sewing machines, the basics for working in a production-style setting and everything from how to sew handbags and watch straps, to car seat covers.

la5A program we have rolling out this November is the Fashion Design Incubator. This program is for local designers to take their collection from an idea to having it produced and sold. The designers-in-residence, which have been announced and are up on the website, will have access to the necessary tools (industrial sewing machines, software, etc.) and mentorship to create their line, and to have the business sense to back it up and make it successful.

Another initiative we are working on is Detroit’s first Garment District. Right now, are fashion community is so spread out, and this would really enhance and bring everyone together. In New York, designers have studios within the garment district and can walk down the street to look at fabric, then to the manufacturer to see how their collection is being made and even have a photo shoot nearby, so they aren’t lugging racks of clothing all around the city. That’s what we want to do for our designers, and other members of the fashion community, in Detroit.

{SS}: People don’t necessarily put “fashion” and “Detroit” together – do you think, that assumption is changing? DGG is at the forefront of this change – can you give us a few examples or success stories?

{Lindsey Alexander}: I think people don’t put the two together because we don’t have a centralized area for people interested in the local fashion industry to really see it. That’s why we started DGG’s blog Style Factory, the @detroitgarmentgroup Instagram, and the @detroitfashionscene Instagram. These are great resources for people who are interested in discovering Michigan’s talent, and to shop local.10569017_438099586333268_7207697431906995950_n

A few great success stories include local designer, Jolie Altman. She is a jewelry designer who sells her jewelry out of Theory, Anthropologie and Bergdorf Goodman. Milliners Luke Song and Gena Conti sell their hats all over the country, and Aretha Franklin wore a Luke Song for her performance at President Obama’s inauguration. Michigan-native Ann Yee lives and works in New York now, and creates incredible collections shown at NYFW season after season. And, that’s not all, there are many more designers from Michigan who have set out to create an incredibly successful story for themselves. It’s inspiring.

FS{SS}: Can you share with our readers what FashionSpeak is?

{Lindsey Alexander}: FashionSpeak is a one-day conference covering the business of fashion. Five industry professionals come in for 90-minute workshops to talk about various aspects of the fashion industry.

This year, we have Roslyn Karamoko leading our Career Discovery: Buyer workshop. Kim Banat from FirstMerit Bank is talking all-things money: how to get it, what to do with it and how to make more of it. A team of Taubman employees will be coming to talk about what it really takes to open a store. Freelance Production Manager Kristen Deryck is speaking about Production 101: How to get from idea to I did it. And, finally, our keynote speaker for the day is fashion designer Kevan Hall.

Tickets for the event are $40 and include all workshops, a continental breakfast, lunch, after party and goodie bag. It’s a great place to learn about the business of fashion and to network with the local fashion industry; anyone from students to professionals can attend the event.

{SS}: What are some of the highlights from past years?tracy-reese

{Lindsey Alexander}: I’d say the biggest highlight was having Tracy Reese as our keynote speaker for FashionSpeak 2014. The fact that she agreed to speak at the event was enough for me, but then when she was actually there, she had so much good advice to give to our attendees.

{SS}: What are you MOST excited about FashionSpeak 2015?

{Lindsey Alexander}: Other than the conference itself, I’m most excited to see who comes to tla3he conference. I love meeting new people from the local fashion industry, and I love seeing what everyone is wearing – it’s a feast for my eyes.

{SS}: What does this event bring to the community of Detroit?

{Lindsey Alexander}: I think the event empowers attendees to keep Michigan’s talent in Michigan. Not only are the guests learning about the business of fashion, but also the networking that goes on is invaluable. You never know who you’re going to meet at the event, whether it’s a new friend or a potential coworker/employee/boss – it’s all worth it.

Now onto your personal style…_0139_Eaudhadrien-edp100ml-711367120095_Z_2

{SS}: In regards to your personal style, do you have a signature accessory? 

{Lindsey Alexander}: The one signature thing about me is my scent. I always lather up with the same lotion when getting ready, and when I wear perfume (I’m running out, so now I’m using mostly for special occasions) it’s always Eau D’Hadrien by Annick Goutal. People may not remember what you’re wearing or what you say to them, but they will always remember how you make them feel and your smell.

miroslava{SS}: A few items in your “Styleshack” A.K.A closet that you can’t live without?

{Lindsey Alexander}: I can’t live without jeans, lace bras, bulky sweaters and my leopard print flats – they go with everything.

 

{SS}: Who inspires your style?  Favorite Style Icon?

{Lindsey Alexander}: I’m always inspired by the “model off duty” look and minimalist looks. My style icon is a combination of Jenna Lyons and Ashley Olsen with a little of Miroslava Duma thrown in the mix.

 

{SS}: Style Archetype?

{Lindsey Alexander}: Classic. No surprise there.

classic

{SS}: Please pick your current favorite items on Styleshack?love2-278x392

{Lindsey Alexander}: 27 Miles Maliby Cashmere Sweater Kimono Guys N Gals

Autumn Cashmere: Long Cardigan SHE Stores

Sw3 UK Sleeveless Vest Guys N Gals

Classic Cross Body Clutch Zarkpa’s Boutique

{SS}: Favorite fashion, lifestyle, food or business blog (or share all of them)

{Lindsey Alexander}: I get so much inspiration from Tumblr. My top three favorites are Fleur (afashionhouse.tumblr.com); Karl Lagerfeld messaged you (mrs-petite.tumblr.com); and Looks Like White (lookslikewhite.tumblr.com). For fashion blogs, my go-to’s are Man Repeller, Olsens Anonymous, and A Pair & A Spare.

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{SS}: Favorite “local” boutiques?

{Lindsey Alexander}Chi Chi and the Greek, Lost and Found Vintage, Rococo and Lexi Drew are my favorite local boutiques. I can always find something I like when I go to any of those hot spots.

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{SS}: Favorite fashion social media app or social media site?  

{Lindsey Alexander}: My favorite social media app for fashion is Instagram. You can find the best stuff with a simple click of a hashtag, but as far as fashion-specific apps go, I love Polyvore. I will spend hours putting together outfits and mood boards on that thing.

Aliza-Licht-Header

 

{SS}: Currently reading….

{Lindsey Alexander}: Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht

 

 

{SS}: Favorite Shop(s)?Central-102.0

{Lindsey Alexander}: Zara, Nordstrom and H&M.

{SS}: Favorite restaurant in Detroit?

{Lindsey Alexander}: Hot Taco, Shangri-La in Midtown for all-day Dim Sum, and I’m totally loving the new Central Kitchen + Bar.

{SS}: Words to Live by? 

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Learn More About Detroit Garment Group:

dgg

http://www.detroitgarmentgroup.org/


 

FashionSpeak 2015

October 15, 8:00 am to 7:00 pm

One Woodward Detroit

Get your tickets NOW 

http://www.detroitgarmentgroup.org/#!fashionspeak-conference/c16dz

FS

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