Whether you’re front and center of every designer New York Fashion Week runway or completely indifferent to the clothes you wear, fashion is a huge part of your life. You model it, you consume it, and whether intentional or not, you permit it to speak on your behalf the moment you step into a space.

For those who create and style the art we wear, the relationship to fashion is even more intense.  At this very moment, you are wearing the tangible manifestation of a designers vision. However, that creativity and passion for fashion doesn’t always necessarily result in financial success.

Photo: Urban Content Studios

For up and coming fashion designers who are looking to make a career of their creativity, it’s about more than just creative expression. When it comes to defining their brand and monetizing their creativity, designers are often faced with one very important question,

How do I make my love for fashion make cents?

Twenty local fashion entrepreneurs got the chance to ask this and many other pressing questions to a panel of A-list fashion industry experts during today’s Fashion Mogul Challenge at the Charles H. Wright Museum.

Sponsored by Puma in partnership with the Sean Anderson Foundation, this Thursday and Friday, Big Sean is presenting the Fashion Mogul Challenge as part of his Detroit’s On Now (D.O.N.) Weekend festivities.

Twenty Detroit-area fashion entrepreneurs were warmly welcomed by Myra Anderson, Founder & Executive Director of the Sean Anderson Foundation, to participate in an engaging two-day workshop for an opportunity to design a custom shoe produced by Puma for a chance to win up to $25,000 in cash awards and prizes.

 

An invaluable component of this high stakes competition is the opportunity to network and receive personal coaching from some of the most locally and globally relevant taste-makers of the fashion industry.

Ade Samuel Magazine intern-turned-celebrity stylist, Ade Samuel began her fashion career at Teen Vogue and W magazines. The Bronx-bred, Nigerian-American stylist has since gone on to style A-List celebrities like “grown-ish” teen star Yara Shahidi, Big Sean, Jhené Aiko and Kelly Rowland. She also worked behind the scenes on Beyoncé’s “Formation” video, styled the “Black Panther” cast for the March double-issue covers of Essence magazine and outfitted “Insecure” star Yvonne Orji this past awards season.

Photo: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

Vivian Ramirez is an integral part of some of your favorite Puma brand fashion campaigns. From Rihanna to Big Sean, her attention to detail and ability to build effective marketing around individuals has yielded real and powerful returns.

Photo: Puma

Omar Rajput Los Angeles based designer, Omar Rajput is the quiet mastermind behind some of your favorite album art, including Big Sean’s, “I Decided.” With a diverse skill set that spans multiple platforms, Omar designs everything from brand logos, to shades, to high end watches and baseball caps. Omar has quickly become the go-to design guy for several artist.

Photo: omarrajput.com/

Chris Morris Detroit-based designer, Chris Morris is creator of The Dirt Label hip-hop and street wear line which features T-shirts and baseball caps for men and women. Since opening his flagship store in Royal Oak, The Dirt Label has taken off with innovative designs that appeal to those who strive to be different. 

Lil Wayne, Lupe Fiasco and B.O.B. are just a few of the A-List celebrities who have been seen rocking his brand. Morris creates demand for his popular apparel by offering exclusive inventory of only limited edition products. When The Dirt Label sells out of your favorite hat or shirt, they are gone forever.

Photo: metropolismag.com

Detroit’s creative community has produced some of the most talented and influential creatives in the world and participants in today’s Fashion Mogul Challenge are a testament to that fact. We wish all of our contestants the best of luck as they put in work, focus, and creativity over the next day and a half to make their fashion mogul dreams come true.