Living up to the standard is typically the way of the world but for some it came harder and started earlier. Dwayne “Wayne” Daniels grew up in Detroit and attended Detroit Public Schools. As the only child, Daniels grew up feeling like he was the odd child out with no friends. Not knowing what beauty was at a young age, Daniels assumed it was being skinny, because most people were. Known as “Fat Kid” by his classmates, Wayne was often bullied and teased for being overweight.
Michigan is home to the original car capital of the world and the classic Motown sound, but Michigan is slowly but surely developing an industry in the fashion world. Fashion Instructor at Lansing Community College Sarah Hegge said, “Michigan is in a tough spot, it definitely doesn’t get the recognition for fashion that it could, but the industry here is definitely growing.”
The establishment of places like the Runway in downtown Lansing and the Michigan Fashion Proto in Lansing help fashion designers build their brand in a state where establishing a fashion line may have its challenges. “The Fashion Proto puts the (fashion) industry in Lansing,” said Rebecca Clark, owner of Michigan Fashion Proto. “When I opened, this was the only resource for designers.”
The MFP, located on 735 E. Hazel St. in Lansing and founded in 2010, specializes in helping start-up fashion lines grow.
A new retail showroom, The Runway, seems to be opening doors of opportunity for Michigan residents. The Runway is a Lansing Economic Area Partnership-funded program for aspiring designers, and is located in the heart of downtown Lansing in The Knapp’s Centre at 300 S. Washington Square. According to the Runway website, designers must first go through the application process in order to get involved. An employee of the retail showroom, Meleena Herring, said that the program is a fashion incubator that is meant to help build the economy, but also provide help to young entrepreneurs by building their business in Michigan. “We do provide the designers opportunities with industry professionals to where they can schedule office hours and get one-on-one business consulting type thing—and we have people from the fashion industry as well as other business professionals in the financial arena, legal help as well,” Herring said.