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Design Core Detroit is honored to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Detroit Month of Design September 1st -30, 2020. 

We are inviting local fashion and accessory designers to apply for Design in the City, a program made possible with support from the Gucci Changemakers Impact Fund

Design in the City - Program

Design in the City creates a platform for emerging fashion and accessory designers to showcase and build awareness of their work while receiving support and technical assistance from industry experts. The program will pair six designers, with an emphasis on women and people of color, with neighborhood retail spaces to host installations of their work during Detroit’s Month of Design, September 1st - 30th. 

Design Installations

Selected designers will receive $2,000 to create an installation that will be displayed inside a Detroit commercial business for 30 days. We are looking for ideas that push the boundaries of fashion, accessories and in-store experiences. Installations must be new bodies of work and must include the incorporation of clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry or textiles.

Who is eligible to apply? Submissions are open to emerging fashion and accessory designers. Special consideration will be given to women and designers of color. Applications open Monday, February 10th and close on Monday, April 13th at 11:59 pm.  


Six designers will receive a stipend of $2,000 each to cover materials and expenses for the creation of an installation that will debut during the Detroit Month of Design. Stipends will be distributed in four $500 increments based on achievement of program milestones. Design Core, with support from established industry professionals, will also provide ongoing technical assistance, administrative and marketing support throughout the program.

Program Criteria

Upon selection, designers will be asked to sign a memorandum of understanding agreeing to program roles and responsibilities which include: 

- Participate in program orientation upon selection

- Complete vendor approval forms as required by the College for Creative Studies

- Provide status updates upon request

- Installation must be ready for public viewing by Sept. 1st

- Installation must remain up Sept. 1st - 30th

- Installation must be taken down by Friday, October 2nd 

- Work with paired business owner to organize and host one public event during Month of Design

- Complete program survey by October 15th


Proposed Timeline (Subject to change) 

  • April: Selected designers are notified 
  • May - July: Pair designers with retail partners, provide technical assistance and coaching to each pairing to execute installation and event plans 
  • July/August: Work on fashion showcase, promote Design in the City pairings and events 
  • September: Execute the Design in the City program during Detroit Month of Design 
  • October: Reporting and tracking

2020 Curatorial Committee

  • Aki Choklat, Designer and Chair, CCS Fashion & Accessories
  • Bill Thomason, Angel Investor and Author
  • Dre Clemons, Co-Founder of Granston CGB
  • Jen Guarino, CEO and Chairman of ISAIC
  • Kiana Wenzell, Director of Culture and Community at Design Core
  • Monica Blaire, Project Coordinator, Design in the City
  • Loren Hicks, Founder and CEO, Michigan Fashion Week
  • Luke Song, Designer at Moza, Inc.
  • Tracy Reese, Designer at Hope for Flowers; CFDA
  • Antoine Phillips, Vice President of Gucci Brand Culture and Engagement

About Detroit Month of Design 

The Detroit Month of Design is annual festival highlighting multi-disciplinary design practices throughout the city. This citywide celebration gathers designers, business owners, consumers and enthusiasts to honor and recognize Detroit's role as a national and global design capital. The festival is an opportunity for makers and the greater community to experience the latest works and ideas by Detroit's top design talent. 

About Design in the City

Detroit’s dormant fashion industry is on the verge of a comeback; there are multiple new opportunities for economic growth related to fashion and merchandising. However, because this industry has been idle for the past few decades, gaps exist in the capacity and competitiveness of Detroit’s emergent designers. Design in the City will address these gaps by building connections and providing technical assistance to local designers poised to capitalize on economic opportunities coming to the region. The overarching desired outcome is to increase the inclusivity and economic opportunities for Detroit’s women and minority fashion and accessory designers by providing exposure, access to business support services, mentorship and connections to the fashion industry.

Applicants are not limited to one submission. Please fill out another application to be considered for other opportunities. 

Email questions to: submissions@designcore.org

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.