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Wound Menswear

Detroit, MI 48216

Sarah Lapinski

You have written that Detroit needs a fashion district to help grow its fashion industry. Is this something best done with local government sponsorship, a la TechTown, or allowed to happen organically?
A little bit of both. I really see a need for consultation, such as 'Oh, you want to manufacture? These are the steps you need to go through.' They don't teach that at the schools. I would love to have a collective here with a lot of equipment that is privately owned.

You said you did some labor organizing in college. How do you go from labor organizer to entrepreneur?
I have always been a little snot. I have always been able to take care of myself and knew what to do. I knew eventually I needed to be my own boss. But I do like to help people improve their lives. I don't like to see the establishment keep things mucked up.

What should we be doing to make sure we keep more of our fashionable innovators here?
There has to be sales and quality product. You have to have product to sell and someone to sell it to. This is a fine place for your HQ. There's no high rent. You have the freedom. I have never met a more talented and creative bunch of people.

The Urbanophile Blog says we should embrace the Detroit brand instead of saying things like southeast Michigan because the Detroit brand is so strong. Do you agree?
I totally agree. Anywhere you go in the world people know about Detroit. They have respect and love for Detroit. They know what's coming out of here, and they appreciate it. My labels say Made in Detroit. That's a big selling point.

Name something you wish Detroit would do that other major cities that have reinvented themselves have done?
I don't know. I feel like we're doing a lot of it right now with the Art Prize in Grand Rapids and having the nice riverfront and Critical Mass. There are some great little grass roots things going on here.

What is one of the things that attracted you to Detroit that flies under the radar and how could we turn that into an asset to attract more people like you?
You have to be a self-starter. You can work at a restaurant until you make your little money so you can start your business. We need to keep the low-cost of living. I don't want to see the Russell become expensive and locking people out.

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