I love Detroit. Always have, and always will.
I left for awhile, but I tattooed a star on my right hand (which serves as a map of Michigan) to remind myself to always come back. <3
People, places, things -- we always return to what we love.
Rachelle Haruska, the founder of Lingua Franca did the same. She learned and developed a love of embroidery from her grandma Rita, growing up in Nebraska, and later in life in an effort to combat anxiety; she started stitching her favorite hip-hop lyrics on cashmere sweaters. Love!
At Detroit Blows we also love that she and her brand are part activists, part rebels -- utilizing fashion as an entry point for a conversation on mass production, consumerism, and antiquated systems of power. Sophia, Katy and I have been longtime fans of Lingua Franca's sustainably-sourced, fair trade cashmere sweaters, and had a fortuitous run-in with Rachelle at the Fashion Tech Forum in New York, where we pitched our idea.
Our dream was to develop a limited edition fashion collaboration, to benefit our philanthropic efforts, that was cut and sewn in Detroit, using ethically sourced American cotton, and embroidered with the passion and protest that embodies the Lingua Franca brand. We wanted to make a sweatshirt that leaned into our favorite parts of Detroit’s story -- we wanted it to be our love letter to Detroit.
Dreams become things, and we have a lot of people to thank for helping us build this one. A big thank you to Josh York and the team at York Projects, for being such incredible collaborators on the physical manufacturing. Your commitment to your sourcing, talent development and community reinvestment practices, make you not only a leader in this space, but a really fun collaborator. Thanks especially for your patience as we iterated on fit -- and worked towards our goal of making a sweatshirt that not only fits in the shoulders, but also the hips!
With the support of our community, clients and partners we have had the tremendous opportunity to award over $30,000 in grants since we launched, Detroit Blows, and are proud to announce that 25% of the profits of our limited edition Detroit Blows x Lingua Franca collab, will flow directly into Detroit Grows -- continuing the mission of supporting women and girls in the Detroit community.
Finally, I want to give a special thanks to Babs, Kayla, Lillian and the entire team at Blows, for helping us bring this campaign to life.
There's so many things we all love about Detroit, and we look forward to sharing our stories, and those of others in our community.
From Detroit, with love,
Co-Founder & CEO