Jeffry Aronsson is working to build a fashion hub in Detroit.
Serial chief executive officer Jeffry Aronsson is bringing his industry expertise back to his hometown — Detroit — and is working with the city to set up a new kind of framework for fashion.Aronsson left the city in 1978 to study taxation at New York University Law School, which turned him to law and eventually work with Oscar de la Renta, where he became ceo in the Nineties. He later landed ceo gigs at a succession of brands, including Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan, Emanuel Ungaro and Ralph Rucci, sharpening his brand building and, eventually, turnaround skills.His work on Seventh Avenue gave him a reputation as an earnest, hard worker with a polite diplomatic touch — clearly he left the Midwest, but it never left him.Now he’s going back, dreaming big dreams about what the city’s fashion future might be with the support of Mayor Mike Duggan, who has been working to revitalize the city that was once a white-hot center of manufacturing but fell into decay and became a symbol for urban blight.“When I left, it was tragic,”Aronsson said. “Everything was dysfunctional, nothing worked, it was just a steady spiral of deterioration.”But he said the city is turning the corner now, “making lemonade out of lemons” under Duggan, who has been working to draw Detroiters like Aronsson back to help.The mayor inquired about setting up Detroit as a fashion hub, but Aronsson said his reply was along the lines of: “A garment district for the sake of a garment district doesn’t really make sense. Getting it done is as much an exercise of chasing cheap labor as anything else. I’d rather think about it as an apparel, fashion, luxury hub, which is a $2.5 trillion global market growing at at least 3 percent a year.”That resonated and now Aronsson is leading a committee that will present a plan in February for what he described as “transforming Detroit into a globally desirable hub for the industry.”[caption id="attachment_11010074" align="alignnone" width="606"] Jeffry Aronsson[/caption]The details are all still to be worked out. But Aronsson envisions a campus that might operate along the lines of a teaching hospital, perhaps taking advantage of the city’s College for Creative Studies and fostering the arts as well as trade skills, logistics and more.The idea, in part, is to replicate the various practical skill sets that for years kept the New York Garment District humming — from sampling to production — but are starting to fade now.However, he said he’s looking to build a more convenient center and one that reimagines the role of labor, defining it as something more than a cost center that needs to be cut.And the hub needs to pull its own weight and work on its own.“We cannot consider this to be a successful initiative unless there’s a self-sustainability that comes along with it,” Aronsson said.
@pantone announced their Color of the Year 2018: Ultra Violet. Nearly 20 months after the musician Prince’s death, fashion is having a purple moment. Varying shades of purple appeared on spring or fall runways, from @christopherkane to @calvinklein. @gucci’s Alessandro Michele bathed his fall runway in ultra violet-colored light at one point. Pantone 18-3838 is meant to “push the boundaries of what inspires us to look upward and outward to the future.” #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@badgalriri’s @fentybeauty launch in September was a massive success on social media, powering $72.9 million of earned media value, according to Tribe Dynamics. The brand’s foundation offering sparked conversations about diversity in beauty, launching the growth of emerging influencers and propelling the brand’s support on social media. Today, #fentybeauty won Launch of the Year at the WWD #BeautyIncAwards. (📷: Chema Moya/EPE-EFE)
@marianna_hewitt has become one of the most influential content creators in the beauty space, with almost 800,000 Instagram followers and a newly launched skin care line called @SummerFridays. Today, she was awarded Influencer of the Year at the WWD #BeautyIncAwards. (📸: @sophiachabbott )
As shopping behaviors evolve, the retail experience must follow. Head over to retail experts @colliersinternational’s Knowledge Leader series to read more about the shift in our shopping era. #colliersretail #lovecolliers
@prada opened a pop-up club, called Prada Double Club, in collaboration with German artist Cartsen Höller at @artbasel Miami. Last night, guests – including @youngparis, @ritaora and even Miuccia Prada herself – gathered in a former ice factory where the pop-up is housed for a performance from @wyclefjean. Go to WWD.com for full coverage on all the exhibits, parties and more at #ArtBaselMiami. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
@louboutinworld and @disney are making magic once again, creating a set of shoe designs for the release of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Louboutin designed a pair of shoes for each of the film’s four female leads: Rey (@daisyridrey), Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (@lauradern), Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) and Rose Tico (@kellymarietran). The shoes will debut on Saturday at the L.A. premiere of the latest episode. #wwdfashion
Today at the #BeautyIncAwards 2017, WWD will be joined by beauty leaders from around the world as we honor this year's most innovative people, products, brands and places. Follow along here and on Twitter for live coverage from the exclusive event. #wwdsummits (📷: @elizaflorendo)
Exclusive: Beauty superinfluencer @marianna_hewitt is launching her first-ever skin care brand with her business partner @laurengores. Their new line Summer Fridays, which will be sold exclusively at summerfridays.com starting in January, is launching with just one product – a hydrating cream Jet Lag Mask. “We wanted to focus on one product that was amazing,” said Hewitt. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Michelin star-rated chef PJ Calapa marks his first solo endeavor with today’s opening of @scampinyc –– the new Southern Italian restaurant located in Manhattans’ Flatiron District. The upscale yet welcoming environment matches the menu, which includes two types of scampi: traditional Italian langoustines in butter and the Americanized version with shrimp over pasta 🍤 - pictured here. #wwdeye (📷: George Chinsee)