About a hundred serious fashionistas gathered at the Ford Piquette Avenue factory on Wednesday evening to celebrate the launch of Maison Black. Founded by designer Tori Nichel, Maison Black is an online retail destination for luxury fashion, exclusively featuring black designer products.
Guests were escorted in a freight elevator to the venue’s second floor for a cocktail, consisting of bourbon and macaroni and cheese. Nichel greeted everyone and explained his vision before presenting the fashion show.
“I created Maison Black to build an ecosystem that fosters design excellence and the creativity of black designers,” she explained. “I want to create a destination of discovery where products designed by Black are accessible around the world. Our mission is to serve the black designer community to create access, exposure and longevity in the fashion industry.
To pay homage to the city that gave them their foundation, six established black designers came to town to showcase their off-season collections at a runway called “Manhattan to Motown.” The featured designers, all from Detroit who now live and work in New York City, included APOTTS (Aaron Potts), Kevan Hall, N’Gai by Nicole King, Isaiah Hemmingway, Truth by Sharryl Cross and S. McGee Collection by Shawna McGee.
The show was full of energy and thrilling. Innovative and varied designs were showcased, from cool, fresh and relaxed looks by Nicole King to the dazzling red carpets created by Kevan Hall.
“Showing a collection on Maison Black is a great opportunity to showcase black excellence to a global audience,” said Hall. “For those looking for a stellar design take on high quality fashion and accessories, they don’t need to look anywhere else. Maison Black presents a beautifully curated selection of black design talent.
Following the runway show, the creators of “Manhattan to Motown” and their collections will be available for purchase in a three-day pop-up shopping experience Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Shinola, 441 Canfield Street, Detroit.
Chuck Bennett is a freelance writer and Fox 2 Detroit Style Ambassador.