The 2016 Michigan Fashion Summit

Fashion SummitAs someone that wants to begin her fashion industry career in Detroit, I was beyond ecstatic when I heard that Michigan Fashion Week was hosting its first Fashion Summit this April. So excited, that I even applied to be an intern to help plan and promote the event.
Of course, I did some research on the Summit so that I could have some background information on exactly what it was, just in case I was called in for an interview. From my Instagram and Internet searching, I found that the Michigan Fashion Summit was going to be a one-day conference full of 14 unique workshops that centered around topics such as styling, modeling, makeup artistry, blogging, designing and entrepreneurship. The workshops were going to be led by industry professionals including former Project Runway contestant Char Glover, lifestyle blogger Mia Ray, international accessories designer Aki Choklat, and wardrobe stylist Marv Neal. The event seemed like it was going to be one of the most inspiring fashion events the city had ever seen, and I was determined to get involved, someway, somehow.
After sending in my information, I crossed my fingers and hoped that I would get contacted back. And soon enough, I did! The next thing I knew, I was having a sit-down meeting with Michigan Fashion Week Founder & CEO Loren Hicks, and she asked me to come on as the official Fashion Summit intern! She informed me that I was going to be responsible for making sure the Michigan Fashion Week Twitter account was updated, as well as help out with any other promotional tasks that needed to get done.
The weeks leading up to the Summit were so busy to the point that things just seemed to fly by. The team and I posted non-stop on social media, held a private VIP press & media event at Pink Pump in Bloomfield, and even set up a vendor table during Drinks x Design at the Eastern Market to spread the word and to get people just as excited as we were for the big day.
Finally, April 16th arrived, and over 120 people gathered into the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education on the campus of the College for Creative Studies. I was working the registration table, so I was able to see the eagerness and excitement on everyone’s faces first thing in the morning. From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. all of the attendees were in for a treat!
The event started off with speeches from keynote speakers Aki Choklat and Char Glover. From there, guests were able to pick and choose which seminars they wanted to attend. I still continued to do various tasks throughout the first half of the day, but I was able to sneak into one workshop before lunch!
The one I went to was entitled “Active Blogger” with Mia Ray. Mia Ray is a Detroit-native that started her lifestyle blog, “Confessions of a Glam-Aholic” eight years ago. Since her debut into the blogging world, Mia has garnered much success, and has gone on to do collaborations with ESSENCE Magazine, BET Networks, eos Products, and has even worked with a few celebrities.
During her workshop, Mia talked about the steps she took to become the “lifestyle influencer” that she is today, and how us aspiring bloggers can do the same. One of the main things she said that stuck out to me was, “You have something to offer that everyone else doesn’t…and that’s YOUR voice.”
So often, we can become discouraged because we compare ourselves to others. It is important to remember that we all have our own talents and our own points of view, and that’s what makes us special. We have to trust our voices, believe in ourselves, and take risks!
The second half of the day was filled with more workshops. The event came to a close with a panel discussion featuring some of the guest speakers. Once 3:30 p.m. rolled around, the Fashion Summit had officially ended, and I was totally in awe of how everything had panned out!
So many people came up to me and told me how much fun they had, and how they couldn’t wait for next year. Seeing all of the tweets, pictures and Facebook messages about the event were so heartwarming, and it made me so proud to be able to say that I was a part of the team.
I learned so much from interning with Michigan Fashion Week, and I am beyond grateful that Loren and the rest of the team trusted me enough to help them out. I walked away with new knowledge, a positive outlook on the Metro Detroit fashion industry, and not to mention a few new contacts!
Detroit is becoming one of most innovative and stylish places in the world. I love that we can collaborate and encourage one another. And with events like the Michigan Fashion Summit and outlets like Detroit Fashion News, I think we’re definitely on the right track.
For more information on Michigan Fashion Week and to stay up-to-date with future events, visit michiganfashionweek.com.
Written by Evann Webb
Fashion Summit
Evann Webb
Fashion Summit

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