Design in the City Winners

Design Core Detroit has selected the winners of its new Design in the City competition, made possible by a $45,000 grant from Gucci as a part of its new Changemakers Impact Fund.  . Design Core Detroit was awarded the grant in recognition of their work leveraging Detroit’s UNESCO City of Design designation in order to stimulate inclusive economic growth in the city. Thanks to additional support from Bedrock, the program expanded to additional locations downtown. Design in the City installations will be on view September 1-30, 2020 during the 10-year anniversary edition of Detroit Month of Design.

Design in the City is a platform for emerging fashion and accessory designers to showcase and build awareness of their work while receiving support and technical assistance from an industry advisory council made up of local and global leaders in fashion. The program paired twelve fashion and accessories designers–prioritizing women and people of color–with commercial spaces to host installations of their work. These boundary-pushing installations will help activate unexpected spaces across Detroit.

Designers are also offered business and marketing support, mentorship, technical assistance, and distribution opportunities. Technical assistance includes direct access to industry expertise, financial management and capital readiness training, pricing strategy coaching and market research. 

Additionally, the program includes a trunk show and pop-up experience taking place September 12-30 in three locations on Livernois, Detroit’s historic Avenue of Fashion. Up to ten additional designers will sell their merchandise and will receive business support and education from Design Core Detroit. Participating locations include Simply Casual, Art in Motion, Jo's Gallery. Two additional pop-up experiences will be hosted downtown by Bedrock.



Designer: Donovan Dewberry
Location: WeWork | 6001 Cass Ave | Detroit, MI 48202 

With a BFA in Illustration and a minor in Fiber Textile Design from the College for Creative Studies, Donovan Dewberry designs fashion accessories that live between a world of commercial accessibility and high-end couture. Donovan’s installation will take viewers on a visual journey of the design process. See how a fashion designer brings their work to life from illustration, to experimental draping, to the final product. 

Designer: Cristin Richard
Location: Lisa Spindler Studio | 1520 Woodward Ave | Detroit, MI 48226

Cristin Richard is an artist and researcher with an extensive background in exhibitions and experience in the fashion industry.  This installation will connect her work with the natural world to question its relationship with the human being and nature itself. A multi-level composition of mirrored pedestals, plexiglass boxes containing soil and grass, topped with translucent skin-like handbags made from sausage casing, provoke self reflection and what a sustainable future really means.


Designer: Katherine Johnson
Location: The Kitchen, by Cooking with Que | 6529 Woodward Ave, Suite A | Detroit, MI 48202

As an experienced curator, Katherine Johnson will create an installation that will include a screen-printed series reflecting the disparities in death rates of African Americans during the novel Coronavirus pandemic. These ideas will be expressed through figurative motifs and words printed on healthcare attire and PPE (personal protective equipment) such as: doctor's coats, masks, scrubs, shoes covers, gloves, dividing sheets and even hazmat suits. 


Designer: Kristina Beaty [image]
Location: Playground Detroit | 2845 Gratiot Ave | Detroit, MI 48207

As an African American woman born and raised on the East Side of Detroit, Kristina has absorbed the culture of the city since birth and gravitated towards the art of hair sculpting in high school. Experience this installation where she uses hair as a medium to create fine art. Kristina has expanded her creativity to exist beyond a head-form onto canvas and three dimensional sculptures. She creates intrinsic shapes and breathtaking textures using the art of hair sculpting.


Designer: Nabeela Najjar [image]
Location: Detroit Center for Design + Technology | 4219 Woodward Ave | Detroit, MI 48201
As a graduate from the College for Creative Studies with a BFA in Fibers and Textiles, Nabeela is a costume and fashion designer inspired by dreams with a heavy emphasis on nature.  Nabeela will work with garments and florals to transform a space into something ethereal and unexpected.

Designer: Nneka Jackson [image]
Location: Coup D'état | 3044 W Grand Blvd, Suite L-460 | Detroit, MI 48202

As part of Detroit’s art/ fashion community over 10 years, Nneka Jackson specializes in creating body adornment that inspire. Nneka will be designing an #afrofuturism display using wearable art, movement and sound to create different personas of people who look like her in the future.


Designer: CCS FAD GRADUATES / College for Creative Studies [images]
Location:  MM-O-DD at Collected Detroit | 2439 4th St, Detroit, MI 48201

College for Creative Studies Fashion Accessories Design Department will be showcasing the work of five recent Fashion Accessories graduates. The displays will be located in a clean gallery setting, putting the graduates’ work on center stage.

Featured designers include: Amineh Ahmad, Heron Robinson, Mariana Sanchez, Evan Sparrow, Tori Abrahams


Trice Clark
Location: Bedrock Location - TBD
Trice Clark is a self-taught artist who was referenced as Detroit’s Handy Woman by CBS. Trice has worked for local Detroit music festivals like Afro Future Fest and Kindred and created backdrops for brands like Footlocker and Bumble. Her Hue is an installation that will promote the celebration of Black hair. Using weaving techniques to create oversized fiber art made of braiding extensions, the installation will mimic different textures to show the inclusiveness of all of our different hair types. Made possible with support from Bedrock.


  • Aki Choklat, Designer and Chair, CCS Fashion & Accessories
  • Dre Clemons, Co-Founder of Granston CGB
  • Loren Hicks, Founder and CEO, Michigan Fashion Week
  • Antoine Phillips, Vice President of Gucci Brand Culture and Engagement
  • Tracy Reese, Designer at Hope for Flowers; CFDA
  • Luke Song, Designer at Moza, Inc.
  • Bill Thomason, Angel Investor and Author


  • Kiana Wenzell, Director of Culture and Community, Design Core Detroit
  • Bonnie Fahoome, Director of Business Programs, Design Core Detroit
  • Jessica Malouf, Sr. Marketing and Communications Manager, Design Core Detroit
  • Cydney Camp, Business Program Manager, Design Core Detroit
  • Monica Blaire, Project Coordinator
  • Ackeem Salmon, Technical and Creative Assistance


The Gucci Changemakers Impact Fund is a $5 million grant fund, distributing $1 million per year over the next five years, to support 501(c)(3) non-profit community organizations that are focused on three areas of impact: social justice and equity, art and culture, and education. The Changemakers program has selected nonprofit partner organizations in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto, and Washington, D.C., providing up to $50,000 in grant funds for a one-year funding cycle per selected organization.

Design Core Detroit champions design-driven businesses and their role in strengthening Detroit’s economy. It offers services to strengthen, grow and attract design businesses, increases market demand for design services, and tells Detroit’s design story both locally and globally. Design Core is the steward of Detroit’s UNESCO City of Design designation and is a part of the College for Creative Studies. 

Web: | Social: @designcoredet | Hashtag: #DetroitMonthofDesign #DetroitCityofDesign 

**Graphic featuring garments by Nabeela Najjar of SeamstressBee and models Jenna Ode and Kendall Hall. Photo by Christian Najjar.**