BIRMINGHAM (WWJ) - At one time, cutting edge design in Michigan only came on four wheels — but that could be changing.
A nonprofit organization is out to breath new life into the cutting and sewing industry in all its forms.
Lyudviga Shneyders has operated a true fashion house in Birmingham, Michigan, for five years — where she designs, sews and sells her collection.
Lyudviga and her team design cut-and-sew custom and ready-to-wear clothing.
"So, we started out with ten perfect pieces every woman would want to have," Lyudviga told WWJ Newsradio 950's Marie Osborne. "We ended up with 26...ten wasn't enough."
Now her store is packed with more than 300 designs.
Lyudviga isn't alone in her endeavor either, said Detroit Garment Group Guild Founder and President Karen Buscemi.
"She is a great example of what our Michigan fashion community has to offer," Buscemi said. "I don't think that people really understand the talent that's here, the ability that's here."
Buscemi and her team are looking to bring attention to the industry which she said is growing faster than manyrealize. Part of her mission now is to push local talent onto the national runway.
"I would like to see regular national media attention for our designers," Buscemi said. "I would just like to see our designers become more successful, to grow their businesses and actually have brick and mortar spaces."
"How do people see what we have here? So, it's why I wear local designers so often," she said, adding that there are several Michigan designers who have already gained national fame.
Singer Katy Perry, Buscemi said, regularly appears in clothing designed by a pair of Michigan sisters under the label "Shock and Awww." And there's Jolie Altman jewelry which is stocked at many high-end New York City department stores.
Fashion aside, Buscemi said, there are many good jobs available locally in related industries.
"There are all types of cut-and-sew manufacturing here, and it's not just apparel," she said. "You have to think upholstery, you have to think automotive — it's anything from a mattress to a coffin."
With that in mind, they have began a 22-week industrial sewing and certification program.
"Really, it's for anybody who would like to have an actual trade," Buscemi said.
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