Gucci Changemakers Impact Fund has awarded a $35,000 grant to Design Core Detroit, which will allow the design business incubator to create a platform for women fashion and accessories designers and build awareness of their work.

Design in the City will pair six emerging local designers, with an emphasis on women of color, with six local retailers to create installations and host coordinated events during Detroit’s Month of Design, an annual citywide celebration of creativity programmed by Design Core. Through Design in the City, designers will receive guidance, support and technical assistance from industry mentors and Design Core staff.

Inspired by a similar program in Graz, Austria (also a UNESCO City of Design), the program will help selected designers expand their expertise and exposure within the local community and drive increased business sales for neighborhood retailers. In 2019, Detroit’s Month of Design attracted more than 45,000 attendees, so the program has the potential to attract thousands of regional buyers to the city’s growing fashion industry.

The Gucci Changemakers Impact Fund awards grants to community-based nonprofit organizations across selected Changemaker cities, including Detroit. The funding focuses on key social impact areas, including social justice and equity; art and culture; and education. According to Changemakers Council Co-Chair, Yaseen Eldik, “Our goal is to break down barriers, particularly financial, and make fashion more diverse and inclusive.”

Design Core Detroit, an economic development arm of the College for Creative Studies, 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 locally and globally.

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