Ever since he first heard of Lansing becoming the home of a premier fashion incubator, Brian Town has had designs on stitching together a clothing line. And as the founder and CEO of Michigan Creative,
Town is well acquainted with start-ups and the entrepreneurial culture of Lansing.
"It's been a while in the making," says Town of fashion line he's launching through his marketing company. "We'd been thinking how cool it would be to have a shirt or a piece of clothing that was made right here in Lansing that you could wear anywhere."
Beginning in August, Town's Freshwater Apparel will be part of the inaugural class of The Runway
—Lansing's fashion incubator, retail and production space in the renovated Knapp's Centre. Town will run business operations and some retail through a 200-or-so square foot office, while design, production and manufacturing of Freshwater Apparel will take place off-site through Lansing's Fashion Proto.
Town says Freshwater Apparel will offer high-end T-shirts and other casual clothing items and will float two shirts for starters. The shirts, Town says, will be comfortable, stylish, and made with cotton and bamboo. The idea, he says, is to create T-shirts that are suitable for wear about town or on a casual workday.
"It's a fancy T-shirt, and not your typical 'I love such-and-such' kind of thing," says Town. "We'll work with Fashion Proto to make a couple 100 for starters."
Town says he plans to add other clothing items to Freshwater Apparel once they are up and running. Customers will be able to purchase shirts through the Knapp's Centre location or on-line. Town's hopes are that Freshwater Apparel will grow and become a stand-alone company with up to 10 employees.
"My first thought always comes to jobs," says Town, an avid supporter of the buy and make local movement. "Lansing has been known for manufacturing for years. So whether it's fashion or something else, the more we can make it here, there's no reason why we shouldn't."
Source: Brian Town, Owner, Freshwater Apparel
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor