Behind these chic graffiti-covered kimonos and palm tree printed skirts is designer Christina Liedtke. The Grosse Pointe native has worked in fashion for the past 10 years, and always saw it as her way of expressing herself.
“I was a fairly insecure and shy child, and so I used fashion as my voice,” explains Liedtke. “I really started developing my own sense of taste and what I was looking for, and started designing clothing.”
At first, she designed luxury gowns but she soon found she wanted to design something more meaningful to her.
“I wanted to design something that really felt connected to women, and connected to what I was always doing,” says Liedtke.
Being a busy New Yorker at the time, she wanted something that was versatile, that she could wear to work, and then out on the town with friends. She was also traveling a lot and wanted to show her city pride with something a bit chicer than a t-shirt with a city name on it. So she decided to merge on-the-go wear with beautiful, artistic representations of famous cities, creating her own brand, Astouri.
Astouri sells everything from apparel to accessories. Their most popular items are their reversible dusters and versatile kimonos.
“It’s a huge curation process,” explains Liedtke. “We look at what is iconic to that city, but what we do is we look at it from an artistic perspective. We want to make sure it’s feminine, beautiful, but it’s not so city.”
Her prints rep New York, LA, and of course, Detroit.
For Detroit, she played around with the art-deco skyline, sometimes using a black and white photo, other times blending it with bright watercolors to create an abstract effect. Graffiti is another thing she showcases in her designs to represent Detroit. Her LA prints are all about the palm trees, and New York is symbolized by illustrated taxi cabs and Times Square.
Many of her designs are able to be worn in a variety of ways, to maximize use, and some are even reversible.
Her goal is to help women express themselves through fashion.
“This to me is just very meaningful because it connects with women in something that is unique, and different and special. It connects to where they’ve been, where they’re going, where they live,” says Liedtke. “At the end of the day, our mission is to empower women to tell their community stories and style.”
You can find her designs on the Astouri website.