Detroit art you can wear

By Lauren Podell - Reporter

DETROIT - If you love Detroit, why not wear it?

ArtWear Detroit takes iconic posters, paintings, photography from legendary Detroit artists and transforms the images into functional-art handbags, clothing, accessories and housewares.

"It's about honoring art and artists that define Detroit," said company owner Susan Rogal.

The wearable art comes in T-shirts, dresses, purses, backpacks, swimsuits, watches and more.

"When I talk about our products, I say it's about the tag, not the bag," Rogal said. "The tag is what teaches the buyer about the artist. It includes their photo, story behind the image, their website."

Muralist Kate Paul is one of the featured artists. She was born in the United Kingdom but has called metro Detroit home for the last 20 years. Her work can be seen on the walls of the Royal Oak Children's Library and Gilda's Club.

"I would have never considered it. I'm an artist, I don't know anything about fashion," Paul said. "Susan contacted me while I was working on Gilda's club and showed me some examples, and I said, 'Why not?' She transformed my work in ways I never imagined. I think the paintings mean one thing when I create them, but now they might mean something entirely different to someone that's wearing them and that's special."

Rogal said the goal is to keep art alive, give artists the chance to keep doing what they love and introduce the art to new eyes.

"The buyer is going to promote the artist, talk about Detroit, and that's what we want," Rogal said. "We want to get in on that positive vibe one bag at a time."

ArtWear Detroit can be found online at DetroitUrbanDesignStudio.com and at Art Is In Market at Twelve Oaks Mall and Partridge Creek.

Featured ArtWear Detroit artists:

  • Carl Lundgren: illustrator, known for 1960s-era rock posters
  • Darcel Deneau: painter
  • FEL3000ft: graffiti artist
  • Gary Grimshaw: illustrator, Grande Ballroom posters
  • Kate Paul: muralist
  • Leni Sinclair: Detroit Rock and Roll Photojournalist
  • Michele Lundgren: photographer

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