LOUISVILLE, KY (August 30, 2016 ) It’s a long way from Louisville’s Portland neighborhood to New York City’s Garment District. But Louisville is about to take a step that could move it a bit closer to the Big Apple’s long-thriving fashion industry and its designers, artists and other creators.
It will happen at a new fashion design hub called Louisville Bespoke that will be developed at The Design Terminal in the heart of the up-and-coming East Portland Warehouse District. Entrepreneurs Yamilca Rodriguez, Gill Holland, and Lisa Kahl-Hillerich are behind the creative initiative that’s set to open in 2017.
“A city creates a fashion mecca with collaboration between members of the community. Artists, designers, dreamers and even local government,” said Rodriguez, who is the designer and creator of Louisville Bespoke.
In essence, Louisville Bespoke will be a collaboration of shared resources for fashion design and manufacturing opportunities. The partners appreciate Louisville as a vibrant, modern city that welcomes diversity, creative talent, entrepreneurship, and fashion.
“There are many people here looking for a way to get into the fashion industry. Our goal is to help them do that,” said Lisa Kahl-Hillerich who is developing a special line of jeans that will be designed at Louisville Bespoke. She hopes to someday manufacture her jeans in the Portland neighborhood.
The group is eager to have others join them. Louisville Bespoke’s vision is to attract the region’s finest local fashion designers, makers, entrepreneurs and artists to create exposure and excitement around the great talent and resources of the fashion industry in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. The goal is to develop a thriving fashion industry in Louisville that will generate economic development. They’ve selected a location that is quickly evolving and expanding with other economic growth.
“The Design Terminal is in the heart of the East Portland Warehouse District, a growing hub that already features Louisville Visual Arts, Tim Faulkner Gallery, many artists’ studios and the upcoming U of L MFA building,” said entrepreneur and developer Gill Holland. “Louisville Bespoke will be a fantastic addition to what’s going on in Portland.”
Rodriguez is excited about what the effort means for the entire city.
“Coco Chanel once said, ‘Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.’”
Rodriguez and her partners say a lot will be happening at The Design Terminal and Louisville Bespoke in the coming years.