Detroit has seen many hardships and is still undergoing a lengthy transformation back to its glory days. The city once housed a thriving music industry and is still home to the revived auto industry. In the mix of gentrification and a crumbling public school system, Detroit has birthed many entrepreneurs. One of which we would like to highlight.
This week’s #WCW is Roslyn Karamoko, CEO of Détroit Is the New Black. Located in the Midtown area of Detroit, “Détroit Is the New Black combines minimalism and high street to achieve the perfect balance of city chic. Our label is inspired by the history and resilience of the city while offering a neutral palette for a modern feel. In addition to our in-house label, we host an edited capsule of designer brands and accessories in-store. Détroit Is the New Black is a mantra for rebirth, inspiration, authenticity and culture.” – Retrieved from Detroit Is The New Black website.
Karamoko, a Seattle native, began her fashion career at Howard University in Washington D.C. She moved to New York, after graduating with a degree in Fashion Merchandising, and landed a job as a Merchandising Assistant. “Rosalyn worked her way up to hold various positions in the buying and planning divisions at Saks Fifth Avenue. After several years with the luxury retailer, Karamoko took her talents abroad, working as a retail consultant based in Singapore. Upon getting married, Karamoko and her husband returned to his hometown in 2013 and settled in the city’s Rivertown neighborhood. Karamoko recently opened her first Détroit Is The New Black shop in Detroit’s Midtown district.” – Retrieved from Forward Cities
Roslyn Karamoko when speaking to the Metro Times, says she started about a year ago. “I think there’s a new element coming to Detroit, and it’s a bit more cosmopolitan,” she says. “It’s the new hip place to be.” This statement is echoed by many entrepreneurs who were born or have settled in the D. The hustle and drive is alive as many have had to make opportunity happen for themselves, where many manufacturing plants, companies and alike had to close down during the 2008 economic recession.
The downtown Detroit area has a new look and has become attractive for many investors and entrepreneurs like Karamoko. The city still faces a long road ahead, and as many entrepreneurs have launched businesses in the city, some are unable to sustain it. Coupled with hardships and hustle, every entrepreneurs story in the D is inspiring. “Karamoko describes the store not as a “pop-up” but as a “pop-around” — she hopes to stick around, even if it’s not at this location. In the meantime, she hopes to provide more than just retail, with plans to show fashion documentaries on weekends and host other small artistic happenings.” – Retrieved from Metro Times. “The line began as just T-shirts but has since expanded to other items, from tote bags to varsity jackets to jerseys emblazoned with “1701” (you know, the year Detroit was founded).”
You can visit Detroit is the New Black at 52 E Forest Avenue. Alternatively, online at http://www.detroitisthenewblack.com