Andre Wright will open the Wright House Of Fashion in Iowa City in May 2023. It is an educational space for underrepresented populations to learn about the fashion industry.
The Iowan Daily spoke with University of Iowa alumnus Andre Wright about the creation of the Wright House Of Fashion and the opportunities it will bring to Iowa City.
The Wright House Of Fashion will be located in the building previously owned by Iowa City Varsity Cleaners. It will open to the public in May 2023 and is the first educational fashion house in Iowa City.
Wright spoke about his experience in fashion, the projects he is currently working on and the future of the Wright House Of Fashion.
The Iowan Daily: What is your background ? How did you create the Wright House Of Fashion?
Andrew Wright: I went to school [at the UI], got my BFA in graphic design, and then worked for an American company. Then I started creating brands, my most recent being Humanize My Hoodie. I’ve done a lot of local and national fashion shows, from fashion shows in the back alleys of Iowa City to closing down full streets.
DI: You mentioned having conversations through fashion. What messages are you trying to spread in the community right now?
Wright: What I have done is use fashion as a voice for social change and to deliver various political messages. I also used fashion as a way to showcase the joy of black and indigenous people from the different collections we introduced.
DI: In transition to the Wright House Of Fashion in particular, what are you going to do with this space?
Wright: Our mission is to empower underrepresented populations using design, art and sustainable practices as agents of change. We currently have a partnership with Warner Music where children have the opportunity to participate in a 12 week course where they learn various graphic design techniques. Then they learn about merchandise, marketing, e-commerce and supply chain. From this information they are able to design for an actual artist on the Warner Music roster.
Essentially what Wright House Of Fashion will be is a fashion accelerator where you can go in and practice fashion. So if you wanted to create a brand and sell it from this building, you would be able to do that because we will have a dedicated incubator space that everyone who is part of Wright House will have access to.
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DI: How did the artists who come to sell their works get involved?
Wright: There is a link on our website where you can register to be part of it. We’ll be live in May 2023. Right now, in the plan we have, people will be in a graphic design and fashion merchandising accelerator, and they’ll also be in a financial education accelerator after they graduate from these two programs. They will have access to an incubator space where they can test their products before putting them on the market. We are essentially building a fashion ecosystem.
DI: What are you excited to bring to the Iowa City community?
Wright: There has never been a real fashion house that focuses on developing and creating brands. So my plan is to lead the way and pioneer something of this magnitude here. My goal is just to try to make sure people are clear about who we are and what we do and that we’re here to be part of and support the community.
Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.