(Photo by Stephen Babcock)
From protective boots to plus-size fashion, Maryland manufacturing had its night on the catwalk.
On Thursday at Federal Hill’s American Visionary Art Museum, the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland (RMI) brought together products from more than 25 makers across the state. Then, they let 23 models from the local business and economic development community strut their stuff on a runway set up for the night’s proceedings.
The Maryland Made to Wear Runway Show was one of the most creative takes we’ve seen on a networking event over five years, and there was plenty of delight. It also served a goal: to show off some of the products that are made in Maryland and contributing to the economy. From big brands to up-and-coming studios, it showed Baltimore has plenty of style, and brought the wearables from industry-focused production floors into the spotlight.
Drawing more than 200 people, it was also a first-of-its-kind event for RMI, with director of outreach and events Stacey Smith, who joined the organization in the fall, heading up the planning
“The vision of this event was to demonstrate that manufacturing matters to Maryland’s economy, and I think we successfully did so via a rather nontraditional and exciting way,” said RMI President Mike Galiazzo.
Here’s a look at some of the products on the runway:
Sassy cyclist + SewLab USA + WhitePaws RunMitts
- The three brands combined to show off a scout pack, mittens to keep fingers from getting overheated and cycling jerseys and pants.
- The Baltimore city company’s bags are made “from scratch,” and use natural dyes.
- The Baltimore city biomedical and IT company founded by Dr. Jayfus Doswell brought tech to the catwalk with the iVEST training system and the CAMMRAD system, which is the basis for augmented reality-powered eyewear devices for military folks that are manufactured in Baltimore.
- The hydraulic equipment maker out of Anne Arundel County brought the Spreader 5000 series. It’s a rescue apparatus for spreading (think: opening a car to save a trapped victim). With accessories, it can also pull.
- The Laurel-based clothing maker specializes in wearable art, selling to upscale boutiques around the country.
Fashion Spa House
- The Harford Road clothing brand makes a line of vegan hair and skin care products.
Mylk and Honey Clothier
- Tiffany Rice founded the Baltimore city brand to bring more fashion to market for the “young, hip, plus-size woman.” With home sewing and fashion school, she became a plus-size women’s swimwear designer.
YBI African Apparel/Boutique
- The Park Heights line was founded by Yeshiyah B. Israel, who created a line of African clothing that’s designed to be travel friendly and offer a way to wear heritage with pride.
COVERGIRL + Dunlop Protective Footwear
The night’s most unexpected combination showed the versatility of Maryland’s manufacturing sector. Makeup from boutique collections of COVERGIRL, which has local operations in Cockeysville, combined with boots from Dunlop’s Chesapeake line, which heralds out of Havre de Grace.
Hager + Gore-Tex + LewRox Enterprises
- Three brands, one outfit for performance: Howard County’s LewRox Enterprises brought the coating SunGlo, while Cecil County’s W.L. Gore & Associates showed off Under Armour apparel made using its product technologies. Washington County’s Hager Watches kept mechanical time in style.
- The Baltimore County company specializes in apparel identity, creating insignia and logos for organizations like the Girl Scouts, Ralph Lauren 2020 Olympics training wear and Major League Baseball.
Ethereal and Grace
- The luxury plus-size fashion line from Baltimore city featured the Imahia Dress, a head-turner from designer Alexis Walker that brought plenty of “oohs” and “aahs” from the crowd.
Made in Bmore Clothing + Tsao Baltimore
- Baltimore brands united to bring together a clothing brand that runs a program that engages Baltimore youth in the fashion and apparel industry at the E.M.A.G.E. Center, and a watchmaker that puts the city’s history at the center.
- The Baltimore-based clothing maker showed off the Angelique bamboo dress collection, designed with fashion and sustainability in mind.
Stevensville’s Paul Reed Smith Guitars has provided instruments for some of the world’s biggest musicians. On Thursday, one guitar brought the night to a rocking finish.-30-
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