A Mark in Fashion

Vanessa Denha Garmo

Vanessa Denha Garmo

The day before our photo shoot for Ink Detroit, I read a local column in a local paper posing the question: How many t-shirts does Detroit need? The premise was that Detroit t-shirts have outlived their purpose and stopped being clever or endearing. 

I found it oddly timed for our cover shoot. We were excited to feature Steve Mansour’s line of clothing, which is a production proudly promoting Detroit. At first, the column made me feel a little deflated but then I reminded myself that her piece was her opinion and not our opinion and knowing a local Chaldean guy has been quite successful with his business project since he launched in 2005, was worth featuring on the cover story as we focus on fashion in this issue.

We always challenge ourselves to look for different angles to already told stories both in mainstream media and in our publication. Whenever I travel in and outside the country, I buy something with that city’s name on it. In every city I have gone to, there are shirts for sale promoting the city. I have t-shirts and sweatshirts from Las Vegas, New York, Chicago, Charleston, Cancun, Mackinac Island and that is only a few. 

I am still wondering if I missed the writer’s point in that particular piece but I move on happy with our spread on Ink Detroit displaying photos by Alex Lumelsky. We staged them at Eastern Market. Thanks to all of our local models, including CN’s Christen Jamoua, Nick LaFave, Dominic Kassab, Alexa Shaba and Zena Samaan.

Day two of our photo shoot took place at a local school’s playground. In that session, we feature five kids and two dogs. Miré and Zander Manna with Pasha and Gustav Lumelsky and dog Liam and Elayna Garmo with her puppy Oreo. 

Steve is not the only entrepreneur finding success in clothing materials. Sean Jonna sells a variety of fabrics that his customers transform into a variety of pieces including wedding dresses, pillows and drapery. 

Ashourina and I visited Fabric Land on Woodward to take photos and hear his story. She writes that piece for this issue. Women are making their mark in the fashion industry as well.

Monica George co-owns a quaint shop in Franklin Village that features an array of accessories and Bridget Sagmani has held shop in Birmingham for years featuring her own fashion items. 

Our fashion spread also includes our Chaldean on the Street question and a piece on teen fashion from Renna Sarafa.

Fashion is really about expressing oneself. I have never really had my own fashion identity. I usually take photos of clothes and text to my sisters for approval. My fashion statement is more about comfort than flare. 

Although not a fan of body piercing and tattoos, they are becoming more common among the millennials. Our own millennial Ashourina Slewo with her own tattoos and piercing pens the piece on tattoos. 

If I ever get one myself, it will be of a cross when I visit the Holy Land. It will be my official fashion statement – marking me as a Christian. 

Alaha Imid Koullen
(God Be With Us All)
Vanessa Denha Garmo
Follow her on Twitter @vanessadenha
Follow Chaldean News on Twitter @chaldeannews