Don Hayes has a new vision for Cleveland's fashion industry, and the design coop that he's building in a renovated factory on the near west side is helping to make it real by spotlighting young, local designers.
"The fashion scene in Cleveland has a lot of potential," he says. "There are a number of designers here, but people aren't necessarily aware of them."
Recently, Hayes launched Design Lab Inc.
, a fashion co-op consisting of three separate companies: Cloud 9 Boutique, Project Model Academy and Cloud 9 Event and Royal Wedding Planning. Cloud 9 boutique showcases 11 local designers.
In a former torpedo factory off of Clark and West 33rd with exposed brick walls and lofted ceilings, Hayes and another designer create and sell clothes on site.
"You can literally watch clothes go from the sewing machine to the rack," Hayes says of the 2,500 square foot space, which is at once a studio, office and store.
Hayes also partners with Collinwood High School to offer interns the opportunity to work in the fashion industry. "You don't have to leave Cleveland to be successful, and it's helpful to have a mentor on that journey."
Source: Don Hayes
Writer: Lee Chilcote