Already a subscriber? Log in
- Unparalleled business coverage of the Iowa City / Cedar Rapids corridor.
- Immediate access to subscriber-only content on our website.
- 26 issues per year delivered digitally, in print or both.
- Support locally owned and operated journalism.
If you don’t immediately equate Eastern Iowa to a premier fashion hub, you’re not alone. That’s why Andre Wright — a designer, activist and community builder behind the global phenomenon of the Humanize My Hoodie fashion brand and the Black Liberation Space in downtown Iowa City — is creating a fashion accelerator this year at the former home of Varsity Cleaners, 910 S. Gilbert St., a business that closed after 106 years last January. The goal, he said, is to build an ecosystem that builds up underrepresented voices in the community by teaching them critical skills and providing a space for community members to create. Interested participants from 14-25 years old can take educational courses at night and apply their skills in a dedicated incubator space during the day. “It’s difficult because there’s not a lot of resources here in Iowa City,” he said. “But what I’m hoping to do is change that and provide resources that have never been provided here before. I think if we can build up a nucleus…I think we’ll be shocked at how much talent we have here.”