Detroit Garment Group was founded by Karen Buscemi in 2012. Detroit Garment Group was started as a response to the need for education and opportunities for Michigan's fashion community to thrive as an industry and keep our talent in the state.
Mentorship, Jobs, Education, Networking
Our goals are to teach our fashion community what they need to know to succeed in this industry, find them the jobs they need to stay in the state, provide them mentorship to grow as entrepreneurs, and host networking events to come together.
DGG Board of Directors
DGG Founder & President; Executive Committee Chair
Karen Buscemi is the Founder and President of Detroit Garment Group (DGG), a registered 501(c)(3) public charity, providing education and opportunities for Michigan's fashion community.
She is also the CEO of Detroit Sewn™ - a full-service cut-and-sew manufacturer. Detroit Sewn™ was born to fill a hole in Southeastern Michigan’s fashion industry – a lack of full-service cut and sew manufacturing.
A professional writer, editor and marketing expert, she has also authored three novels and two non-fiction titles.
Lians Jadan, DGG Vice President
Lians Jadan is known throughout the world as a creative photographer and visionary whose passion for the visual image is lush and unique. His career began in high fashion, having editorials appearing in distinguished publications such as Vogue Italia, Prim, BG, Hint and StyleLine magazines. His experiences and collaborations have nurtured his wide range of styles, including advertising, beauty, lifestyle, motion, portraiture and still life.
He has since moved on to become one of the leading consultants in the creative industry, including film and advertising, building relationships with fellow talented innovators allowing him the ability to make any production come to fruition. Always with a generous smile, grace and devotion to the task at hand, he travels the world with intense dedication for every aspect of production, including music and art, creatively matching his client's overall vision and needs. Lians continues to live in Detroit with his beautiful wife Monica and their two daughters, Lareina and Stella.
Carlotta Tutt Holloway, DGG Secretary
Carlotta Tutt Holloway has held media buying and planning, account management, and events and shopper marketing positions at international companies such as A&E Television Networks, Carlson Marketing, and GlobalHue. She develops, presents, and implements brand integrated marketing, digital, traditional and social media, traditional advertising, and event strategies for such high-level clients as Walmart, Chrysler International, General Motors and the United States Navy.
She regularly provides educational, special event, and marketing and promotions volunteer services for such organizations as the Charles H. Wright Museum, the Mosaic Youth Theatre, Build Institute, and other national and civic special projects and events. She has served on the boards Detroit Garment Group, Living Arts Organization, and National Coalition of 100 Black Women, National Association of Negro Business Professional Women Club, National Association of Women Business Owners, Michigan Association of Female Entrepreneurs, and Blacks in Advertising, Radio and Television.
Kia Gist, DGG Treasurer
Achea Gist, better known as Kia, has always loved food, design, and Detroit. After getting a degree in Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management, the native Detroiter moved back to the city and started an event planning company, Ke Event Designs, focusing on logistics and design, for a variety of events, such as themed vignettes, corporate meetings, wedding planning, and private special events. Wanting to be a part of something bigger, she began working with a multitude of community organizations including but not limited to serving as the Community Chair for Detroit Synergy and overseeing their event Shop Detroit.
In the last year Kia has taken her love for design and special events and has created her own home accessories line. This line features designs that speak to her Native American roots, which is imbedded in the details of her pillows, throw blankets, and table liners.
Rachna Chandra is an entrepreneur, fashion designer and philanthropist. Her designs can be found at her boutique Taj Cottage, located in Farmington Hills. She is a Lead Industrial Sewing Instructor at Zaman International, where she has developed a federally approved sewing program for underprivileged women to learn a skilled trade. She has worked as an Adjunct Faculty at Henry Ford College and spearheaded the Industrial Sewing Program there. She also has worked in the automotive industry, designing soft trims for automotive interiors. Her philanthropic side includes co-founding the non-profit Detroit Indian Women Association, and acting as Vice President at Glamorous Mom’s foundation. She also sits on the Advisory Board for digital magazine The Indian Scene. In 2020, she completed a successful mask mission, with the help of 45 volunteers, sewing and donating over 11,000 homemade fabric masks.
Rachna lives in Novi Michigan with her husband and 2 children. She enjoys traveling and cooking.
Lori McGhee-Curtis is the Vice President of Specialty Leasing at the Taubman Company where she has been employed for 21 years. She oversees a sales team that leases temporary deals for inline stores; kiosks; carts; Emerging Brands and Pop opportunities. Lori opened Emerge at Twelve Oaks offering opportunities to local entrepreneurs. Lori started her career as a Marketing Assistant in Virginia and transitioned to the role of Management Assistant. She also held the additional roles of: Jr. Specialty Leasing Agent; Specialty Leasing Agent; Regional Director and Group Director prior to her promotion this year. She loves fashion and working with entrepreneurs on their dream of owning their own business!
Lori was born and raised in Virginia. She is married to Philip Curtis and they have a blended family of five children. Lori an her family reside in Lake Orion, Michigan.
Lauren is thrilled to be part of Detroit’s fashion community. After working for several years in New York, Chicago, London as a wholesale rep for for fashion designers like ABS By Allen Schwartz and Buffalo Jeans, she launched Lauren Elyse Consulting. Lauren has an ability to identify and create innovative partnerships for brands, designers, and organizations. She focuses on identifying growth opportunities, generating leads, and building global relationships between manufacturers and retailers. Lauren uses her experience with ethical production/sourcing, trade shows, product sales, brand development, and national vending to aid her clients.
When she isn’t helping other business owners navigate the fashion industry, Lauren loves to travel the world expanding her contacts and production lines. Lauren assists with Refuge for Nations, an ethical clothing brand that empowers immigrants through sewing and educates women about artisan fashion and textiles.
Max Schmidt is the founder of 1701 Bespoke, a custom menswear boutique based in Detroit that specializes in custom made suits, shirts overcoats and tuxedos. He’s been active in startups and entrepreneurship after graduating from Michigan State University with a B.A. in Advertising in 2009 and joining a small tech company that operated in Chicago’s 1871 startup incubator. There he grew the company from 5 recurring business subscriptions to 5000, gaining the confidence to start to strike out on his own. After returning to Detroit in 2013, he co-founded 1701 Bespoke, which started as a pop-up shop in Detroit's Campus Martius and now operates out of a 2700 sq foot loft in Detroit's Midtown.
Now focused on developing the manufacturing community, he has started his own clothing manufacturing company called Commonwealth Sewing Company that helps local companies by private labeling button up shirts, providing contract cutting services, and developing training for the local work force with a bare-bones industrial sewing bootcamp.
Linda Schlesinger-Wagner is a Michigander who was inspired to create skinnytees™ in 2009 when she noticed that women of all ages were looking for simple, sleek tops and there was an untapped market for body conscious yet stylish options that made women look and feel sexy. Being a fashion insider for more than 30 years, she immediately knew how to perfect and market the effortlessly chic original skinnytees™ camisole that experienced instant success and an overwhelming retail reception right out of the gate. Forever young, Linda began her fashion career when bell bottoms were still in style (the first time) when she opened Rainbow Lollipop, a high-end children’s boutique. Shortly after, she started Annie’s Antics, a children’s knitwear company and Annie M Designs, a women’s knit line. She has been actively involved in all spectrums of the fashion industry ever since with experience in retail, design, manufacturing, wholesale sales, styling and consulting. When she is not working hard to make women feel sexy in their clothes, she spends her time giving back to non-profit organizations such as Make-a-Wish-Foundation.