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Detroit Garment Group Guild Partners with The Pink Fund to Create Costumes for Dancing With the Survivors Event


Detroit Garment Group Guild (DG3), in partnership with The Pink Fund, have selected seven Michigan fashion designers to create dance costumes for seven breast cancer survivors participating in this year’s Dancing With the Survivors event, created by The Pink Fund.


The seven Michigan designers are: Coral Cheyenne Bowron, Bridget Sullivan of Bridget Sullivan Designs, Akosua-Panin, Claire & Shawn Buitendorp of Shock and Awww, Emma Witte, Stephanie Jasinski of Stacey Jaye, and Mariella Amador of Mariella Fashions.


Dancing With The Survivors is a signature fundraising event in conjunction with Fred Astaire Dance Studios to benefit The Pink Fund. The evening celebrates breast cancer survivors who thrive in their recovery and make a difference in the lives of other cancer patients. This year’s event takes place at 6:30 PM, October 2 at Art Van in Novi.


The seven selected designers will receive two types of education. First, Evan and Lada Mountain, owners of Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Bloomfield Hills, will instruct them on designing dancewear. Then, the designers will get an education on breast cancer and the challenges of designing for women with various issues related to their cancer, including mastectomies, prosthetics, scarring, swelling and more.


Each designer will be randomly paired with a dancer, whom they will work with all the way through the process until the day of the event. The designer will learn about his/her dancer’s individual issues and concerns, and the type of dance she will be performing. The designers will be given a stipend of $250 each to create their costumes. All costumes will be auctioned off to raise additional funds for The Pink Fund. Each designer will also receive a ticket to the event, a $100 value.


Stay tuned for blogs and photos from each of the participating designers!



Designer Bios









































































































































Mariella Amador


Shock and Awww


Bridget Sullivan


Emma Witte

Akosua-Panin is from Detroit. Though artistically gifted before birth; she has been creating clothing designs since around the age of 15. From a young age, Akosua-Panin has created eye-catching drawings; from remarkable portraits to still life. Subsequently, she has continued to use her gift in drawing as an apparatus toward her skill in fashion design. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Fashion Design & Merchandising at Wayne State University, all while establishing self-titled work named, Akosua-Panin. She has found herself focusing on a chic/intricate aspect of dress, while concentrating on maintaining an idiosyncratic appeal by utilizing textiles, patterns and playful uses of color. Chic meets eccentric meets WOW. Her garment creations are hanging works of art!

Bridget Sullivan is a graduate of the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. She has worked as a tailor, corset-maker, and as an embellishment design intern with Diane Von Furstenburg in New York City. She is currently a fabric designer at Lear Corporation, while simultaneously designing her fashion line, Bridget Sullivan Designs. Sullivan's garments are made from recycled and eco-friendly materials. They have been featured in the Huffington Post, as well as Glamor, StyleLine, Ambassador, and Ellements Magazine. Grammy-Award winning musician Esperanza Spalding has performed in Sullivan's designs in five countries and three continents. Her collection can be seen at

Emma Witte is a senior at Michigan State University studying Apparel and Textile Design and will be receiving a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in May 2015. She first became interested in pursuing a career in design at the age of 12, when her mother brought her to a local craft store for a sewing class. Once she finished a project, she didn’t want to stop! Since then she has had the opportunity to show many of her avant-garde garments in exhibitions and fashion shows in Michigan. Her designs are built around incredible shape and the juxtaposition between interesting texture and unique fabrications. Inspired by the use of complementary opposite materials, every piece creates a bold, mysterious, exciting vibe. She is very excited to be a part of The Pink Fund’s Dancing with the Survivors event and interfacing with the outstanding talent of the other designers and dancers.

Shawn and Claire Buitendorp are identical twins living in Mid-Michigan. Although they have totally different personal styles, hence the name Shock and Awww, they share a mutual love of fashion. After obtaining their Associate’s Degrees in Fashion Technology, they headed to New York City to intern with one of their favorite designers, Betsey Johnson. Along the way, they discovered their passion for creating custom stage-wear outfits, and have been fortunate enough to have Katy Perry, Betsey Johnson, NERVO, Little Mix and Teen Vogue’s Andrew Bevan wear some of their designs. The twins have been featured in major fashion publications, such as Teen Vogue, Nylon Magazine, Elle Japan,, Women’s Wear Daily and in the Dylan's Candy Bar Christmas windows. Now, after finishing their Bachelor's degrees in Entrepreneurial Business from the University of Michigan, they are ready to head back to New York in pursuit of their dream to dress music’s most established stars and up-and-coming artists.  

Coral Bowron is a senior at Western Michigan University, studying textile and apparel design where in 2012, she helped found the Student Design Showcase. This organization allows textile and apparel students to gain experience and further their skills through participation in design workshops, fashion shows, photo shoots and various fundraising events. She is also affiliated with The Living History Experience, a Civil War reenactment and historical costuming group based out of Kalamazoo, Mich. She works as a Junior Designer for Indigo Soul, a women’s ready-to-wear company based out of Grand Rapids. This past summer, she worked as a costume design intern at The Circle Theatre, where she assisted in productions of Don’t Dress for Dinner, One Man Two Guvnors  and A Sleeping Beauty Somewhere in Time.  After graduating this spring, she plans on relocating to Los Angeles to further pursue my studies in costume design at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.

Mariella Amador is an award-winning, published, driven and innovative designer, whose talents and qualities go beyond basic composition. A Latina from the land of Honduras, who earned her Bachelor’s in Fashion Design from the international Academy of Design and Technology in Detroit, she loves haute couture pieces and styles that stand out. Her mother instilled in her the love for color and shapes in clothing, as she would faithfully sew Amador’s ensembles growing up. The designer’s pleasure is in the blueprint of ideas, pattern making, draping, sewing and altering the garment, and at the end Amador provides an unmatched eye for a sweet and edgy style that commands attention.

Stephanie Jasinski is the founder and lead designer of Stacey Jaye LLC,a diverse company involved in a variety of fashion, art, cultural and social entrepreneurial projects. Stacey Jaye creates progressive, adaptive and avant-garde clothing, jewelry and accessory designs – as well as hosting educational workshops on organic textiles and eco-boutique events. As part of the Stacey Jaye vision, designs, services and projects are accomplished mainly through collaboration with individuals, companies and organizations. "Together We Go Forward As One."

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