Working from home
A look at some other Columbus designers
who are staying local
Label: Clothes for Us
"Hard to fit" means nothing in Mary Wood's world. That's because after years of searching for fashionable, flattering plus-size clothes in frustration, she decided to make and market her own women's line. Wood hopes to expand Clothes for Us' classic workwear separates to men and people with disabilities. Her pieces are available at Faze on Lane Avenue.
She doesn't have formal design training; her design ideas come from her own experiences and those of others. And she's always loved creating. "My Barbies didn't go on dates or anything like that," she said. "They washed their clothes and ironed their clothes."
Most Columbus customers know Homage from a design that took over the sidewalks on Saturdays last fall: heather-gray tees stamped with a scarlet "Ohio." But Vesler's also got tees that pay tribute to throwback personalities, teams and logos, all designed to look like your dad wore them.
"What makes it vintage and cool is that it's slightly imperfect," Vesler said. "People feel like they're buying something unique." Vesler reaches back to the decades before he was born for ideas, and ships off all orders himself with a set of retro trading cards. The tees are also available at plenty of area shops.
Amy Dalrymple Murphy
AmyD is movin' on down. Down to Clintonville, that is. Amy Dalrymple Murphy, crafty creator of T-shirt skirts and apron "beer holsters," opened a shared storefront at 219 E. Arcadia Ave. in August.
She'll be unveiling some new shirt, jacket and vest styles at a fashion show at Liquid this Friday, which will also feature other designers' work modeled by the Ohio Roller Girls. "I love vests, and I wore them in the '80s, and I'm so glad they're back," Murphy said.
Jermaine Jenkins, Darrell Hunter and Andre Wilson
Two of Jwork's main men served in the Army, one returning with a Purple Heart. They're team players, and once back in Columbus, they vowed to bring the city up. They're doing it through fashion, producing a line that launched this summer and organizing shows and events to promote their peers.
"The way we see it is, if we bring the notoriety to the region, we can shine then," marketing officer Darrell Hunter said. Jwork and the newer LadyJ labels feature limited-run painted jeans and printed tees. The main character is a warrior king, and a line of robot-themed T-shirts are hot right now, Hunter said. Some should be in area boutiques beginning next month.
After about 20 years of sketching and, later, sewing, Voszi Douglas gave up. And that's when she made her defining discovery. "It didn't take me long to get sick of [patterns], and I figured since I already had hundreds of drawings I would start trying to make my drawings without the use of patterns, buttons or zippers," Voszi said.
Now she's been making her unstructured designs, which include casual and dressier styles for men and women of all ages, for 26 years. "I like mixing prints and patterns together," Douglas said.
Label: Systematic Manipulation
Jody Krevens doesn't dream of people wearing her one-of-a-kind pieces around on the street or finding them on store shelves. Her Systematic Manipulation works blur the line between fashion and art more than most in an effort to comment on society's interest in things like plastic surgery.
Krevens' first pieces were strictly machine-like contraptions, worn by identical-looking models. Her more recent work took things in more of a fashion direction, using junkyard finds like rubber and metal to create artistic outfits. Her work will again be featured in an early spring fashion show.
Label: Jwork Limited
Label: Voszi Designs