Brian Heath: The Fashion Renaissance Man

man of many talents, there's a shortlist of things Brian Heath can't do. He's closing out the year and beginning the new one with several projects going, such as making a documentary and a short fictional film, teaching film workshops, working on photography projects and painting pieces for an upcoming art exhibit.

While constantly expressing himself through different media, Heath's work takes him to different parts of the world. But for a Renaissance Man, the Renaissance City is home, and it's here that he founded Detroit Fashion Week, a mainstay in this multitasker's schedule.

"I wanted Michigan to look at fashion as the billion-dollar industry that it is," says Heath. Since 2004, his Detroit Fashion Week organization has hosted fashion-related events, culminating in one week of runway shows, presentations and parties.

Three-to-five designers from around the country are featured in every show, unveiling spring and summer urban, ready-to-wear, evening and bridal couture collections. Although Heath patterns his fashion week after those in New York and Paris, he doesn't limit the organization limited to fashion shows and parties. His initiative includes educational components.

Coming up on eight years, the event has launched many careers, for both designers and models. "We've done pretty good, for what our goals were, " Heath says. 


Recently, Heath has been involved with the state in an initiative to take Michigan's fashion scene to the next level, creating a 12-month plan for designers and manufacturers to produce  "more of an actual industry atmosphere." He and his staff are also working with schools to start programs that will teach industry standards to students. 

"We do a number of things that the major fashion weeks don't by enriching and educating the community," Heath says. "It's what we do all year round that touches people."

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