Economic Challenges In Fashion Give Birth To Unique Co-op Project

By, Alvita Lozano-Frankie

This project is an example of an economically creative way to jumpstart cooperative volunteer projects with a specific focus. In this case, ‘FreeStyle In Detroit” along with a team of socially progressive up and coming talent have joined forces to do three things: Volunteer their time and skills, Celebrate Fashion in Detroit, and build a collective body of portfolio work.

The event: “FreeStyle In Detroit Fashion Portfolio Jam Session” was a one time event organized by Alvita Lozano. It is an all volunteer cooperative team consisting of A Fashion Stylist (4 Stylist Assistants), Several Models, a team of Hair stylist, A Makeup Artist, Several photographers, and an Art gallery owner. All participants have little or no professional experience in Fashion.

The idea for the project was inspired by a need to build portfolio work with no income to make it happen. “In the Detroit Metro Area and more commonly around the country there are so many of us in the same boat. I volunteer in various capacities for a lot of reasons, the most important to me are to meet people and help others. This project is an outgrowth of that same desire; I see a need to develop volunteer projects in the community. I was hopeful that those who participated would do so for the same reason understanding that this was a unique opportunity to help others and do something extremely creative.”

This event has allowed small business owners to collaborate with those of us who have creative skills (who are looking for work or looking to increase work opportunities) to build new opportunities. The team is developing Fashion photo shoot experience, new professional networks and a unique body of “Fashion Portfolio Work.” All team members will receive digital copies of the best shots for their individual portfolio use.

“FreeStyle In Detroit” is a social media brand and the work of Alvita Lozano. She has a website (un-used but reserved for future projects), blog, Facebook Fan Page and a Twitter account by the same name. “FreeStyle In Detroit” is a blog Celebrating Fashion and Personal Style In the Detroit Metro Area. This Blog includes feature stories of everyday creative people from a wide range of backgrounds working in different capacities with a fashion focus. It also includes short editorial pieces on Sociological aspects of Clothing.

This is an “Idea” that any industry can use to build new networks of creative volunteer work.

“In this City in this Recession, creative visionaries think outside of the box opening new doors not climbing old business structures. We need to work upside down and build new teams of people to move it forward. It seems everyone is vying for corporate sponsorship and government grant money which is great however I say use what we have and that is creative talent, time and the power of unity. Let’s not wait on some kind of “Deliverance”, let’s push together, create the swell in Detroit and put it on the International Fashion Map Grassroots Style. That is what “FreeStyle In Detroit” is all about.”

FreeStyle In Detroit Fashion Portfolio Jam Session Team Members
Alvita Lozano: Stylist/Event Project Manager – “FreeStyle In Detroit”
Monica Bowman: Art Gallery Owner/Curator, “The Butcher’s Daughter”
Hair Stylist:
“Salon Rehe”: Heather Rehe and Lisa Curry
Stylist Assistants:
Kaley Hedric: Jewelry Business - “R.U.B.Y, by Kaley Hedric”
Ryan Gumbleton: Fashion/Design Student
Audrey Azar: Student
Camille La Montagne, Fine Artist/Makeup Artist
Shannon McCarthy: Vintage Stationary Business Owner – “Comfortably Lovely”
Trish Nguyen: Student WSU
Merlin Elsner
Sean Doerr –;
Josh Laub
Props: Private Collection, “Vogue Vintage”, and “Council Thrift Store”
Wardrobe and Refreshments Sponsor: Eric Frankie - Labor Law Practice

For interviews, photos or more information please contact Alvita Lozano at