By Stacey DuFord

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), in partnership with the Detroit Garment Group Guild (DG3), would like to hear from local fashion designers interested in participating in a competition in conjunction with the museum’s upcoming Samurai: Beyond the Sword exhibition, which opens March 9, 2014.

 The competition is called “Beyond the Armor” and designers will be asked to create a complete outfit inspired by Samurai garb. Interested designers should submit an electronic portfolio of their work (at least 10 designs) to Karen Buscemi, President of the DG3, at by January 31. Preference will be given to designers from the tri-county area and to those with a demonstrated history of high-quality work.

 The DIA and DG3 will select 10 designers, who will be invited to tour the exhibition this spring and create a complete outfit inspired by what they see. The cost of materials will be provided and DG3 will oversee the designers as their inspirations become reality. Selected designers will be notified by February 14.

The designers will post blogs and/or vlogs while they are creating their works. The finished looks will travel to three community locations for local exhibitions, culminating with a fashion show, where the winner of the design competition will be announced. The winner will be selected by the community’s preference, and will receive a special prize, which will be announced during the fashion show.

 “Beyond the Armor” is the third edition of the museum’s “DIA Inspired” program, which asks participants to use the museum as a source of inspiration and to create works of art based on what they see during their visit.

 Samurai: Beyond the Sword explores the world of the Japanese Samurai. Broadening the stereotype of the warrior, the exhibition explores the role of the military arts and the importance of Samurai’s engagement in the cultural, spiritual and art worlds of their time.

DG3 is a nonprofit that provides education and opportunities for Detroit’s fashion community and beyond. Educational programming ranges from an annual fashion conference focused on the business of fashion, to an industrial sewing certification program, coming this fall. For more information about DG3, visit



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