Technically, yes, St. Louis has many many fashion houses. As do most towns with enough population to sustain a few sports teams. These houses are no Valentino or Chanel, but everyone started somewhere. It was fun to talk to these companies because they’ve all been asked with incredulity, “Why St. Louis?” and “Will you move when you get bigger?”
Well, one is big enough to have bi-coastal stores and the rest featured have international clientele. Yet all seem mysteriously happy with the Midwest. I’ll be honest, I’m not from here and I thought I’d be on the first flight out after three years, but 10 years later I’m still here. I dream of leaving for the right opportunity, maybe, some day (who knows Oprah might need a new next best friend), but I wouldn’t leave for just any opportunity. The cost of living is great, there’s seriously cool cultural pursuits, great indoor and outdoor art exhibits and stellar live events ranging from world-class opera premieres to street festivals.
So I’ve said all that to say that there’s a lot of inspiration here. Something art and fashion houses thrive on. Flaws, yes, the town has got a few, but don’t we all. I could have written this same piece about any major non-fashion city, but it’s with some pride that I tout the metropolis of my residence.
Sometimes, people critically ask, “Why are you still there?” As if I must have made some really bad life choices to end up in St. Louis.
My response is always the same, “I like it here.”
Read the full story on a single page here: St. Louis-based fashion houses are underestimated but no less ambitious. Yep, I wrote that headline and it applies to me too.