The Fashion Lab is a combination of professional and educational opportunities promoting community, collaboration and connection within the fashion industry.
Meet Our Fashion Lab Residents
Michael Drummond, Lisa Hu, Retta Leritz Tussey, Everett Eugene Johnson, Ronke Faleti, Dianne Isbell, Paulie Gibson, Dillon Eisman.
Fashion Lab Professional Membership Program
More info coming soon!
Email Audra Harrold, Program Manager,
Michael Drummond is a veteran of Project Runway season eight whose client list includes actress Tika Sumpter, New York Fashion Week founder Fern Malis, and Heidi Klum. Largely self-taught, the multi talented artist works as a fashion design consultant and textile designer for SKIF International, produces his own line of clothing under his given name Michael Drummond, and is a commercial stylist for print and film. In his work, he seeks to marry practicality and dramatic design. Drummond loves large scale prints, delicate knits, simple comfortable shapes, deconstruction, and a dark palette. Rather than creating a new collection twice each year, he designs by building on a concept that could take three years to come to fruition. This is a process akin to creating a narrative and allows Drummond to choose a more thoughtful and approach to clothing design with an end goal of creating interesting, timeless clothing that will work in his clients’ wardrobes for years to come.
Dillon Eisman is the Founder & CEO of Sew Swag Inc., a 501(c)(3) that upcycles damaged clothing for homeless youth with the mission to reduce textile waste and restore the confidence of those in-need. Originally from California, Eisman currently studies at Washington University in St. Louis where he plans to expand his fashion nonprofit to benefit the local communities of Missouri.
Ronke Faleti is accustomed to change and being a change agent. At 11, Ronke emigrated from Nigeria to Texas with her family to pursue education. After college, Ronke moved again to Florida to pursue a leadership role with JPMorgan Chase and again moved to Saint Louis in 2008 and worked with Wells Fargo Advisors. Ronke’s top talent theme is being a change agent and creating things that didn’t exist before. It’s no wonder that in 2018, Ronke took on the challenge of creating a line of timeless carrying bags to match the fluid timeline of the modern working woman. Ronke created Korédé, a brand that’s dedicated to women who choose to not bifurcate their identity by carrying a bag with interiors unique to the day ahead. Korédé means “bring goodness” - our goal is to be a catalyst of goodness bringing to communities of high achieving multi dimensional women. Korédé is everywhere online at @shopkorede or www.shopkorede.com
Paulie Gibson created a contemporary menswear brand organically & passionately inspired by men in his everyday life. "There is a commonality in all of my close relationships, that allow me to create for very different people - who're all going to the same place." Paulie launched his first sellable collection under his label with a showcase with local organization RAW: Artists. Simultaneously, Paulie Gibson was selected for the Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging designer program, where he was purchased by retail giant Zappos.com. While in Phoenix, the brand began to garner the attention of celebrity stylists in Los Angeles, and within two weeks he had his first showing at STYLE Fashion Week, Los Angeles. The following season the collection returned to SFW where he completed his second showing which was filmed & featured on America’s Next Top Model Cycle 20. In addition to ANTM, Paulie Gibson has been worn to the Grammy’s, VMAs, movie premieres, music videos and published in numerous publications. Paulie hopes for his brand to have a global reach while maintaining a STL home base.
Lisa Hu struggled to find just one bag stylish enough to show off and functional enough to get her through her day. She left her position as a finance director to fulfill that need-- a need that she now understands is shared by so many women-- and founded Lux & Nyx. Focused around concepts of luxury, functionality, and eco-friendliness, Lux & Nyx bags are designed to get the busy woman from the gym, to the boardroom or a plane, and out to dinner with friends without having to think about how she’ll carry it all. Each bag is handcrafted with high quality materials, including Lux & Nyx’s exclusive flexible and weather resistant Freedom Fiber, as well as upcycled leather. Sustainability is a key component of the brand and goes hand in hand with maintaining a luxurious, minimalist look. Lux & Nyx has been featured nationally in Forbes and locally on Fox2, St. Louis magazine, and more.
Dianne Isbell, founder of HATS by DI-Anne, and National Award winning Milline, encapsulates her ever-present grace and elegance in each of her one-of-a-kind designs. A highly sought-after and highly-respected hat designer, Dianne has many notables in her career, including New York Fashion Week Winner, "Best of Show" designs at St. Louis' Annual Forest Park Forever Hat Luncheon and at the Naples, Florida Botanical Gardens Hat Luncheon. Dianne has had a design selected for a year-long display in the Kentucky Derby Hat Museum and has had the pleasure of designing for Lady Gaga and the President George H. W. Bush family. Her brand is not only available in St. Louis, but also in Naples, Florida, and Lexington, Kentucky.
Everett Eugene Johnson is a creative artist from East St. Louis. While Fashion Design was the path he was purposed to travel, an unintended detour led him to the field of Hairdressing. Johnson was catapulted into the industry when his parents gifted him a business requiring him to quickly become a responsible entrepreneur. Johnson is one of the most renowned stylists in the St. Louis metropolitan area for almost 30 years. His services have been sought after across the breath and width of this country, allowing him to work collaboratively with many industry talents and serve as mentor to various St. Louis area stylists. Despite Johnson’s success, life experiences prompted various business transitions in an attempt to fill an unidentified void. During this time, Johnson experimented with various textiles and hardware, leading to the creation of mixed media jewelry. Johnson has produced one of kind pieces that have been sought after and admired by many. Johnson has gone further in his fashion design pursuit, once again, with the creation of a handbag line Liza B. The name pays homage to Willie B. Taylor, his paternal grandmother; and Annie Liza Moore, his maternal grandmother. These hand crafted bags have grown in popularity and have been featured in local publications such as St. Louis Magazine, Town & Style Magazine, Post-Dispatch Newspaper and others. Johnson’s ultimate goal is to use his line as a way to celebrate his family lineage while offering a high quality, timeless product to be shared throughout generations.
Retta Leritz Tussey, celebrated interior and product designer, has set her sites on a new project: designing fashions for the next generation of tastemakers. The collection, Retta Jane, will be available for young women, ages 8 through 14, and will focus on timeless yet fashion-forward pieces, including dresses, separates and outerwear. The company, named for her grandmother, mother and self, who all shared not just the same moniker, but classic sense of style, will strive for the highest-quality materials and construction, while pertaining to the modern, active lifestyle of girls. This is the latest venture for Retta Leritz Tussey, whose previous, award-winning works and product lines have garnered attention from the likes of Domino, House Beautiful and Southern Living.
Audra Noyes, part of our Inaugural Class of Designers, remains as our Designer-in- Residence. Having spent time learning the inner workings of French luxury fashion at Jeanne Lanvin and John Galliano, Audra felt compelled and prepared to launch her namesake brand, AUDRA. The AUDRA brand is rooted in a eternal style. Audra Danielle Noyes is fueled by the stories of women. She begins the design process with an abstract feeling or emotion, while thoughtfully applying her tailoring expertise that infuses her designs.