STERLING HEIGHTS (WWJ) – TD Industrial Coverings in Sterling Heights found itself at a crossroads two years ago.
The company, which once employed 130 people sewing special coverings for industrial robots was nearly decimated by the downturn in the auto industry.
WWJ’s Marie Osborne spoke with Motor City Denim founders about their start.
The company had a payroll of 32. President Mark D’Andreta says he knew he had to diversify.
“It was a rough, rough ride but we were able to keep the doors open and we are bringing people back to work which is great, we’ve got a really hot product line which is more fun and exciting than the industrial stuff we are doing,” says D’Andreta.
Enter Joe Faris, a Detroit area born and bred designer who found fame on season 5 of Project Runway on Bravo.
Joe made it to the top six in that competition showing off his edgy and distinct style. “What I like to call it is ‘industrial couture’,” says Faris.
The two men decided to form the Motor City Denim company which would manufacture high-end blue jeans and other jean apparel.
TD had all of the sewing machines and the skilled sewers waiting for the assignment and off they went!
“There is always the challenge of price point, we are not competing with Wrangler or Levi… Fashion and apparel, people don’t think of that when they think of Detroit and we think they should,” says D’Andreta.
The company’s website http://www.motorcitydenimco.com/ launches this week.
The jeans will go to local retail outlets later this spring.