CULTIVATING CAREERS IN FASHION for women seeking economic mobility

BETTER HANDBAGS MADE IN BROOKLYN BY FORMERLY INCARCERATED WOMEN


Founded in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn in 2018, LULAH is a newly minted heritage brand dedicated to making elegant, adaptable and reliable leather handbags that reflect the genuine lived experiences of womanhood. In anticipation of our Fall 2019 launch, LULAH has partnered with the Women’s Prison Association (WPA) to offer paid training to women impacted by the criminal legal system who seek dignified careers in the fashion industry. Training will be held at our partner facility in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

MEET OUR TRAINERS

DARRIN BROUHARD, SHINOLA

Courtesy of College for Creative Studies, Detroit, Michigan

Darrin Brouhard is a Pattern Maker, Sample Maker and Designer for Shinola Detroit in the Leather Department. He is also Adjunct Faculty in the Fashion Accessories Design program at the College for Creative Studies. A ground floor member of the department, Brouhard has helped develop curricula and sourced machinery for CCS’ state of the art facilities. He teaches FAD 201-202 Handbag and Small Leather Goods. Additionally, he teaches summer programs for high school students, continuing education programs for adults and has even taught the Leather Working Merit Badge through the school.

Brouhard is a strong proponent of community engagement and education. A lifetime scouter Brouhard’s passion for teaching began at an early age. He has also been involved in the maker space community in Detroit as a founding member of OmniCorpDetroit. Formerly, he worked with a local bike related NPO called Back Alley Bikes and The Hub of Detroit. Here he worked with the Mechanics-in-Training Program, educating youth on how to be bike mechanics and matriculating them into employment in the shop. Brouhard is looking forward to the next step in serving LULAH and the Women’s Prison Association with their endeavors, and continuing his passion for service.

MIA WRIGHT-ROSS, FACULTY, PARSONS

Courtesy of Mia Wright-Ross

The evolution of Mia Wright Ross is embedded in a rich family heritage of fortitude. Born on August 10, 1989 in Richmond, Virginia to a single teenage mother, Wright-Ross was an unexpected blessing to her family.  Since that time, she has continued to be unpredictable, following her own path in art and design.

Most recently, Wright-Ross held the position of Senior Footwear Designer at Tibi, where she worked with factories in Brazil and Italy to create a top-selling signature boot called “The Jean” that sold out all retailers and key footwear credits in major magazine and was worn by celebrities such as Solange Knowles and Gabrielle Union.

Wright-Ross received her Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree from Parsons School of Design. Upon graduation, she received accolades for: AMICALE, Inc. Garments from her Fall/Winter 2011 Collection were selected to be displayed in Saks Fifth Avenue,  and four of her looks from her Fall/Winter 2011 collection were featured in Parson’s 2011 Benefit Fashion show. She was nominated with the esteemed honor of Parson's Designer of the Year Award.

With great success at Parsons, Wright-Ross immediately received an internship with Calvin Klein, under the licenser company, Jimlar. Wright-Ross worked with a team of talented designers to create an extensive line of women’s dress and casual footwear for Calvin Klein White Label. She designed her first shoe to be used in the Calvin Klein Ad Campaign for Fall 2012. As a result of her success at Jimlar, Wright-Ross was able to begin traveling internationally to Asia and Europe to assist with development for other licensee brands, such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Target. She continued her footwear career to become Associate Footwear Designer at 3.1 Phillip Lim, where she was able to hone her true design aesthetic and learn from the conceptual processes of Creative Director, Phillip Lim.

While developing her footwear design career, Wright-Ross established her own brand of accessories and handbags, MWR Collection. In 2016, she previewed her collection at Liberty Fairs Trade Show and received her first wholesale order from Japanese retailer, Edifice. The success of the launch of MWR Collection was followed by the launch of MWR Home + Travel Collection, currently available at The Brooklyn Circus. Mia looks forward to sharing her extraordinary talents and extensive experience with LULAH by serving as a trainer and mentor to the Women’s Prison Association clients who will join our 2019 pilot program. She recently was appointed as faculty at Parsons School of Design, her alma mater, where she teaches shoe design.


OUR PARTNER FACILITY

Keiko Hirosue (center) is a shoemaker and designer, and the founder of Brooklyn Shoe Space. Brooklyn Shoe Space is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for handbag manufacturing and production, making this an ideal facility for LULAH’s 12-week training program. Video, courtesy of Brooklyn Shoe Space. Production: Equator Productions Creative Direction: Konyin Ayuba.


INVESTING IN WOMEN, DEMYSTIFYING INCARCERATION, DIVERSIFYING FASHION

LULAH’s innovative program aims to mobilize fair chance hiring within the fashion industry while empowering women to uplift themselves, their families and their communities. Furthermore, LULAH has identified a unique opportunity for women impacted by the criminal legal system to serve as valuable stewards of NYC’s $11 billion fashion industry. All participants will receive a stipend for their participation in LULAH’s 12-week training period, thanks to a grant provided by the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice to the Women’s Prison Association.

We’re raising $25k for the LULAH pilot training program. Learn more about your investment opportunity and our exciting rewards. LULAH is a for-profit social enterprise. Donations are not tax-deductible.

Women’s Prison Association clients attend a celebration at Mara Hoffman headquarters. Photo courtesy of the Women’s Prison Association.

Women’s Prison Association clients attend a celebration at Mara Hoffman headquarters. Photo courtesy of the Women’s Prison Association.