UI alum Andre Wright opens Wright House Of Fashion in Iowa City

Andre Wright will open the Wright House Of Fashion in Iowa City in May 2023. It is an educational space for underrepresented populations to learn about the fashion industry.


Lillie Hawker

University of Iowa alumna Andre Wright poses in the Wright House of Fashion in Iowa City on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022.

Emily Nyberg, News Reporter

The Daily Iowan spoke with Andre Wright, a University of Iowa alum, about establishing the Wright House Of Fashion and the opportunities it will offer in Iowa City.

The Wright House Of Fashion will be located in the building previously owned by Iowa City Varsity Cleaners. It will open to the public in May 2023 and is the first educational fashion house in Iowa City.

Wright discussed his background in fashion, the projects he is currently working on, and the future of the Wright House Of Fashion.

The Daily Iowan: What is your background? How did you establish the Wright House Of Fashion?

Andre Wright: I went to school [at the UI], got my BFA in graphic design, and after that worked in corporate America. Then, I started creating brands, my most recent being Humanize My Hoodie. I did a lot of local and national fashion shows, doing anything from fashion shows in the alleyways of Iowa City to shutting down full streets.

DI: You mentioned you are having conversations through fashion. What are the messages you are working to put out into the community right now?

Wright: What I’ve done is use fashion as a voice for social change and to bring across various political messages. I’ve also used fashion as a way to highlight joy amongst Black and Indigenous people from different collections that we’ve introduced.

DI: Transitioning to the Wright House Of Fashion specifically, what are you going to be doing with that space?

Wright: Our mission is to empower underrepresented populations using design, art, and sustainable practices as vehicles for change. We currently have a partnership with Warner Music where kids have the opportunity to take part in a 12-week course where they learn various graphic design techniques. Then, they learn about merchandise, marketing, e-commerce, and supply chain. From that information they’re able to design for an actual artist that is on the Warner Music roster.

Essentially, what Wright House Of Fashion will be is a fashion accelerator where you can come in and you can actually practice fashion. So,if you wanted to create a brand and sell it out of this building, you would be able to do that because we will have a dedicated incubator space that everyone who’s a part of Wright House will have access to.

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DI: How did the artists who come in and sell their work get involved?

Wright: There’s a link on our website where you can actually sign up to be a part of that. We will be live May of 2023. For right now, in the plan that we have, people will take part in a graphic design and fashion merchandising accelerator, and they’ll also take part in a financial education accelerator once they graduate from those two programs. They’ll have access to use an incubator space where they can actually test their products before they actually go to market. We are basically building a fashion ecosystem.

DI: What are you excited to bring to the Iowa City community?

Wright: There has never been an actual fashion house that would focus on developing and birthing brands. So, my plan is to trailblaze and to pioneer something of that magnitude here. My goal is just to try to make sure that people know clearly who we are and what we do and that we’re here to be a part of the community and support the community.

Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.