News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Metro RTA

Hospice of the Western Reserve


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Arts and Entertainment


"Project Runway" helps shift the fashion world's sense to Northeast Ohio
The man now known as Suede has gone from Kent State to "Project Runway" to wildly successful product launches
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA


Reporter
Kabir Bhatia
 
Members of the Akron chapter of the American Sewing Guild were tickled to meet Suede, who grew up in Seven Hills
Courtesy of K. Bhatia
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
"Project Runway" helped transform Stephen Baum into the colorful fashion-world presence known as Suede. And Suede is now helping to shift the fashion world's attention from the East and West coasts to Northeast Ohio. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia has more.
Fashion world shifts to Kent

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:12)


When he was growing up in Seven Hills, David Baum says he knew his brother would someday "rock it" in the design world.

“He’s always had such an amazing eye for fashion and beauty. I wish I had his eye for that kind of stuff.” The elder Baum is a pediatrician at Akron Children’s.

His brother, Stephen, is better known as “Suede.”

The billion-dollar man
He went on from Kent State's fashion program to TV’s “Project Runway,” and product launches for the likes of Fubu, Jordache and Polo that have generated about $5 billion in sales. He splits his time between the Big Apple and upstate New York, but was back in town recently to unveil SuedeSays. That’s his new project with Hudson-based Jo-Ann Fabrics, which contains some unusual fabric names.


“It’s called ‘Animal Hombre,’ which I know you can’t see, but it also happens to be the color my hair right now. Lots of great blues and purples and pinks. I like to give things nicknames. That’s why I became ‘Suede.’ But an animal hombre is something where we take an animal print, you hombre it so the colors go from one to another, and we add a lot of color into it.”

The center of attention
The crowds came out as much for the man as for the material. Bobbi Gallagher is from the Akron chapter of the American Sewing Guild and works with 4-H sewing students.

“They’ve seen him on TV, and this is something they’re really looking forward to: textures, bright colors, teals, salmons and sherbet.”

That description could apply to Suede himself, since he seems to radiate fashion -- from his chameleon-like hair to his neatly trimmed beard to his delight at being the center of attention.

Mixing and matching
For Kent State fashion majors like Kate Hatker, he’s a role model.

“A lot of people don’t know that Kent State has a great fashion program. So I think it’s just bringing awareness to that. When you’re working long hours it’s kind of nice to know that you make it if you work hard enough.”

The avid seamsters who love mixing and matching fabrics, patterns, colors, threads and styles drive the market, according to Dan Cox, a veteran buyer for Jo-Ann’s. He says Suede’s media exposure and unusual palette are key to the new collection.

“The die-cut fabrics are something we have not done before. There’s a lot of embroideries. There’s a lot more media exposure to the runway shows and programs like ‘Project Runway,’ where were you are seeing a lot of ready-to-wear influences. And people’s tastes have evolved as well. They’re looking for something different and more stylish.”


Shifting the fashion world
The chain is thrilled to have a local-boy-who-made-good in their ranks. And Suede is thrilled to have brought practical, real-world experience to Kent’s fashionistas-in-training.

“We certainly could've done this launch in New York or Los Angeles," says Suede-nee-Baum. "But me being from Northeast Ohio, Jo-Ann’s being here, Kent being here, it made sense for us to bring it home. And really express that fashion really does happen everywhere.”

Ticket demand was so great for the premiere event, organizers had to double the number of showings despite a massive snowstorm.
(Click image for larger view.)

Listener Comments:

Suede! I love his patterns for Simplicity.


Posted by: Ann V. on February 21, 2013 3:02AM
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio to appeal ruling keeping Akron's red light cameras in place
I don't understand what all the fuss is about. If you don't like tickets drive the speed limit and stop at red lights. It's really all up to you.

Letters from a lost friend: A Beachwood survivor's Holocaust remembrance
What a great story -- and how important it was for both Marlene and her mother to tell it! Thank you.

Akron city council to vote on resolution for hiring ex-offenders
Great as a taxpayer I paid for the police to catch them, the free lawyer, the jail to house them , the food their kids eat the medical for them and all its goin...

5 of 8 rule headed for a vote
this is just another way for kasich to pass the buck and claim that it gives the local districts control. Few schools have enough money because of his cuts. T...

Bill would allow Ohio religious leaders to refuse to do gay marriages
This is just a lot of political posturing. The free exercise clause of the 1st Amendment already protects clergy from being forced by civil authorities to perfo...

Ohio lawmakers want to eliminate background checks, training to carry guns
On the face of this report I don't find the name of the bill or who sponsered it. I will have to google a general bill with this as its content to address it. N...

Ohio lawmaker calls for an investigation into a Dayton women's prison
I was an inmate at DCI and I am so happy that it's being investigated. The staff behavior there is awful unless he/she is your lover. There are more drugs insid...

Ohio's disabled face long waiting list for services
Can we use the Tribble on Disability Care? if so can you send the link to http://voice4thevoiceless.us thank you, Mark J Cleland Sr voice4thevoiceless.us

Treasures rescued from Cleveland's closed Catholic churches
This was found to be a real gift today Good Friday Bless you for your work

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University