AK Brown, professional fashion stylist and blogger, is on a quest to reshape the district and provide more diversity amongst Black creatives in the process
One might wonder how St. Louis, a midwestern city with more than 300,000 residents fits into the global fashion conversation.
Beginning in the late 19th century until the end of World War II, the city was recognized for being a garment manufacturing hub. During that era, Washington Avenue was called “Shoe Street USA” for having multiple shoe stores along the street.
The mid-1950s saw a significant increase with the number of clothing manufacturers after the creation of junior’s clothing, which originated on Washington Avenue.
After WWII, the country suffered due to production companies relocating overseas because of cheaper labor costs. A new wave of technology, imports and the development of cost-efficient superstores resulted in the decline of the St. Louis fashion district.