Though the weather was gloomy this past Saturday, Fort Maner Clothing was there to brighten up the mood with its fall fashion show, “Fall in Love with Fort Maner.” The event was not one to miss. WGCI’s very own Leon Rogers was the host for the night and with DJ Mile High on the 1s and 2s, the fashion show was sure to be a success.
Located on Chicago’s West Side, Fort Maner Clothing is a Black owned business that was founded in 2013 by co-owners, Shaun and Aiyana. The two are exemplary examples of what it means to be Black business owners. For my first time visiting the store, it was an unforgettable experience for sure.
Walking into the store I knew that I was visiting a family business, I could feel the warmth as if I was walking into my childhood home. This is what any business should strive for. According to the Fort Maner website, “Our movement is all about building each other and forming strongholds that unify us. We survive longer when a foundation is strong. This is relevant in family, faith and community.”
The fashion show took place in the lot right next to the Fort Maner brick and mortar location. The event was sponsored by DJ Khaled’s The Licking Restaurant, there were plenty of drinks to go around, and Michael Epps of the SHOWTIME hit series The Chi was also in attendance.
Opening the show was a group called the Example Setters, and this group commanded the stage with their presence and their words. I was captivated by them and the importance of having such images for Black youth in Chicago and America alike. I spoke with Sir Taylor who is one of the founding members of the Example Setters, “We are all about building a nation of proud, positive, powerful, and productive people” Sir Taylor stated when asked what the organization is all about. He is a certified personal trainer and knows Aiyana and Shaun through their work with the Example Setters, and the training they’ve done with him.
Fort Maner showed fashionable designs from the brand’s fall line. The designs included mens, womens, as well as children. Everything seen in the show is available for sale.