Last month, Birmingham native Markus Ketty competed in Bravo’s The Fashion Show for a chance to sell his designs in the mass-retail market. But metro Detroiters have been surrounded by Ketty designs for more than a decade — they just haven’t been wearing them. Before the New York fashion director jetted to London in 2001 to pursue a formal fashion education, he was sipping cocktails at the Beverly Hills Grill and brunching at The Townsend while dreaming up concepts for the interior of the Birmingham Palladium.
What’s the aesthetic of your namesake line?
My designs are all about the cut. They’re also all about the woman, and she’s very strong. I don’t design for party girls who just want to be seen; I design for women who have something to say. I’m big on quality of fabric and mixing hard and soft, like Venetian wool paired with organza.
What did you want The Fashion Show to do for your career?
More exposure, of course, and [to] share my voice with pop culture. [To] make people familiar with my name.
Which designers do you admire?
I identify with Halston and how he rose from the Midwest as a fashion icon. I adore Tom Ford, especially his early works at Gucci. Then there’s the artistry of Valentino, because that sort of couture work is a gone era.
What led you to pursue a career in fashion?
Fashion checks all the boxes for me: the models, the whirlwind pace, the creative energy. It all began when I styled the interior of my sister’s Bagel Club Café in Bloomfield Hills, back when I was 18. That project drew all kinds of attention, and it’s evolved from there. One day I hope to have a complete lifestyle brand.