Fashion Week might be all the rage for designers to showcase their latest styles, but starting Wednesday the Glass City will be home to a global fashion creator whose business will have some of those latest trends on display.
Erin Feniger Maggio, an Ottawa Hills High School alumna, is opening the Rialto Jean Project from 4-9 p.m. Wednesday at 927 N. Summit St. Shoppers and fashion enthusiasts will first have a chance to see her collection of hand-painted and hand-sewn denim clothes that over the years have been worn by A-list celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Kanye West, Jessica Alba, Blake Lively, and Gisele Bündchen.
They will also get to see the items Mrs. Maggio plans to premiere Thursday during Fashion Week in New York City.
The Rialto Jean Project is opening soon at 927 N. Summit St. in Toledo. They will sell hand-painted vintage denim jeans and open to the public Wednesday, Sept. 5.
Mrs. Maggio said the Summit Street location will be where she and roughly six to eight others will design, hand-paint, and sew her products. The store will be open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and feature jewelry and other accessories to go with her denim line from other designers from around the world.
Toledo will also become the site where Mrs. Maggio tests her clothing styles with shoppers to determine what will officially become part of the Rialto Jean Project seasonal collections.
Having spent roughly 20 years away from Toledo — living in Los Angeles and New York City — Mrs. Maggio said she and her husband, Kenny, decided they want to raise a family in Toledo. With that, the decision was made to also make Toledo the location of the flagship store while keeping showrooms in New York and L.A.
“We decided as we are trying to start a family that we wanted a different life,” Mrs. Maggio said. “This is home. I haven’t been here for 20 years, but coming back here was one of the easiest decisions I’ve made.”
Erin Feniger Maggio, top left, stands with her husband Kenny Maggio, top right, mother Sally Feniger, bottom right, and father Bill Feniger Saturday, September 1, 2018, at Rialto Jean Project.
Much of the denim clothing on sale — which ranges in cost from $200 to more than $500 — is crafted to look as if it were worn by an artist working in a studio. The difference is the clothing looks more fashionably distressed than your typical denim work clothes splashed with paint and other art products.
While living in California, Mrs. Maggio said she fell ill and decided she wanted to do something different than run her company that oversaw event projects for nonprofits. She coupled her love of denim and inspiration by artists and — after spending a week with a woman in an art studio — Mrs. Maggio turned her own garage into a studio to create what would become fashion-designed denim products.
Several months later, her company was launched and her products were featured in Vogue and other magazines. Her clothes are currently sold in roughly 45 different stores around the world. A portion of proceeds goes toward charities that fund art therapy at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and New York Presbyterian Child Life Services and to help human trafficking and cancer survivors.
“Everything that will be shipped all over the world will now be shipped from Toledo,” Mrs. Maggio said. “That’s one of the benefits of having our flagship store here. I love Toledo and believe in the growth of it. ... That’s why I wanted to be downtown because I believe in everything going on there, and I think it takes new people, new shops in order to make that happen.”
Contact Jeff Schmucker at: email@example.com, 419-724-6081, or on Twitter @jschmuckerblade.
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