Jude Louis, a 23-year-old fashion entrepreneur was at the end of his rope and out of options. His inaugural fashion show featuring a collection long-anticipated by supporters came apart at the seams when his venue fell through. A good friend and artist affiliated with Art Inc. Kentucky—Fred Siegelman of F2.0—suggested Louis talk to Mark Johnson, President of Art Inc. Kentucky. Johnson stepped in at the eleventh hour, allowing the young designer to debut his brand—L’Avenir de Louis—at The MET, Community Ventures’ multi-use facility in Lexington’s East End that is home to Art Inc. Kentucky, The Artists’ Studios and ArtHouse Kentucky, a retail art gallery, with The Artists’ Village – a live/work community for artists – nearby.
“Without hesitation, Mark said he would love to host the show in the breezeway in front of ArtHouse Kentucky’s space. That was a game-changer, because the show flourished in a way that I did not imagine, due in big part to Mark,” Louis shared.
“It was my first time putting on a show for myself, by myself and under my brand. I wanted control over the ambience and the vibe. We decided to make the event at The MET an outdoor event and not really tell people where they needed to sit or what they needed to do. I liked that because the theme of this first collection was Anarchy,” Louis laughed. “The space Mark provided allowed me to take pictures the way I wanted, and on social media it all looked amazing. It was quite beautiful to see all the people come out, with Mark and all the artists there supporting me.”
As much as the show introduced L’Avenir de Louis to the world, it was also a farewell party of sorts for the designer as Louis left Lexington a week later for San Francisco with the goal of finishing his Masters in Fashion Design.
In less than two months after his arrival in northern California, Louis was invited to participate in San Francisco Fashion Week, an event that continued to open doors for the young designer. Louis is now selling his clothing line in a local boutique where he recently participated in the store’s grand opening.
“It has been cool to see people come out and support me,” said Louis. “They seem intrigued by my designs and the pieces I displayed. What I am doing really seems to resonate with people, and it is great to get my name out there.”
So what’s next on the horizon? Because he believes in uplifting others just as he has been uplifted, Louis is planning a brief return to Kentucky in July of 2023 in hopes of teaming up again with Art Inc Kentucky to put on another show at The MET that features not only his clothing but also styles by two other Central Kentucky designers.
“Lexington’s historic East End neighborhood has a rich history – nurtured over the years by the iconic Lyric Theater – steeped in the arts. Building on that history, Art Inc. strives to empower artists and creatives with opportunities to build their businesses, generate exposure for themselves and sell their work. We’re proud to support all types of artists, makers and creative based businesses, including fashion designers,” says Johnson.
Follow Jude Louis on Instagram: @thejudelouis @lavenirdelouis or contact him at 859-550-4956 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Art Inc. Kentucky, the Artists’ Studios and ArtHouse Gallery, visit www.artinckentucky.org or contact President Mark Johnson at 231-0054 ext. 1023 or email@example.com.