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Celebrating Excellence in Domestic Manufacturing Innovation and Impact

Press Release

ISAIC announces it will host their inaugural ISAIC Honors as a tribute to honor and amplify remarkable achievements of unsung pioneers in fashion manufacturing.

DETROIT, MI— The Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center (ISAIC), a pioneering nonprofit, national institute for the manufacturing of soft goods, based in Detroit, has revealed plans to host their inaugural ISAIC Honors, which will serve as a tribute to honor and amplify the remarkable achievements of the unsung pioneers shaping our fashion and soft goods sector.

The inaugural event will be held on May 2nd at 5 p.m. at The Madison Detroit on Broadway Street in downtown Detroit. Guests are welcomed with a cocktail reception featuring live entertainment, followed by a presentation of four awards to highlight the endeavors of manufacturers, innovators, and champions dedicated to propelling the fashion industry towards an ethical, sustainable, and responsible future for domestic manufacturing.

The 2024 honorees are:

  • Fashioning the Future (Manufacturer of the Year): Alexander Zar, CEO of La La Land

  • Change Clothes Change Lives (Champion of the Year): Dana Davis, VP of Sustainability, Product and Business Strategy at Mara Hoffman

  • Progressive Good (Innovator of the Year): Shelly Xu, CEO of Shelly Xu Design (SXD) Alumni of the Year: Ewenique Wilson

The honorees’ reflections resonate with a shared commitment to domestic production, brand inspiration, and addressing critical issues like climate change through innovative solutions. Their diverse perspectives encapsulate the essence of the event and the importance of recognition.

It is my honor to be considered and what I would like to say is that it is possible to do domestic production and address the lack of the footwear industry and handbags luxury manufacturing. Domestically, we don't need to be dependent. For every single product, if you design with the concept of the domestic production, you can produce cost effective luxury and quality product at the reasonable pricing to give to the customers a product that they will be proud of.” -Alexander Zar

I see ISAIC Honors as an opportunity for us to continue to tell the story of Mara Hoffman, to inspire other brands, and to let them know that no matter where you are on your journey, that there’s always work that can be done.” -Dana Davis

“I do what I do because time is running out to address climate change, and I know SXD is a solution that can move the needle on this important issue. If industries can fully embrace our solution—reducing carbon emissions by ~80%, eliminating waste through the most efficient design, and utilizing previously discarded materials—we have the potential to reverse climate change in 5.4 years.” -Shelly Xu

The theme of the ISAIC Honors will center around the history and future of the fashion industry, taking attendees through the evolution of apparel.

“This event will shine a light on those who have been overlooked in the industry but are an integral to the domestic supply chain. The goal is to have attendees leave with more knowledge, spread the word, and begin igniting change in their communities.” said ISAIC CEO Jennifer Guarino.

ISAIC intends to broaden the reach of the event to establish it as a national honor of distinction for the years to come.

Industry supporters are encouraged to save the date in their calendars! To learn more, including available sponsorship and ticket opportunities, email for more details.


ISAIC was created by industry leaders to be both challenge and advocate for industry to transform with people at the center. The institute relies on the power of both people and technological advancements to work together to improve the industry and to support the return of domestic manufacturing in a more ethical and sustainable way. At ISAIC, sustainability starts with people, because a sustainable industry is unachievable if it is reliant on unsustainable lives. Learn more by emailing

This press release was issued by SPESA member ISAIC.

SPESA members are encouraged to email news and releases to or to be featured under Member Spotlights.


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