In May of 2013, [Fashion Has Heart] invited five wounded U.S. service members to Grand Rapids for a week-long design project. On the first day, the Heroes worked with Bates footwear designers to design a pair of 1-of-1 military boots. For these veterans, the boots they were now custom-designing were the ones they wore while deployed, and for some, even when they were attacked and injured.
On another day, the Heroes toured the screen-printing company, Fabri-Tech, and learned first-hand about the manufacturing process that would be used to produce their up-coming t-shirt design. The following couple of days, the Heroes met with their Artist partner(s) and brainstormed a variety of design concepts based upon their experiences, their stories, and the lessons the learned through their difficult journeys.
On September 11, 2013, the Heroes were brought back to Grand Rapids to unveil their t-shirt and boot designs at a special Grand Opening celebration. From September though October, the Heroes’ t-shirts and boots, accompanied with the powerful stories behind their design concepts, were proudly exhibited at ArtPrize.