June 18--A local artist and fashion designer have collaborated to create new high-quality, designer men's dress shirts.
Terry Ratliff, a Fort Wayne artist, has created colorful, abstract patterns that local fashion designer Anton Babich uses for some of his locally designed and produced men's dress shirts sold under the Anton Alexander label.
The shirts will be featured in Fashion Show 4.0 this Friday evening at YOLO, 4201 N. Wells St. Four other designers will be featured in the show as well. This is the fourth year for the fashion show, which Babich says will have "lots of energy." He expects around 200 to attend.
Babich grew up in Ukraine, moving here with his family in 1991. He worked in the corporate world for several years, wearing suits, but wanted more personality in men's clothes and also wanted to bring jobs back to the United States.
So he launched a Kickstarter campaign and got enough money to start his business, Anton Alexander, which is online only. Everything is custom-made in Fort Wayne using the finest fabrics from Italy, Turkey and Japan.
His shirts are generally solid colors with patterned collars and cuffs. Those who watch the TV show "Modern Family" has seen similar shirts on the character Cam. Although whereas Cam is stocky, Anton Alexander shirts come in two fits: slim and modern, so Cam and other portly men might not be able to fit into them.
Collars and cuffs come in a variety of fabrics, from Ratliff's designs to paisley prints, to camo in various colors.
The shirts also come in two types of fabric, 100 percent cotton or a 60 percent polyester, 40 percent cotton blend that is moisture-wicking and wrinkle-free. They come in subdued colors with colorful collars and cuffs, and also come in bright colors, such as neon green and vivid shads of red, purple and blue.
Prices range from $135 to $145. Babich says because the business is 100 percent online he can afford to sell his designer shirts for much less than those carried in stores.
He said there's about three hours of labor in one shirt. When asked how many people he employs, he said, "One. Myself."
Babich cuts and presses the fabric and runs the seven machines that perform various functions in the production of each shirt. He is averaging about 10 shirts a week and is selling them internationally. On his best week he sold about 30 shirts and said he needed help to get them all done.
For Ratliff's designs, Babich digitizes his artwork and then sends it to a company in California that does custom printing, bleeding the design into the fabric.
The shirts are available in 12 sizes. A size chart is on the website.
The designers who will be in the show are:
--Anton Babich showcasing his Anton Alexander line of designer men's shirts. Peruse or shop his website at https://antonalexander.com/.
--Nathan Strange will show pieces from his Zathan Marcs collection, which features structured silhouettes, bold patterns, and yards of satin. See more at www.facebook.com/zathanmarcs.
--Ron Ostlund Jr. specializes in wearable fashion and accessories mostly made from scrap metal. For more, go to www.facebook.com and search on Ostlund Custom Works.
--Angel Olivera, of Angel Olivera Couture, is known for designing couture evening gowns. Go to www.facebook.com and search on Angel Olivera Couture to learn more.
--Designer Carole Anne Houseman's label is Ana Lynn which features vintage-inspired looks with a modern twist for both women and men. Learn more at www.facebook.com/AnaLynnDesigns.
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