A few weeks ago I had a Detroit Fashion Pages photo shoot with Detroit fashion maven Rufus Bartell, the owner of Simply Casual who is also the founder of Detroit Fashion Party Weekend.

Before the photo session jumped off I asked him if he wanted to crack a smile, which is when he informed me that he preferred not to smile in “pictures.” Then I said (in my head) “I did not take “pictures”, I make photographs cuz I’m a professional.” Nevertheless, he never cracked a smile.

Bygbaby.com Mindspill

Anyway, Wednesday (11-21-07) I ran into Rufus at a party & he thanked me for the photos then complimented me on how they came out, which made me feel pretty good. Although he never smiled, he was mos def a satisfied subject. Who ever said taking portraits was easy was wrong!

If you are interested in knowing more about this Detroit mover & shaker read on….
Celebrate Detroit Style: Rufus Bartell and Fashion Party Weekend
By: Lauren Sackey

Just as the cold winter weather sets in, local retailer and entrepreneur Rufus Bartell’s Fashion Party Weekend heats up Detroit. December 14-16, four lavish events celebrate Detroit’s influence on fashion and showcase the hottest looks our city has to offer.

Growing up in Detroit, Bartell credits his family for instilling in him an appreciation for fashion at a young age. Bartell honed his business and marketing skills at Western Michigan University before launching a highly successful career in the garment industry. A determined entrepreneur, Bartell didn’t allow early setbacks to dispel his dream of creating a fashion empire in Detroit. When his first store in Pontiac did not meet his expectations, he moved back to his hometown and opened Simply Casual. Now in its third location, Simply Casual plays an integral role in attracting shoppers to Detroit’s historic Fashion District.

Bartell describes Simply Casual as a “lifestyle brand,” providing a complete wardrobe that can take the chic, urban professional from the office, to cocktails, to a star-studded event. The store exudes both class and comfort, providing plush velvet couches, chilled drinks, and the latest fashion publications. Its welcoming atmosphere makes Simply Casual both a social, as well as a shopping destination. Bartell plans to open a second store, Shoehouse Boulevard, nearby on Livernois before the holidays.

Believing that “fashion is a celebration,” Bartell held the first Fashion Party in 1999 as a showcase for not only his emerging clothing store, but also other local designers and merchandisers. The show has since grown into Detroit’s premiere three-day fashion event, Fashion Party Weekend. Fashion Party Weekend unites local and national designers, providing extensive networking and advertising opportunities. The events have successfully led to national exposure for many local specialty stores and designers. (read more here)