Show #5 – James Houk

Pittburgh’s largest selling designer is Brookline native, James Houk. James originally planned on spending his career in sports, first as a pro fighter and then as a strength conditioning coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, James had a passion for painting and art. And when a buyer from American Eagle asked if he could translate his art into clothes, James took the risk and joined the industry.

From Barney’s New York to gift bags at the Grammys and Academy Awards, James stature continued to grow in the fashion industry. Most of his work is with high-end retailers and partners however James designs for Forever 21 and FashionNova.

All designs from James include a personal meaning to him. He focuses on the history and traditions of Pittsburgh in designs. While Pittsburgh lacks high-end retailers, James has always promoted Pittsburgh through is work. His denim line, Big Chief, includes metal from abandon steel mills. James has also collaborated with the Andy Warhol Foundation on a Warhol inspired line.

September 22nd, 2015 is ‘James Houk Day’ in the City of Pittsburgh as proclaimed by Pittsburgh City Council.

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