Birmingham, Ala.(WIAT)–CBS 42 News Anchor Art Franklin has been making headlines in the local media. It all started when the Birmingham Business Journal published a spread on the Art Franklin Collection Exclusively at Tres’.
It’s a clothing line sold exclusively in Ensley. It’s the product of a partnership between Art Franklin and Tres’ Washington, the owner of Tres’ Fine Clothing.
Much of the buzz about the clothing line has been the fact that this broadcast news journalist is launching it. From thousands of views on line to a bevy of well wishes on social media it seems Art Franklin has tapped into the energy of Ensley which is enjoying a moment of rejuvenation in Birmingham.
Construction on the Ramsay McCormick Building is taking place just up the street from where the clothing line will be launched on November 20th in side Cotton’s at 400 19th St. Ensley.
Friday, Mayor Randall Woodfin unveiled a new development in Ensley that will be at the site of the old Ensley High School. The old school will be demolished. A 28 million dollar investment will bring new affordable homes including a childhood learning center. Tad Bullard with the Zimmerman Development team said, “this is not something we’re going to prop up and hope will last for two, three, five years. We’re building it int the long term feasibility of this development. So that it will be here for 30 years to serve the families that are living here.
Franklin, who has always had a heart for Ensley recalled how in decades ago he used to walk the halls of the old Ensley High School as part of “Men In Action” a mentor group to teens. He has committed to donating his first year of profits to the A.G. Gaston Boys and Girls Club. “Whatever I can do in terms of proceeds coming from here, profits that I make, we’ll put things back in here. But we will also benefit the whole community. That’s the whole point, benefitting this community is why the clothing line will exist ,” Franklin said.
The other half of this fashion duo, Tres’ Washington, said, “it’s hug, you know. Its the next phase. I just remodeled my entire store around this project just looking forward to the future.” Franklin said, the whole point of it is to bring people back to Ensley. We think there is a lot of excitement here. There’s a renaissance going on. To come to a place like Tre’s and see that is was thriving.”
Tre’s Fine Clothing sits in the Ensley Business District and Entertainment District. Ensleyalivebhm.org lists several businesses and individuals who they identify as Active Ensley Stakeholders. including: Q’s Bar & Grill, Ensley Live Ensley Soho, Tuxedo Ballroom, Believe, Goldstein & Cohen, Antonio Spurling ESq, Washington Law, LLC , Henry Taliaferro, Tre’s at Cotton’s, Gilmer, Ideal Furniture, I’m Bossy Boutique, Hall Printing, and several others.
You may find some of them on the Purple Carpet Saturday November 20th at 2 PM at Cotton’s. The Art Franklin Collection will be unveiled with much fanfare. The show is directed by fashion designer Edmund Newton of Project Runway Season 14. There will also be live performances tapping into the jazz roots of Ensley’s Tuxedo Junction with performances by jazz greats Eric Essix and Marion Meadows.