The TolHouse Speaker Series is a presentation of thought leaders, experts, and innovators who are making their mark on the world. At these events, attendees get an intimate experience, exploring the minds and ideas of those who are impacting culture and society.
RIALTO JEAN PROJECT
An eco-friendly, philanthropic denim brand specializing in hand-painted, one-of-a-kind vintage products.
Handcrafted in our art studio, Rialto Jean Project counts top fashion editors, A-list actors, musicians, and supermodels among its steadily growing customer base. Founder & Creative Director Erin Feniger Maggio sources rare American made vintage, hand-painting and embroidering every single piece with her design team, and thus creating a unique, fashion forward experience.
Rialto Jean Project benefits children through art, with proceeds going to support innovative art therapy programs at children’s hospitals. Art therapy helps young patients find a sense of hope, self-esteem, autonomy and competence in their healing process. The Rialto Jean Project charitable platform ‘Denim Doing Good’ exemplifies our work and dedication to this cause.
However, we believe in Denim Doing Good in every aspect of our community. At the heart of Rialto Jean project is a focus on leaving our planet cleaner than how we found it. As an eco-friendly and sustainable brand we are committed to eliminating waste and preventing overproduction with a “made to order” mentality. Our denim is high quality, vintage, and American made, because giving clothes a second chance to be loved is what we are all about.
ERIN FENIGER MAGGIO, FOUNDER AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR
“Growing up in a philanthropic Midwest family, I learned the value and importance of giving back at very young age,” says Erin Feniger Maggio, Founder and Creative Director of Rialto Jean Project. Maggio moved to New York in her early 20’s and was immediately immersed in the fashion, art, culture and charitable spirit of the city, where she forged a solid career in philanthropic project management.
In 2008, she moved to Venice California, where she was drawn to the warmly articulate and uniquely creative Abbott Kinney community. “I began painting after observing a local artist friend and immediately felt the incredible soothing effects that painting, imagination and creativity could provide,” Maggio says. The keen brush strokes on the jeans of an artist, between her canvas and her palette, were the inspiration for the natural beginning of the Rialto Jean Project.
“Rialto Jean Project is truly a labor of love; my aim was to heal others, and in turn, the process has healed me.” Denim Doing Good is not only her philanthropic mission and platform; it is the foundation for her ever growing personal journey.
DARRYL BROWN CLOTHING BRANDS
(From Complex) Darryl Brown is in the middle of relocating. After spending the past five years in Los Angeles getting Midwest Kids and his eponymous label off the ground, he’s taking it back to Toledo, Ohio, the city where he grew up that he says inspires everything he designs, for the launch of his second full Darryl Brown collection.
“My brand and my support system, what I’m doing is so Midwest. I didn’t want the pictures to come across looking unauthentic to what it is that I’m trying to do,” Brown tells Complex. “The second collection is so big to me. I didn’t want it to be palm trees and sunny weather in the back.”
Brown’s brands, Midwest Kids and Darryl Brown, are his love letters to his upbringing. Midwest Kids is inspired by his mother’s wardrobe of gold chains and sweatsuits when she was a high school athlete. It’s focused on sportswear, T-shirts and hoodies that act as symbols for anyone from the area looking to rep it. Darryl Brown is his workwear line, a nod to the work uniform his father wore throughout his life. Think staples like canvas jackets, button-up work shirts, and cargo pants, reminiscent of what he also used to wear to work everyday clocking in at factories or as a railroad conductor.
“I worked at Chrysler. I worked at General Motors. I used to be on the assembly line making the front of Monte Carlos. I worked on a railroad. I watched my dad go to work at Chrysler for 30 years and wear boots everyday and work second and third shift,” he says. “I just feel I’m so involved in it. From my family, my town where I come from. It’s not a trend.”
DARRYL BROWN, FOUNDER AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR
His first styling job was with fellow Midwest native Machine Gun Kelly, someone he still calls one of his best friends to this day, some time between 2008 and 2009. The two first met at a concert held by NEX in Toledo. MGK complimented his hoodie, which spurred into a gig for Brown with the rapper. He says all of his checks from the railroad were being filtered into styling the Cleveland rapper at the time. “I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for Machine Gun Kelly,” says Brown. “He literally is the thread and needle for everything that I’ve done, directly or indirectly, he’s been with me every step of the way. I’ve never asked him for nothing. I’ve never asked him for a dime. Machine Gun Kelly is literally one of the illest friends I ever had in this lifetime.”
Around the same time, he also connected with Rocksmith, a popular streetwear brand at the time, through NEX after shooting an impromptu lookbook for a brand rep when he paid a visit to the shop. He quit his railroad job, moved to New York, and worked with them for the next seven years, from 2009 to 2015, while still styling on the side. From there, Brown wound up landing a job with Kanye West after a conversation between MGK and one of West’s styling assistants. At first, Brown was brought on to assist with the Yeezy Season 3 show at Madison Square Garden. Eventually, he became the rapper’s personal stylist, a role he held for three years from 2015 to 2018 before ultimately pursuing his own ventures.
SPEAKER SERIES 001
Join us for this inaugural TolHouse Speaker Series event being held on Thursday, November 11, 2021.
This event is free for members, and open to the public.
TolHouse caters to the vibrant, city-dwelling creative and entrepreneurial class, providing beautiful spaces in which we can be inspired and creative together.