Danialle and Peter Karmanos, Jr. Donate $1M to College for Creative Studies


Danialle and Peter Karmanos, Jr. today announced a $1 million donation to the College for Creative Studies in Detroit to support an endowment for its growing Fashion Accessories Design (FAD) program and student scholarships. Danialle and Peter are also chairing the 36th annual Detroit International Wine Auction to benefit CCS, and their gift is a match to the sponsorship funds raised for the event.

“Our Fashion Accessories Design program is breaking ground in terms of preparing students to work in the global fashion industry. This generous gift will help us recruit and support the most talented students from around the country and the world, and educate them to be the next generation of great designers,” says Professor Aki Choklat, Chair of Fashion Accessories Design at CCS. “Detroit has a rich history of manufacturing and a brazen, creative spirit, and the Karmanos’ gift will help leverage that in new and exciting ways.”

The FAD program was developed in collaboration with Shinola, a manufacturer of luxury leather goods, as the first of its kind in the Midwest. The program educates students in the design and manufacturing of products including footwear, handbags, leather goods, and accessories hardware. It links creative development with knowledge of manufacturing, trend forecasting, market research, and merchandising for a comprehensive view of the industry.

“Aki Choklat is a brilliant and creative innovator and CCS is lucky to have him,” says Danialle. “The Fashion Accessories Design department is an exciting new addition to CCS.   Aki’s work is what inspired Pete and I to chair the Wine Auction this year and to engage our fashion-minded friends in the Greek American community, like John Varvatos and Tom Kartsotis, who are partly responsible for the auction’s success this year. We are proud to offer this gift and are excited to see it put to use.”

The Detroit International Wine Auction is an annual event that raises money in support of the undergraduate CCS student scholarships and art programs for Detroit youth. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, Oct. 21 at the Downtown Boxing Gym on Detroit’s east side, and more information can be found here.

As local philanthropists, Danialle and Peter have donated millions of dollars to many causes that work to better the health, education, and living within the Detroit community. In 2013, the couple donated $1 million to CCS to establish the Danialle and Peter Karmanos Jr. Graphic Design Studios.