For transcripts, click the transcript link under the podcast

Innovations in Retail: Predicting Future Trends

Self expression and Inspiration with Mickey Boardman


The INSPIRATION Behind Clothing Coulture

Now more than ever, there is a lack of technical knowledge in the garment industry. Years ago, the U.S. abdicated apparel manufacturing to countries overseas, making it an almost foreign concept to modern fashion designers and manufacturers in the United States. Fast-forward to today: COVID-19 completely changed the fashion industry once again. Many companies are being forced to downsize, work with fewer people and incorporate new skills as they navigate the new normal of the fashion industry. The pandemic revealed the need to improve technical knowledge in the industry, especially in the U.S., which ceased apparel manufacturing many years ago.

Clothing Coulture is a resource providing industry insights that can assist in developing new knowledge and expertise necessary to succeed in the post-pandemic garment industry.

LISTEN to Clothing Coulture

Clothing Coulture is an apparel industry resource designed to educate fashion professionals, startups and students about the rapid evolution occurring in the industry.

By sharing the expertise of industry experts and innovators, each episode helps the audience navigate real challenges in the garment sector. If you work in any of the following areas, you’ll find the insights from Stars Design Group beneficial.
• Design
• Merchandising
• Sourcing
• Production and manufacturing
• Technical design
• Fabric technology
• Marketing
• Accounting
• Students


Meet The Hosts


Bret Schnitker

As an industry apparel executive for more than 30 years working in all facets of the sector, Bret has had the unique experience to do in business in 70 countries and work with artisans and experts worldwide. Having been in over 1000 factories that employ 200,000 people, he cares deeply about the value of the opportunity this industry brings to developing countries and its people.

Founder and CEO of Stars Design Group, a fashion design and production house, he believes in fostering an environment of innovation and evolution to stay ahead of the rapidly changing apparel industry. With offices worldwide and a network of 67 factories globally, Bret stays ahead of the trends to advise on all design, textiles, sourcing, manufacturing, logistics, and business strategy. Through consulting, collaboration, and thought leadership, Bret helps Stars’ brand and retail clients solve garment initiatives.

Uniquely Saint Louis based, with its historic legacy in apparel and new focus of innovation, Bret is invested in the blend of talent and technology to develop solutions that serve the demands of the consumer base, while supporting social and environmental goals.


Emily Lane

As Chief Strategy Officer at Stars Design Group, a global fashion design and production house, Emily develops and implements strategic initiatives to increase awareness, support collaborative opportunities, cultivate innovation, and promote thought leadership in the organization. A serial entrepreneur with 25 years of business development experience, Emily’s strategic approach helps to foster a culture of innovation, while implementing thoughtful marketing strategies that have a history of propelling businesses to viability, increased profitability, global awareness, and market leadership.

Emily is the creator of the Clothing Coulture fashion industry podcast and also recently launched United Coulture, a fashion design community that brings established, talented designers & industry creatives together to collaborate on projects and collections, to elevate the aesthetic and quality of client programs.

Emily also serves as COO for Stars' sister company, INSPR, which helps build fashion brands inspired by the individual vision of the influencer / creators, while bringing the impact of influencer marketing to brands and retailers.


Press Releases


July 01, 2021
Missouri textile and fashion experts instrumental in building Salvadoran apparel industry
ST. LOUIS, Mo. — STARS Design Group — Stars Design Group, a global fashion design & production house based in Saint Louis, Missouri, is providing support to the U.S. government Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) in El Salvador.



May 10, 2021
Stars Design Group Presents Lead Design Talent Award 
ST. LOUIS, Mo. — STARS Design Group — Stars Design Group CEO, Bret Schnitker presented the inaugural Lead Design Talent Award to Maggie Miller, a senior in fashion design in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis.




Podcast Series – Business Threads
Business Threads is a joint project between Stars Design Group and the U.S. government Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) as part of the Textile Competitiveness program.

The apparel industry podcast series teaches multiple virtual professional development courses, providing ongoing support and consulting to Salvadoran textile companies. It was distributed through the CLDP to professionals in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.


Stars Design Group In The NEWS

NYC fashion line sold to City Foundry STL and Stars Design Group
NYC fashion line sold to City Foundry STL and Stars Design Group

St. Louis fashion company and City Foundry developers acquire New York clothing brand that promotes social media influencers

US' Stars Design Group acquires influencer clothing brand INSPR


For press inquiries contact:

Denise Naughton
Director of Media Relations
(314) 771-9152 ext. 205


Trim Approval Cards

Cards include buttons, zippers, zipper pulls, embroideries, main label, hangtags, etc. Keep in mind that these approval cards don’t usually come all at once; they are sent to you once they are received from the various trim providers.

Lab Dips

Lab recipes for the color approval are needed. A visual approval under a daylight filter is usually requested, as all manufacturing facilities have light boxes.

Fit Sample

Sample is the closest available to the fabric, to be used for general fit approval purposes, and is usually in size ‘large.’


Contact Us

Stars Design Group is staffed by highly experienced professionals across all areas of the apparel industry. Get in touch with us to request one of our experts for media appearances, speaking engagements or guest lectures.


Sign up to receive podcast updates

Podcast Form