Veterans Show Their Heart

Fashion Has Heart Introduction


With Memorial Day’s recent passing, the nation remains acutely aware of its veterans – especially those hailed as wounded warriors. These brave men and women gave their all for this nation and paid heavy tolls for their sacrifice: life-long injuries and debilitation. Through the pain and frustration of rehabilitation, these same veterans emerged with hope – but how best to share the powerful, moving stories of their ordeals? This question left many veterans stumped, but with the help of Fashion Has Heart (FHH), our veterans are able to share their stories through art.

FHH was founded and is operating in Grand Rapids. Their primary mission is to “utilize the powerful mediums of art, design, and fashion to support and benefit the wounded heroes who have sacrificed for the American freedoms to express oneself and create” says the organization’s website.

In 2013, FHH will be working with five wounded warriors, each paired with an artist, in an effort to make five new clothing series. Each of these five series will tell the unique story of a wounded warrior’s sacrifice while also delivering an uplifting message. “It’s really about this interesting process of creativity, storytelling, product design and then this military component” said Tyler Way, Fashion Has Heart’s art director.

The emphasis for FHH this year will be including the clothing series’ in Art Prize. The teams of military personnel and artists will collaborate and submit a t-shirt design via Threadless as well as a boot design via Bates. “The process begins by learning about the hero – and their story—and then learning about their injury or injuries – and pulling out their message that they want the public to know through their design” said Way. These designs are also intended to bridge the gap between the world of military personnel and the arts community; historically, these groups have tended to gather in different, often opposing, spheres of society.

“When you see it, there’s always hope,” said Kathy Champion, a wounded warrior, on her collaborative design. What more could any non-profit hope to achieve? If you’d like to learn more about, or become involved with Fashion Has Heart, check out their site at