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Life & Work with Leslie Ann Pilling

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leslie Ann Pilling. She shares her story with us below:

Leslie Ann Pilling is a native Detroiter and life-long designer. Over the span of her career, she has owned and operated Presence II Inc., the parent company of Presence II Productions. Her firm consults on Design, whether Interiors or Fashion. She is a ghost designer and business consultant for fashion brands.

In 2015 she founded the Metropolitan Museum of Design Detroit (MM-O-DD), a non-profit based in Detroit, Michigan. The design museum is the only one in Detroit which is in the nation’s only UNESCO City of Design. The mission is to provide access to experiential educational enrichment opportunities through collaborative programming and exhibitions. The results to her vision are to attract and offer world-class opportunities to “students” of all ages through its “edutainment” model. Edutainment, or experiential learning, is the spark that uniquely defines MM-O-DD. Her determination is to inspire creativity and innovative thinking on how design impacts people and the planet. Her goal is to ignite interest in design and related fields of study as a profession or passion. Part of MM-O-DD’s vision is to seed talent, mentor, and support the development of the next generation of designers. Today an essential component to success is to gain savvy insight into future opportunities including in the Fashion Industry.

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The road has been bumpy and filled with challenges. Personally, my grit and determination have served to develop strategic pivot abilities. For example, before the over-used and trite covid reference to the covid reference word, “pivot” was already in place.

Being a single mom with two boys and running my own business prepared the road to start MM-O-DD.

The point was that people says that my quotes are called Leslie…isms. One is: Life is filled with sparks. Some will wake you up, and others will zap you.

This quote was from eons ago.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Professional: A Designer consultant for Interiors, Fashion, and user experience for companies to hire to make their environment more attractive to their clients.

Non-profit: Metropolitan Museum of Design Detroit: Founder/President

Our pillars are based in

1. Biomimicry

2. Local-to-global

3. Science | Technology | Engineering | Art | Math | Edutainment | Design

4. Dedicated to featuring Black Designers

and more

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
The Design industry is in the throes of major change. One of the slogans is ‘Design impacts people and the planet.’ Collectively the Fashion Industry is much more on-demand manufacturing. In general, the business model of ‘Cradle-to-cradle is at the forefront of many design genres.

The consumer trend is toward the meta-verse. So consumer experience is seriously changing.

I teach the Fashion Design Department seniors final collections which we are at the cutting-edge of the fashion industry.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Instagram: mm_o_dd
  • Facebook: Metropolitan Museum of Design Detroit MM-O-DD

Image Credits

Christian O’Grady

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