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WHAT: Denver Fashion Week
WHERE: Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, 7711 E. Academy Blvd., No. 1, Denver; also at other boutiques around the metro area
WHEN: March 18 through 25
When people think about fashionable cities, most probably imagine places like New York City, Paris, or Milan. Wherever they imagine, odds are, Denver doesn’t rank high on the list.
In recent years, local designers, models and other artists have been working to make the metro area a place where fashion and design thrive in bold, new directions. And they hope that people are starting to notice.
“I wish more people knew that a fashion world is here in Denver,” said Duane Topping, designer with Topping Designs, a fashion company he runs with his wife, Jamie. “I am often astounded to hear that many people didn’t know this local fashion community existed.”
In an effort to celebrate all the exciting work being done locally, the city is getting its first Denver Fashion Week, running March 18-25. The bi-annual event is hosted by 303 Magazine, in partnership with Denver Arts and Venues, Visit Denver, the Denver Art Museum and The Paper Fashion Show.
The event — formerly Denver Fashion Weekend — started 10 years ago, and substantial growth in these industries over the years inspired organizers to finally expand the event to a full week.
“The hair design scene in Denver is particularly exciting, and we wanted to bring in local designers and boutiques as well,” said Brittany Werges, managing editor of 303 Magazine. “People are so often that they’ve been around for so long and not heard much about the fashion scene. It may have been niche for a while, but it’s big for the people in it.”
The weeklong event kicks off with a children’s fashion show, bridal runway show and the 303 Awards in the evening. During the week, there will be industry workshops for models, boutiques and designers, as well as trunk shows, sales events and more. At the workshops will be local industry leaders, acclaimed designers from New York City and expert panels.
Most events will take place at Wings Over the Rockies, 7711 E. Academy Blvd., No. 1, in Denver.
One exciting feature of fashion week will be Stevie Boi, a New York-based designer known for his work with Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, and Madonna, to name a few. Boi will be showing a brand new, exclusive line on Thursday, March 22.
Another highlight will be the non-traditional night featuring models of all shapes, sizes, ages and orientations, which will also be the same day. Werges said this kind of acceptance has made the night one of the most popular events.
“Denver is such a diverse city and so many different art forms co-exist here,” said Kotomi Yoshida, a Denver-based designer who will be showing work during the non-traditional model night, and during the hair show on March 25. “Since we are kind of brand new, especially compared to LA or New York, the doors are so open to anybody who want to join the community. That is the beauty of this town.”
The diversity of the fashion world, which encompasses areas like hair, makeup, and even running fashion boutiques, makes it a particularly welcoming industry that can accept people from all walks of life, and that’s one of the things that Denver Fashion Week aims to highlight.
“There’s a misconception that the fashion world is very exclusive, but I want people to see how inviting it can be,” Werges said. “Not only can people learn about the industry, but they can see what Denver has to offer, and then support it. It’s really exciting for everyone.”
Meet the designer - Kotomi Yoshida
Meet the designer - Duane Topping, of Topping Designs
I grew up in east Denver, and spent most of my younger life in Montbello. I spent a while in the military, retired in 2012, and returned to Denver.
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