Denver Fashion Weekend Spring ’16 is selling out quick. Now with five nights of incredible fashion, hair and beauty, it’s the best place to learn about new and local designers in the Mile High City. For this year of DFW, we are highlighting these designers before the big show so you can get to know the people behind the brands. Read on to learn about their inspirations, what they think of Denver style and their thoughts on what we are all here for—Denver Fashion Weekend.

RSVP Your Seat to Night Two, Local Designer Night of DFW  Here


 

RACHEL MARIE HURST

A Model in One of Hurst’s Designs – Photo by James Morales

How long have you been designing?

I started with costume design and received my BA in 2009 for it from CU Boulder. At the time I took a Fashion approach to costume design where my Professors Ted Stark and Markas Henry helped me to customize my degree so that I could learn about fashion. It was a really magical and unique experience for me.

Who or what brands do you look to for inspiration?
I have always loved Dior. The femininity and sultry, yet sophisticated, designs are so beautiful to me. I am also currently obsessed with Novis, a newer brand, that is very whimsy yet chic.
What type of customer or clientele would wear your brand?
My client loves clothing that allows her to express herself creatively and professionally in her everyday life. She loves unique pieces that are thoughtful and curated with amazing fabrics and trims. She takes fashion seriously and enjoys wearing clothes and trying new styles. She has an artistic eye, as well as an eye for detail.
Where do you hope to see the Denver fashion scene, and your brand in a couple of years?
I would love to see the Denver fashion scene expand and be more on the map with more buyers attending our fashion week and more designers permanently being able to be located here in Denver.

KIMONO DRAGONS 

 

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Francis Roces with Models After a Show – Image Courtesy of Francis Roces

How long have you been designing for?

I started Kimonodragons in 1999, but I have been designing since high school. I learned to design in high school art class in the Philippines.

Who or what brands do you look to for inspiration?

Early Alexander McQueen, Dsquared and Chanel.

What is the aesthetic you are trying to achieve through your brand?

To be different and outside the box—Tokyo street style.

How has DFW changed the fashion scene for Denver based designers?
DFW has brought local and national brands and designers to Colorado mainstream [and has] helped establish a long lasting and respected fashion industry here in Denver.

Where do you hope to see the Denver fashion scene, and your brand in a couple of years?
I see Denver as the main fashion center for the Midwest and have as much clout in the world fashion industry as New York and LA. Kimonodragons would be the force to push Denver to be fashion forward.


Marie-Margot Couture

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A Wedding Gown by Burns – Image Courtesy of Maggie Burns

How long have you been designing for?

I started designing bridal gowns for my friends and family on nights and weekends about 30 years ago while I raised my family and worked in the corporate world. In late 2010, I left the corporate world and started designing full time and haven’t looked back.

Where did you learn to design?

I’m basically self taught, although I did take a few courses in college. I’m still learning and look for every opportunity possible to learn about the business. Being a self employed designer is much more than just designing a garment. It entails business principles as well.

The internet has opened up a vast array of opportunities for me, but is also one of the biggest challenges as well with social media morphing into so many ways to reach the right customer. One has to be versed in business finances and accounting, employee management, production systems, fabric and manufacturing sourcing, to name a few.

Who or what brands do you look to for inspiration? I always look to the tried and true designers,

Vera Wang, Monique Llulier, Sposabella and Claire Pettibone. However, the newer designers on the stage offer a way to dial up your thought processes.

What type of customer or clientele would wear your brand?

My customer is the fashion forward twenty/thirty something. She has a definite idea of what expresses her personal style and has a hard time finding it in the retail store. She knows and appreciates value and quality. She appreciates custom sewing techniques to create an heirloom quality gown.

 “Designing in Denver is more challenging here than on the coasts… [but] opportunities are expanding here in Colorado and I’m excited to see what happens in the near future. Demand will dictate the future for designers in Denver.” – Maggie Burns aka Marie-Margot Courture

What advice would you have for young designers based out of Denver?

Persevere or move. Designing in Denver is more challenging here than on the coasts due to lack of local manufacturing and fabric and trim sources. However, manufacturing opportunities are starting to present themselves in Colorado through hard work and the efforts of many including the Rocky Mountain Makers and Manufacturers Association, Colorado State University, Art Institute of Colorado, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design and numerous others working diligently to reshore apparel manufacturing.

Opportunities are expanding here in Colorado and I’m excited to see what happens in the near future. Demand will dictate the future for designers in Denver. Young designers just need to figure out what they’re willing to endure and what opportunities they can make for themselves here.


STUDIO YOSHIDA 

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Lolita Inspired Designs by Yoshida – Image Courtesy of Kotomi Yoshida

Where did you learn to design?
In my head. I am highly inspired from my culture, Tokyo street fashion, also coming from BFA degree in Academic Drawing, I love lines and structures in fashion garments. I usually look at the materials and they just become what they want to be eventually.

Who or what brands do you look to for inspiration?

I love modern avant-garde designers at the time, whoever it may be. I love goth, I love theater costumes, I love cosplay, I look for my inspiration in the ordinary street people who are trying to say something through their outfits.

What advice would you have for young designers based out of Denver?

Creativity is a power battery to your life, happy pill to your depression, and an entrance to a rabbit hole. Do not ever lose it!

2 Responses

  1. Troy Gowens

    Great show last night at dever fashion show. My daughter was in it. Is there a way to get a video of the show. What’s the cost

    Reply

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