Paint the Runway

ON THE (DENVER) RUNWAY – Barrera International’s design featured at Paint the Runway this year. Barrera will present solo Sept. 5.
Photo By Caitlin Savage

September is here. What does that mean? Husky September issues of your favorite mags, boots season and, above all, fashion shows … galore. So, clear your social calendar, put together a few killer, on-trend outfits and slip into your comfiest Manolos as you trek the Denver fashion scene beginning this week.

Let the pre-season warm you up for the main event: 303 Magazine’s own Denver Fashion Weekend, being held Nov. 7-11.

Here is my list of must-go fashion shows as we kick off the season with September. Pencil them in! 303 will be there, will you? Be sure to check out our coverage daily following each fashion event this weekend and tag yourself in our photo galleries.



303 witnessed Barrera International (a.k.a. 22-year-old Juan Jimenez) for the first time at First Class Fashionista’s 2013 Denver Paint the Runway and it left us wanting more from the young designer who interned with Tom Ford.

And, on the evening of Thursday, Sept. 5, you can get more when Jimenez hosts his second solo exhibition since the label’s inception in September 2011 with 40 fresh pieces he’s been sewing both day and night.

Barrera International ( will be debuting the brand’s A/W 2014 couture collection for the Denver audience at the Space Gallery in the Santa Fe Arts District in a black-tie affair.

The collection is right on point with a jewel-toned color palette and what sounds to be like a shock-and-awe runway presentation featuring a white cubicle runway. Asian fusion meets French Couture in everything from the designs to the themed cocktails.

“I design for those who share a passion for quality, textiles and design of the garment, which is why I use one-of-a-kind fabrics, with just a touch of sparkle,” Jimenez said.

A pop-up shop will be available after the event for guests to purchase garments and place orders. Part of the proceeds will be donated to SafeHouse Denver.

Barrera International Sample Spring 2013 Photo Courtesy of Juan Jimenez

BARRERA INTERNATIONAL – Spring 2013 Collection
Photo Courtesy of Juan Jimenez

Tickets can be purchased now at https://barrerainternational.eventbrite.comVIP tickets are on sale for $100 per two guests; features a private cocktail hour from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. General admission tickets are $25 with doors opening at 9 p.m. Tickets will also be available at the door.



303 has been tracking the rise of the 2013 RISING STAR design competition ( since the finalists were announced back in June and we have been on the edge of our seats ever since.

Like Project Runway? Well, RISING STAR is all that and more. It is live here in Denver and branches out to encompass realms beyond fashion design – revealing a large pool of local talent.

The Denver chapter of Fashion Group International (FGI) ( is hosting its seventh RISING STAR cutting-edge design competition, the organization’s signature event at the McNichols Civic Center Building from 6 p.m. until midnight Friday, Sept. 6.

“Programs such as RISING STAR are essential as we know the success rate for a designer is based upon the foundations built at the early stages,” Stephanie Swimmer, executive director of the Denver Mart (a sponsor) said at the kick-off celebration. “FGI and RISING STAR help to raise awareness, build relationships and provide financial support, all of which is necessary and will help increase the success factor for you as a designer.”

STARS - Many of the RISING STAR 2013 finalists Photo courtesy of FGI

RISING STAR – Many of the RISING STAR 2013 hopefuls
Photo courtesy of FGI

The biennial fashion event celebrates 14 local design talents in ready-to-wear, fragrance, retail storefronts and interior design, among others. The purpose of the red carpet gala event is to discover “the next big thing” in Colorado design.

Famed fashion show designer Cynthia Petrus (former special events manager for Saks Fifth Avenue) designed the show, while Denver media personalities Denise Plante and Kirk Montgomery will play hosts. Munch on gourmet bites, sip signature cocktails, participate in a silent auction (with proceeds going to Dress for Success Denver) and then dance the night away following the show.

Tickets can be purchased now at Purchase runway VIP seats for $250, seated for $150 and general admission for $75. Cabaret tables and student pricing are also available.



FIRE IN THE SKY – BLK.ID, an NYC fashion designer to be featured on the runway at the Sept. 7 event
Photo Courtesy of Quarterly Karma

Newcomer non-profit, cause-based event planning organization Quarterly Karma ( is bringing together Denver’s music, foodie, art and fashion scenes together for a benevolent, fashion-forward night on the town.

On the Saturday of your Denver fashion week out (if you’ve been hopping from event to event), end your marathon (still in those Manolos, of course) at Fire in the Sky.

The event is being held at the uber cool event and collaborative workspace Cluster Studios with its 22-foot-high timber ceilings and loft-like polished concrete floors Sept. 7 from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.

The show will feature the designs of ten fashion designers including the likes of Elm & Oak (a Boulder lifestyle brand), Live Worldly (Denver-based brand carrying international goods) and BLK.ID (an NYC lifestyle brand famous for their cut-and-sew shirts), among many others.

Highlights of the blowout event include a 60-foot-long runway, full bar, trunk show, live music and a food truck courtyard. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Do Your Part, Inc., which will in-turn go to a fund to aid the victims of this past year’s destructive Colorado wildfires.

“Fire in the Sky merges fashion, music, food, art and philanthropy, so it’s not just your typical fashion event,” Jenna Luvin, Quarterly Karma founder, said. “It supports the victims of the Colorado wildfires and that is something we can all stand behind!”

Tickets are available at for $15. Tickets can also be purchased at the door for $20.