Urban Nights — Denver’s largest outdoor urban fashion show and fundraiser that benefits at-risk youth — returned for its fifth year on Saturday, August 5. Its latest theme was Threads of Promise.

“On any given night in Denver, more than 900 youth are homeless or on the verge of becoming homeless,” said Donna Crafton Montgomery, 2017 Urban Nights chair. It’s a tough statistic to face but the creators of the respected fashion show hope to redirects the lives of at-risk youth through Urban Nights. “This year, we [were] thrilled to add new beneficiaries that expand our reach into this vulnerable population providing a wide range of services to the at-risk youth that each organization serves,” Montgomery said. This year’s show benefitted Urban PeakThe Danny Dietz Foundation and La Academia at The Denver Inner City Parish and was sponsored by The Joseph Family FoundationTempus Jets, Bank of AmericaJeepCBS4, and Matthew Morris Skincare & Salon, among others. Craftan gave us insight about how this year’s charity fashion show compared to last year’s and what we can expect for 2018.

303 Magazine: How did Urban Nights get started?

Donna Crafton: Urban Nights began in October 2012 after the members of the Joseph Family Foundation assembled a committee of 50 volunteers to bring to fruition the inaugural Urban Nights held in August 2013. The event welcomed over 1,400 guests, raised more than $150,000 for Urban Peak and launched Denver’s newest and most exciting fundraiser.

303: Did this year’s earnings exceed last year’s expectations?

DC: Yes! We are still wrapping up, but we think we raised almost double.

303: How is the donated money dispersed?

DC: It is shared between our three charity partners, Urban Peak, La Academia and Danny Dietz Foundation.

303: Urban Nights benefits at risk youth. Can you tell me about a specific young person (or more) who’s life has been made for the better?

DC: While there are many, [but] because we are talking about youth, we are bound by privacy. However, I’ve had the privilege of spending time with many of the youth this year and even took one, Patrick, to 9News with me to promote this year’s event. He shared his story on the air.

303: Are there any designers in mind for next year’s show? Next year’s chairs?

Craftan: Next year’s event will be chaired by Andrew Feinstein and Sarah McCarthy. They will be fantastic and will announce plans as they begin making decisions on designers and all of the other event details.

303: Just for fun, did you have a favorite outfit on the runway?

Craftan: I loved them all, but was especially excited to have Nicholas K anchor the show. It’s a real treat to host a designer from New York City and to have them attend in person. They dressed me that night, with a sample from the show, so I’d have to say that was my favorite runway look!

The night had no shortage of talent as it opened with designs from The Art Institute of Colorado students, including Anthony Heimann, Emily Fritz, Chantal Goethals, Danielle Horrigan, Katherine McBride, and Dacy Luneburg. Suitsupply followed with a brilliant display of fall colors, dapper patterns, stylish layering, and elevated menswear. Lastly, Nicholas K closed the fashion show with “Threads of Change” and selections from his New York Fall/Winter collection. A stunning array of glamorous metallics, bold accessories, edgy prints, and New York-esque high fashion was modeled on the runway.

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All photography by David Schmidt and 211 Photography.

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