Urban Nights returned to Denver over the weekend, bringing a night of philanthropy, art and fashion to RiNo’s EXDO Event Center. The seventh annual event benefited Urban Peak, a nonprofit committed to serving youth experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of becoming homeless. “Urban Nights 2018 provides an opportunity to celebrate community and support one of the most vulnerable populations in our cities,” said event co-chair, Andrew Feinstein. “Thanks to the courage of leaders like our Urban Legend award recipients and organizations like Urban Peak, these young people have access to the services they need to exit homelessness and create self-determined, fulfilled lives.”

READ: Denver Fashion Community Rallies Behind At-Risk Youth with Urban Nights

Urban Nights Denver, Urban Nights 2018

Candace Feren designed looks for Stephanie Donner, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Galvanize and Melanie Ulle, co-founder of Women in Kind collaborative workspaces and CEO of Philanthropy Expert, LLC.

Urban Nights 2018: Beauty in the World celebrated the importance and impactfulness of artistic expression with a concert by Grammy award winner, Macy Gray, live mural painting by Tracy Weil, co-founder of RiNo Art District, and a fashion show sponsored by the Art Institute of Colorado and produced by Evelyn Knuckles, owner of Evey K Fashionliner Boutique. This year, seven students from the Art Institute fashion program teamed up with youth who are part of Urban Peak’s programming to create unique looks for the evening.

We taught them teambuilding and sewing skills but it was really more than that. It really alters your perspective. We all complain a lot and come from the same headspace but working with them we realize we have it so well and we’re so blessed to be pursuing our passion the way we are. We were able to impact their lives and also show at an event like this, so it’s been really incredible,” explained designer, Amanda Portner.

Urban Nights Denver, Urban Nights 2018, Denver Fashion

Amanda Portner was one of seven young designers who created looks for the evening event. Portner created a navy jumpsuit for Denver Public Schools Foundation board member, Priya Burkett.

Each design team was also paired with a local thought leader, who wore the design during the evening show. “I feel so special because I got to go outside my comfort zone and design and create something for a plus size woman like me and make her feel beautiful and special for the evening,” said Tiffany Freeze, who outfitted Kasia Iwaniczko-MacLeod, a communication and corporate social responsibility leader and Denver Art Museum board member. 

Urban Nights 2018: Beauty in the World challenged us to examine the beauty in our world, embrace its invaluable place in our lives and foster its future growth. Whether that beauty is in seeing a child who has overcome homelessness begin to dream about his future or watching a young student actualize her dream as a fashion designer, it enveloped all of those who attended this beloved event. 

Photography by Heather Fairchild.

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