Brandi Shigley had a dream back in the early ’90s to bring attention to Colorado’s fashion game and spotlight local designers. This dream became a reality back in 2004 when Fashion Denver was born. It has now been 15 years for Fashion Denver and they celebrated in style at Rackhouse this past Sunday. This event showcased some of Denver’s best with a fashion show, market place and more. Since the start of Fashion Denver, Shigley has made it a point to take care of her community. This event was no different. In exchange for a clothing donation for the homeless, attendees would get a free haircut by Lawerence Rivera.
With 15 years comes the ability to make and keep strong connections. This was apparent on Sunday. The majority of the designers and talent at the show have known Shigley since the start. Some, even more than the 15 years that Fashion Denver has been a reality. Igor’s T-shirts are an example of the strong connections Shigley is able to make. Shigley was in high school when she came across Igor’s.
“They were the first entrepreneur I met back in the early ’90s. I don’t think you were even born then,” she said as she laughed and then reflected with, “I remember going to their shop in the Aurora mall and thinking this is so cool, more people need to know about this. So having them here today to celebrate 15 years is really special to me.”
This event also introduced those in attendance to some new and fresh talent. D.J. Howell, a recent grad of RMCAD, was showcasing handmade jewelry and gowns that lean on the side of elegance and luxury. This was the first time partnering up with Fashion Denver as well for Ginchi Apparel, a brand that takes pride in building up an artist empire and upcycling clothing into something new and one of a kind. This also helped launch Space Jungle, a new athleisure wear brand that is taking off this year.
The partnership that Shigley has with each of the vendors is special and creates an atmosphere that is inviting. It makes anyone who has walked off the street into an event feel like they have known everyone for years. Crystal Sharp, designer, and owner of She She Boutique said, “It’s all Brandi, she’s monumental. 15 years ago Denver wasn’t even on the radar for fashion, and I know Brandi has had a hand in putting Denver on the map for fashion and today we not only celebrate Fashion Denver but her as well.”
Photography by Amanda Piela.