Recognized by Forbes Magazine for its innovation, impact and yearly growth, 303 Magazine’s Denver Fashion Week (DFW) continues to support an ever-expanding number of young designers, as well as those who have participated since the beginning more than a decade ago. This season, DFW will once again celebrate the synergy between the city’s art and fashion communities with Fashion x Art night on Saturday, November 9 at the Forney Museum of Transportation. Each pair of designers has created an exclusive line just for the evening, making this a can’t-miss show. To help you get to know each pair, 303 has put together the following list, complete with insight from each Fashion x Art team. But that’s not all, see the full lineup for Saturday night here.
Royal Outerwear x Savannah Pitts
Designer, Hunter Higgins, didn’t just create a streetwear brand when he started Royal Outerwear, he created a welcoming space free from judgment and full of style.
“‘Livin’ Like Royalty’ is all about how you see yourself. Confidence in who you are as a person, what you believe in, how you treat people and the person you want to be. We are all Royalty, uniquely created, and we should live like it and treat others the same way,” Higgins said in a recent interview with 303 Magazine.
For his return to DFW, Higgins has paired with artist Savannah Pitts on a new collection inspired by vintage Hollywood glamour with a streetwear kind of edge to it. “I have always been a huge fan of her art and we have made a few things in the past but nothing like this. She kills it and we work well together and I am so stoked on this collaboration.”
Savannah Pitts is a muralist, a photographer, a traveler and, at times, a clothing designer. She does it all under the umbrella of the Lion Heart Project (LHP) which she established in 2013 in memory of her mentor, Patrick Orton. His mentorship and much of Pitts’ focus is on photography, although she’s been drawing since a young age. So far, the murals Pitts paints are all done in black and white, setting extra attention to the small details she imparts through intricate brushstrokes and hours of laborious work. Her first mural was painted in her home town in North Idaho — a place she’s returning to soon to paint an additional three. For the last year, Pitts has added incrementally to a hallway in Productions HQ in the Art District on Santa Fe — a sprawling mural that’s allowed Pitts the freedom to learn and grow as she works on it.
Of this collaboration with designer Higgins, Pitts mentioned that “I am excited to be working alongside one of my dearest friends. Hunter has been by my side for five years now as we grow as young artists. Getting to partake in something like the Denver Fashion Week Fashion show with him is more than I could’ve asked for. Hunter blows me away with his creativity and intense work ethic, he pushes me to work harder and create ore. He is a very influential person in my life. I am very grateful for him.” We can certainly expect to see the love Pitts’ dedicated to her black and white linework on the clothing of a good friend this next week.
False Ego x Shanah Leaf
Jevon Taylor is a fresh face for DFW with his new brand, False Ego. At barely a year old, the brand has exploded in Denver as the only sustainable streetwear brand in the city. Through his efforts, Taylor has created a thoughtful space. His goal is that when people don Falso Ego apparel they become a part of a network of people who are making an impact on the community as “a part of everything.
“‘A part of everything’ means connecting with ourselves, each other and the environment. It means that making the world a better and safer place to live starts with you,” Taylor explained in a recent interview with 303.
Taylor’s DFW creations will consist of clothing that is made from ethically made, certified organic, recycled cotton — an extension of the principles he abides by for everything he creates. According to Taylor, everything he does comes back to one of his favorite quotes by author Terrell Washington Anansi. It reads, “In these modern times, we have to be agents of resolution. Being connected to oneself allows you to know how to be connected to others. Being connected to others allows space and opportunities for resolutions to be birthed.”
Shanah Leaf is an emerging artist who is only just getting into the Denver art scene after graduating from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) last year with a degree in visual and performing arts. Her work ranges from small illustrations to large murals in a style that is whimsical, cartoonish and meditative. One of her most recent paintings, Glimmer in the Garden, highlights a certain afro-feminism that Leaf may come to find is her iconic style.
Collaborating with Taylor for DFW was an exciting new direction for Leaf to attempt. Although she’s used her artistic abilities to create logo designs and custom commissions, designing clothing is a newer trade for Leaf. But, true to her plasticity within mediums, she already has worked with FALSE EGO before.
Leaf commented, “What I am most excited about with this collaboration is getting to work with FALSE EGO’s Jevon Taylor on another project! We had collaborated on False Ego’s release of the ‘Golden Ratio’ t-shirt design, and he has created opportunities for me to showcase my artwork in the Denver area. He’s been a great fellow creative and friend so I’m always happy at an opportunity to collab with him.”
She added, “I’m perhaps most excited at an opportunity to be behind the scenes at a Fashion Show which is something I’ve never experienced before. This will be a project that will ask me to reach out of my comfort zone slightly as an artist as my canvas becomes a garment to wear instead of one to be observed on a gallery wall or space; but I feel the only thing to do is take an opportunity by the horns and see what you can make of it.”
NOVL x Ruben Cabrera
NOVL is more than a new streetwear boutique on South Broadway, it’s the latest endeavor by Denver fashion veterans, Taylor Sandona and Tyler Harwood. In addition to being a retail location, the boutique serves as a creative space. “Our goals are to bring Denver a community space through fashion and events like it hasn’t previously had. We are [working] hard to make all of our events unique while creating a shopping experience featuring unique brands both local and national,” explained the duo in a recent 303 interview.
Sandona and Harwood routinely throw events and parties designed to support the Denver art community — including an event with DFW Spring ‘19 artist, DINKC — making them perfect for DFW’s Fashion x Art night. The full creative team will include local artist, Ruben Cabrera (aka Rube Zilla), who Sandona and Harwood have collaborated with in the past. “We’ve got a lot of custom pieces planned with Ruben for Fashion Week, as well as some really unconventional ideas for our runway show — can’t say too much at this time,” the NOVL team explained. “We’ll be including printed items, embroidered items, along with hand-drawn pieces.
You can also check out their new collection after their runway debut on Monday, November 11. Taking place at NOVL at 6 p.m. it’ll be your only chance to get your hands on the fashion line. More info here.
Ruben Cabrera (Rube Zilla)
Once you start looking for Rube Zilla’s signature mark, you’ll notice how often the street artist gets around. His iconic face paintings feature a lopsided jawline, making them easily recognizable, especially in the pieces where the faces surround each other in a chaotic and hypnotizing composition. His skills with spray paint cans are undeniable, especially in the way he portrays facial expressions with simple lines. But he doesn’t limit himself to any one medium and often works with brushes, markers, pens and other painting tools.
“I love facing challenges with my markers,” Zilla wrote in a recent Instagram post. “When I started all of it I just wanted to see how many different things I could purposefully draw faces on to tell a story. This year it’s been designer bags, toys, humans, mini coolers and motorcycle helmets. Pumped to see what’s next.”
For more information and to purchase tickets to the Fashion x Art night of DFW on Saturday, November 9 at 7 p.m. go here. See below for the night’s full lineup.
Full Lineup for Saturday, November 9, Street Art x Fashion.
Royal Outerwear x Savannah Pits
Tiaja Pierre and Charlie Price
False Ego x Shanah Leaf
NOVL x Ruben Cabrera