During a year of many ups and downs as we have learned to adjust the COVID-19 pandemic, Denver fashion exploded. While many fashion shows, brand launches and events were canceled or postponed in 2020, this year introduced a period for local fashion to take shape in person. Many designers and brands brought their A-game to the Denver fashion scene after taking the time during isolation to expand on their passions for fashion.
Going into the new year, it is clear that Denver fashion is on the horizon. Although it is hard to predict what 2022 has in store for the fashion industry with the continued spread of COVID-19 and its variants, we have seen immense growth in Denver this past year. Here are some of 303 Magazine’s fashion highlights from 2021.
2 Seasons of Denver Fashion Week
Denver Fashion Week returned this year for the summer and fall seasons. Both weeks featured three-night events with ready-to-wear, local and sustainable fashion.
The event in June was held at the Forney Museum of Transportation and local designers like Machete & Sons, Nicholas Anthony, Mona Lucero and more showcased their unique collections. The event brought color, spunk and elegant fashion to Denver while bringing people together after a long year without in-person events.
The second Denver Fashion Week took place in November at McNichols Civic Center. What was arguably the best season yet brought incredible fashion to Denver. With unique themes, intricately constructed pieces and an entire night dedicated to sustainability, the events left the community stunned. Menez, Tokiprism, efta., vendors from Garage Sale and more brought incredible fashion to the Denver stage.
Increased Sustainability Practices and Initiatives
The fashion industry is a major contributor to waste. Fast fashion became a frequently used term this year to describe the result of textile waste and massive use of resources like water. As garments become “trendy” they are rapidly produced and sold only for consumers to wear and discard the items after several uses.
Denver specifically has taken initiative to improve the fashion industry by investing in sustainable alternatives. Thrifting and vintage shopping emerged as a way to pass on garments to new consumers while avoiding the consequences of fast fashion. Several local storefronts opened their doors this year with sustainability on the forefront including Lost Room Collective, The Yellow Morning and the Common Collective Co.
Local Models Samantha Joseph and Alicia Myers Created Color of Fashion
Samantha Joseph and Alicia Myers are seasoned models on a national scale. Joseph is the CEO of her own magazine, NWἉ Magazine, and has been featured in Forbes, Vogue and Lady Gunn. Myers is the creative director of NWἉ Magazine and has modeled for publications such as Vogue, Westword, Sheen Magazine, Cosmopolitan and more.
The two created Color of Fashion, “elevating fashion and promoting inclusivity by bridging the gap between diversity and high fashion.” The first Color of Fashion show was a two-night event held in Denver in September.
Featured in an avant-garde setting at RedLine, a local gallery celebrating diversity, the first night created a platform for designers, models, MUAs and volunteers of color to showcase their work and passions. The second night was held in a serene forest at the Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms, making for a unique runway show celebrating Black designers and impeccable fashion.
Myers and Joseph expanded their platform to include not only runway shows but other events as well. Local filmmaker Blake Jackson worked with the two to create a film depicting a story about a Black model navigating in a society that upholds damaging racial standards. Called F/W and pronounced Fall Winter, the premiere of the film at Mirus Art Gallery in early December brought the Denver fashion community together while initiating conversations about racial inequalities in fashion and the strifes that many Black creatives face.
Color of Fashion’s stance to celebrate the diverse voices and creatives in the fashion industry will continue to evolve, and we’re looking forward to seeing the growth that the organization experiences in 2022.
After a year of social isolation and quarantine, many individuals in Denver took the time to focus on creating garments, accessories and fashionable pieces. As a result, new local designers emerged with their unique contributions to the Denver fashion scene. From Dalton Bidula – founder of LAAW – to Dacy Luneberg and Reanne Alise Chase – founders of GYIDAH – creative juices were flowing this year to elevate the fashion scene. Designers like Alejandro Gaeta and Jasmine Lewis showcased several collections in local fashion shows while catalyzing growth in their brand in the process.
Overall, 2021 was a pivotal year for Denver fashion. Although there were many ups and downs in terms of the pandemic, the community fostered in-person runway shows and fashion events once again. While the fate of Denver fashion in 2022 is still unknown due to the continued spread of COVID-19, one thing is certain – the Mile High City is home to an abundance of creatives and talented designers. Every year transcends the last for Denver fashion, and here at 303 Magazine, we expect that trend to continue.