Denver Fashion Week (DFW), one of America’s fastest-growing fashion platforms, is back again for Spring 2022. The show starts on Sunday, April 3 and ends the following Sunday on April 10. On day six of DFW, the “Sustainable Show” will take place at the Forney Museum of Transportation and will feature local designers who are committed to sustainability. 303 Magazine sat down with six designers showing their sustainable collections.
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The Designer: Kim Rayfield
The Lowdown: Rayfield has endured a love for fashion and styling for as long as she can remember. Almost five years ago, she started working at Rags and while she appreciates the ins and outs of fashion, she learned while working wholesale in LA that she does not enjoy the idea of fast fashion. Margaret Miner is the owner of Rags, and for more than 25 years she has strived to practice fashion sustainably. This has inspired Rayfield over the years.
According to Rayfield, Rags carries almost every brand at affordable prices for those interested in ready-to-wear pieces. “On April 9, I aim to showcase our wide range of brands and designers while providing examples to the wider public on just how stylish, and on-trend, you can be while shopping secondhand,” stated Rayfield.
303 Magazine: What does showcasing Rags at DFW mean to you?
Kim Rayfield: Showcasing Rags’ message and styling with resale pieces is a literal dream come true for me. I’ve always wanted to style at the runway level, it’s my favorite form of artistic expression because it’s where the inspiration happens! I’ve always said that I have champagne taste on a beer budget, but now I’ve learned that I really CAN have the best of both worlds. You just need to know where to look, and Rags is a great place to start.
February Jones Presents: The Common Collective
The Designer: Tristan Bego
The Lowdown: Bego is the owner and co-owner of February Jones and The Common Collective. According to Bego, they host 14 small, local businesses in Capitol Hill. TCC is their brick-and-mortar store that just opened up about six months ago, and Bego appreciates having a set space that is inspiring and wholesome for collaboration to take place.
At DFW this year, Bego is thrilled to represent its take on 90s vintage and sustainability. The message in the designs, according to Bego, is: “Making Sustainable, Black owned, Woman owned, Gender neutral Businesses – The Common.”
303 Magazine: What does showcasing February Jones at DFW mean to you?
Tristan Bego: This opportunity is very important to me. Collaborating with my friends and collective is huge for all of us! DFW is giving me the platform to show off my and my friends’ custom work and crazy good vintage is another great aspect of the community.
It’s a way to elevate you and your friends’ creativity and DFW allows us to show off our representation and art to so many people! Pushing all of us ahead, a collective is not about just one person, it’s about everyone. Thank you DFW for the opportunity!
The Designer: Tahira Ebaady
The Lowdown: Ebaady was born in a small town in Afghanistan called Jaghori. After many life events and life changes, her path led her to pursue her passion for design at Parsons School of Design on a full sponsorship. According to Ebaady, after graduating she devoted her spare time to TAHIRA which is a high-end contemporary womenswear line. “This line is inspired by the strength and resilience of, and including the immaculate needlepoint embroidery of Afghan women and female refugees,” explained Ebaady.
AT DFW this year, Ebaady is excited to announce that her collection is a culmination of her own roots and culture. The collection is special and unique because it includes embroidery or handmade crochet created by Afghan women refugees.
303 Magazine: What does showcasing TAHIRA at DFW mean to you?
Tahira Ebaady: I am most excited about the world, seeing the story of a brave, stronger and self-reliant Afghan woman, proud of her heritage and ready to fight for her rights as a human being. This collection is the story of Afghan women becoming financially independent through our talent and our craft.
The Designer: Moses Kisale
The Lowdown: Killionaire was created back in 2019 and started as a small venture with friends that turned into a larger brand when demand for pieces grew. This year for DFW, Kisale will show a bright and assertive collection that will be sure to draw the eyes of the audience. According to Kisale, he is excited for everything to come together and for his collection to be seen to all.
Kisale believes that great art and inspiration can come from any means. The sustainable pieces he created for this collection have a message behind the designs. Kisale aims to “show fellow artists/designers that you can turn nothing into something,” he said.
303 Magazine: What does showcasing Killionaire at DFW mean to you?
Moses Kisale: Showcasing my pieces at DFW is a great experience that I’ll be adding to my resume. I get to socialize and connect with like-minded people that enjoy art, fashion, good music and more.
The Designer: Audra Stachnik
The Lowdown: Stachnik moved to Denver, Colorado in June of 2020. This was also the year she started sewing, and she realized how much she loved it after picking it up as a hobby during the pandemic. Stachnik accredits her pursuit of art to being in Denver specifically. Her collection this year at DFW will showcase an array of textures and patterns, and according to Stachnik, you can expect to see romantically inspired looks.
Stachnik hopes that her collection inspires others that they can make their art however they would like. Additionally, she wants to emphasize the importance of sourcing practices.
303 Magazine: What does showcasing Hott Pink Matter at DFW mean to you?
Audra Stachnik: Being able to make and share a personal collection at DFW truly means everything to me. I’ve been feeling everything preparing for it, as this is my first fashion show. More than anything though I’m excited to be a part of it.
I hope the future of my company and myself continues to lean in this direction because I’ve fallen in love already with the process of it all. I’m very appreciative beyond words for everyone working together to create the show.
The Designers: Lily Walters, Emily Kaler and Bella Conte
The Lowdown: Walters, Kaler and Conte have a close bond that they formed after meeting at a pop-up market last year. Their vision is to make fashion sustainable, and they are eager to showcase their collection this year at DFW. Not only will the audience get a personal take on how Lost Room utilizes sustainable, high fashion but various looks will incorporate different eras.
All three designers want the audience to recognize the benefits of shopping sustainably, and according to the ladies, accessibility is key. “We are all about affordable sustainability and that fashion and style is attainable for everyone,” explained Walters, Kaler and Conte.
303 Magazine: What does showcasing Lost Room Collective mean to you?
Lily Walters, Emily Kaler, and Bella Conte: Showing at DFW is a true honor for us. For us to be able to show our creative vision is so special. All three of us have such a different style and to be able to highlight these looks while lessening the impact the fashion industry has on the world is such a blessing.
All photography by Roxanna Carrasco unless otherwise noted.