Part of what makes Denver Fashion Week so unique is seeing the incredible raw talent that the city has to offer. While many designers who take the stage do so for the first time, some return to bring audiences a fresh look at what their brand created for the new season. This year, attendees can look forward to seeing the brands Adobe Darko, efta., Idiot Cult and Gulosch Garments once again.
Adobe Darko by Chaim Bellinsky
Chaim Bellinsky’s designs have a signature look unlike any other. Using his graphic design skills, he alters popular and well-known brand logos, such as Dole, 7-Eleven and Mountain Dew, and transforms them into bold, eccentric looks made for the runway. His approach to designing is very playful, also seen in how he styles his outfits, commonly with Crocs and bright makeup looks.
For this November’s show, audiences can definitely count on seeing similar upbeat and bright looks come down the stage.
efta. by Teagan Glass
Making waves in Denver streetwear and the fashion community is efta. by Teagan Glass, who is taking on the runway again, one year after his first show.
Glass’ start in fashion was unintentional, as he was going in a completely different direction in his life before stumbling across his passion. In college, Glass studied biochemistry and post-graduation, he moved to Denver to pursue his master’s degree. Between school and working in academic research labs, he enjoyed graphic design as a creative outlet. Out of curiosity, he tried screen printing his work on Hanes tee shirts and immediately fell in love with the process.
Soon, Glass started screen printing more seriously and did his first pop-up at the Raw Artist Showcase in February 2020 with the brand name, efta. The pandemic quickly hit not long after, so Glass used this time to put more designs together and hone in on his aesthetic.
Summer of 2021, Glass moved to a studio in Capitol Hill, right around the time that the Black Lives Matter protests were at their height in Denver. He felt strongly about what was happening, so he produced a capsule of clothes called the Unity Capsule, where all proceeds went to BLM and PSL (Party for Socialism and Liberation) chapters. This collection elevated the brand’s message of being “unity-based wear.”
Following his drop of the Unity Capsule, Glass was asked to be a part of Denver Fashion Week. Despite taking the call in the middle of doing a scientific experiment at work, he didn’t hesitate to say yes. He took to the runway in November of 2021 with a new collection of streetwear styles.
With the evolution of his brand, Glass moved away from using Gildan tees and now only uses organic, ethically sourced, high-quality pieces to print on.
For this year’s runway, Glass is planning a conceptual collection of his interpretation of the seasons changing. Moving away from his bright and colorful summer clothing, he wants to maintain his clean aesthetic, while also exploring new colorways.
“I definitely play with a lot of different concepts and ideas just because I have a lot of very eclectic interests,” Glass said. “I really tried to focus on a very clean aesthetic.”
When not designing, Glass organizes his own pop-up, Made by Us, with local vendors and designers, food trucks, DJs and more.
“The energy behind the brand is definitely collaborating with our other local creatives, whether it’s with modeling or doing shooting for me, but definitely fostering an inclusive creative community is a very strong part of the energy I come with when making the brand.”
Idiot Cult by Morgan Febrey
After three years, streetwear designer Morgan Febrey is making a return to the runway, and he has big plans for the showcase of his newest collection.
Febrey has been a graphic designer for years but soon decided that rather than design for others, he should do it for himself.
In 2008, Barack Obama came to Denver with the Democratic National Committee convention. Febrey took the opportunity to create his own Obama design, turn it into iron-ons, transfer them onto t-shirts, and sell them on 16th Street Mall. By the end of the day, he had made $800 and found a new passion.
Before his Denver Fashion Week debut in 2019, Febrey participated in punk, and indie shows to promote clothing, while also having his brand carried by big distributors such as Dolls Kill. While he has dabbled in designing hoodies, sweatpants and swimsuits, the majority of his work is in tees, featuring many unique sayings.
“I tend to be a provocateur,” Febrey said. “I like things to be a little offensive and a little smart and a little funny. Those are three words that are my guiding principles when I design things.”
Febrey’s main goal with his clothing is simply to design for his own enjoyment. When it comes to the outfits he puts together, he is a fan of contrast. Many of his looks will have a common theme of something tight and something loose, such as a bikini top with baggy sweatpants.
“That juxtaposition, I think, is always fun, whether it be color, or shape and form,” Febrey said.
While Febrey maintains and loves that his brand is, as he says, “a terrible joke that’s a little offensive,” his line for this year’s runway has a more serious undertone, as it is related to the current political state in the U.S. The title of the collection, La Mouche, is French for “fly.” The idea circles around how, after 2020, it’s clear that society is struggling, and we may not be strung as tight as we thought.
“The fabric that binds us is being pulled from multiple angles. And wherever society is fraying, La Mouche is there,” Febrey said. “Everywhere there is garbage or anything foul, La Mouche is there.”
Gulosch Garments by James Donovan
Another show-stopping designer who showcased in the past year is Scooter James, creator of Gulosch Garments. After years of being involved with Denver Fashion Week as a model, he was finally able to present his own work and is coming back again with a whole new collection.
As a child, James went to a charter school where uniforms were required. Because of this, he didn’t start really dressing himself until his freshman year of high school, when he mostly wore Vans and cargo shorts. His style slowly began to evolve as he saw diversity in what people wore to high school. He began to realize his artistic side, with an interest in fashion and modeling.
Understanding that there were many paths he could take following graduation, his mom and him made a deal: James would try just one year of college. With no prior experience or even a desire to make clothing, he decided to attend Colorado State University in Fort Collins for Design and Merchandising, where he learned pattern making, designing textiles and sewing.
“Going out there, out of my comfort zone, was definitely a big stepping milestone as far as my fashion design and individuality,” James said.
The name Gulosch Garments was inspired by the food goulash, a stew with a little bit of everything. James felt that the way he sees clothing is just the same.
“I see my brand as a bunch of nothing turned into something,” James said. “Where other people see a bunch of random things or just miscellaneous materials, I can see potential as far as creating something.”
James attributes his style to his upbringing, gaining inspiration from clothes his brothers wore, as well as styles he wishes he had the ability to create while growing up.
For the past three years, James’ involvement in Denver Fashion Week has been solely with modeling for his brothers, creators of Overseer and Killionaire. His first show as a designer was on streetwear night in spring of 2022.
“I finally got to show my pieces, which was something that I was very excited to do,” James said. “To actually have my name out and people talking about me.”
Although James’ newest collection for Denver Fashion Week will be shown on streetwear night, he believes audiences will be surprised to see, as he describes, a “streetwear to business casual” look. As his previous styles will tell, it’s certain he will bring a strong and stylish runway given his skill and talent.
“At the end of the day, I do what I do for the love of it and I’m just trying to show kids who are younger than me that there are other things to do in life,” James said.
With fresh new looks for the stage, these four returning designers are guaranteed to put on a show that fully represents the creativity and potential of the Denver fashion scene. Be sure to get your tickets for Denver Fashion Week starting on Nov. 12.