The student-run fashion show aims to give young designers an opportunity to showcase their collections.
Golden Magazine, a University of Minnesota student-run fashion and lifestyle magazine, will present the “Dare 2 Be Golden” runway show at Fashion Week MN Thursday at 6 p.m. at W Minneapolis – The Foshay.
According to Ava Ojo, the production team lead at Golden Magazine, four student and five local designers will be featured at the event.
This is the second time Fashion Week MN is featuring Golden Magazine in their programming, Ojo said. The first time was in fall 2021.
The team has been preparing for the event since January, Ojo said. Along with the nine designers featured in the runway show, a pop-up event beforehand will showcase collections from five Minnesota-owned vendors.
Ojo does not underestimate the importance of recognizing the work of student designers, especially at large-scale events like Fashion Week MN. Ojo said this event will give students opportunities to gain exposure and network as well as show their creative vision to the Twin Cities community.
“Having these designers showcase their work, I mean it’s important for everyone to see,” Ojo said. “There’s more opportunities for everybody.”
Fashion as an art form
One of the student designers featured in “Dare 2 Be Golden” is Jaylee Rosand, a second-year product design major. This event will mark her fashion show debut.
Rosand began sewing when she was 8 years old, after her grandma taught her how to make doll clothes. However, it wasn’t until she was 12 that she started making clothes for herself.
“I remember realizing that I could make my own clothes the same way I’d been making doll clothes, just on a bigger scale,” Rosand said.
Some of Rosand’s biggest inspirations for her design style include ‘90s runway shows and designers like Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood. As a big fan of historical fashion, she said she enjoys modernizing traditional clothing in her collections, especially from the Victorian Era.
Rosand’s Fashion Week MN pieces fall under a few different themes, one of which involves her biracial identity, a major influence on Rosand’s work. Rosand, who is half-Korean and half-white, said some of her pieces are inspired by Korean culture and include an ink print that mimics East Asian writing characters.
Rosand said she wishes fashion was highlighted as an art form more often, especially for young people who may have fresher takes that deserve to be showcased.
“There’s always going to be new perspectives and new talent and I think it’s good to always kind of keep updating the scene,” Rosand said.
This year, Fashion Week MN is focusing on the theme of “joy,” according to Susan Leppke, the chief operations officer of the organization.
While the theme may seem simple on the surface, it encapsulates many aspects of the feeling of joy, Leppke said. From the joy of being together to the joy of putting on an outfit to finding the joy within yourself, the theme is far reaching.
“We want to get back to a place where we’re just really appreciative of each other and the community and being happy,” Leppke said.
Sustainability and student access at Fashion Week MN
Fashion Week MN prides itself on its efforts to be as sustainable, equitable and inclusive as possible, according to Leppke.
One of their shows, “Into The Studio Sustainable Style: A Fashion Revolution,” held Monday, raised awareness of the slow fashion movement by using organic and recycled materials and emphasizing fair-trade production.
The organization also hosted an all Native American designed fashion show last Tuesday and will host a show on Wednesday featuring more youth fashion and jewelry designers. There will also be a show on Friday featuring only designers of color.
Leppke said Fashion Week MN has always tried to highlight student designers and find a way to partner with the University. Giving Golden Magazine the chance to present their own runway show is a way the organization is ensuring student voices are represented in the Twin Cities fashion community.
Leppke believes highlighting the work of diverse and young artists is crucial because they are the future and have a lot to contribute to the fashion industry.
“I think it’s important to make sure that everyone is offered a seat at the table and it’s very important to make sure that diverse voices are part of that table,” Leppke said.
Tickets for “Dare 2 Be Golden” are available on Fashion Week MN’s website.