The first official Denver Fashion Week is one month away and with each passing day, anticipation builds and excitement grows. This year, DFW had almost 1,000 models come to casting for a chance to walk the DFW runway. Of the 1,000 people who showed up, 240 models of different age, race, gender, shape and size were chosen.

Get to know some of them below and be sure to catch them on the DFW runway March 18-25.

Allison O’Neil

Name: Allison O’Neil
Age: 22
Night: March 22, 23, 24, 25
Designer: Nuorikko Bridal / Paper Dress Katie O’Neil / Rita

Denver Fashion Week: What made you decide to come to casting for Denver Fashion Week?

Allison O’Neil: Originally, I was only going to be walking in the Paper Dress Fashion Show because my sister asked me to model her design, then she convinced me to go to the casting for the other nights as well.

DFW: Is this your first runway experience or have you done a show before?

AO: I have never walked in a show before; this is my first time. I have attended the Paper Dress Fashion show the last four years to support my sister Katie because she always designs a dress.

DFW: What do you like most about the fashion in Denver and at DFW?

AO: I like that Denver Fashion Week is diverse and there is variety in the shows including the Kid’s show and Paper Dress. Plus, it’s cool that there are so many workshops and events throughout the week.

DFW: What are you looking forward to most about DFW?

AO: I am really looking forward to walking in all the nights of DFW equally. I’m excited to wear my sister’s design but I also think the hair show will be fun. I [also] can’t wait to walk the runway in a wedding dress.

 

Madelyn Cartmill

Name: Madelyn Cartmill
Age: 9
Night: March 18
Designer: TBD

Denver Fashion Week: Why did you decide to try out for Denver Fashion Week?

Madeline Cartmill: I have been professionally modeling since I was a year and a half old and I love everything about modeling; I want to participate in a show or photo shoot every time I can.

DFW: Is this your first runway show?

MC: No. I have walked the runway for Goldbug for Walmart, The Royal image boutique, Denver’s Unique Week of Fashion summer and bridal show where I got to “dab” on the runway with Denver Bronco Will Parks, and I also walked last summer in the DFW’s children’s summer fashion show for Nest.

DFW: What are you looking forward to most about DFW?

MC: I am excited about walking the runway and showing off the clothes I get to wear.

DFW: What do you like most about being a model in Denver?

MC: I get to model a variety of different looks from summer to winter and everything in between because we are lucky enough to have all four seasons.

Audrey Graves

Name: Audrey Graves
Age: 14
Night: March 18
Designer: The Secret Boutique

Denver Fashion Week:  What has been the most challenging part of trying to break into this industry?

AG: [There’s] not much work and it’s difficult to make this 100 percent of your focus which is why I tend to do other projects, like theatre and dance, to round out my portfolio. In general, you have to really search for the work, but it’s very fulfilling once you find it. The Denver fashion world is growing and it is exciting to be a part of it.

DFW: What do you like most about the fashion in Denver and at DFW?

AG: Denver’s fashion community is small but growing.  It’s fun to see the various designers evolve in their styles and techniques and it’s always nice to see some familiar faces in the modeling community that you may not get to see except for at events like this.

DFW: What are you looking forward to most about DFW?

AG: I am really excited to model for my designer, The Secret Boutique. Her designs are like stepping into a fairytale.

Omo Odia

Name: Omo Odia
Age: 24
Night: March 22
Designer: Rachel Marie Hurst

Denver Fashion Week: Why did you decide to try out for casting for Denver Fashion Week? 

Omo Odia: I wanted more exposure. Denver needs to know that there are models of color that slay.

DFW: Is this your first runway show?

OO: This will be my second DFW show. My first one was the DFW Spring ‘17 hair show with Starling Salon.

DFW: What has been the most challenging part of trying to break into this industry?

OO: The most challenging part is proving that I’m marketable to all women. I’m black, I’m considered a curvy model, and those are already against the industries standards. I feel like Denver has the capability to show how diverse the industry is and I won’t stop until everyone feels represented. My goal with modeling is to make every woman feel like they have a space in fashion, especially when looking at my work.

DFW: What do you like most about the fashion in Denver and at DFW?

OO: I love that Denver is becoming a major city in the fashion world. This city is full of many talented creatives and it’s amazing to see everything coming together.

DFW: Is there any advice you would pass along to other inspiring models?

OO: One major piece of advice that I would give to new models is to make sure you’re more than a pretty face. Everyone brings something unique to the table and knowing what you bring will set you apart.

Shanáya Braxton (Misfit Kiss)

Name: Shanaya Braxton
Age: 26
Night: March 22, 25
Designer: Tyne Hall

Denver Fashion Week: Why did you decide to try out for casting for Denver Fashion Week? 

Shanáya Braxton: I decided to come to the DFW casting because I really want this! The world truly is my runway, so I thought why not give it a shot! I am chasing after my dreams with a positive mind and fearless heart!

DFW: Is this your first runway show?

SB: So far I’ve been featured in six runway shows over my journey of seven months. My most recent show will be this upcoming February 25 called Royals where I will be walking for Parasite Eve Designs. This will be my first time attending DFW. I’ve always wanted to go in the past so I am so grateful to be able to be to walk and attend this year.

DFW: What has been the most challenging part of trying to break into this industry?

SB: Something I have noticed is that Colorado is still growing so there aren’t as many modeling opportunities as there are in bigger cities like NYC or LA. I would love to see Denver in a bigger spotlight when it comes to fashion. We have a lot to offer here.

DFW: What do you like most about the fashion in Denver and at DFW?

SB: I love how free and willing to evolve the fashion is here. When walking outside you’re more likely to see different mashups of clothing genres, textures and even come across outfits/garments that deeply inspire you.

DFW: Is there any advice you would pass along to other inspiring models?

SB: Some advice I would like to share with other fellow models is to embrace each other. Those other models that you may have odd feelings about are also beings that love doing exactly what you love to do. Positivity is key.

Quille Palan

Name: Quille Palan
Age: 38
Night: March 22
Designer: Duane Toppings

Denver Fashion Week: Why did you decide to try out for casting for Denver Fashion Week? 

Quille Palan: My first taste of the fashion world came as a corset designer in Brandi Shigley’s Fashion Denver. My role in the industry wasn’t meant to be a designer, but in the 10+ years since that show, people have been telling me I should be a model. I finally listened to them and I’m so glad I did!

DFW: Is this your first runway show?

QP: My second. When first was Red Ball last November but this is a first for DFW.

DFW: What has been the most challenging part of trying to break into this industry?

QP: Being transgender comes with a special set of challenges in the beauty industry, especially when confidence is a requirement. I’m proud to be part of this experience and to have established a burgeoning career as a makeup artist with Sephora.

DFW: What do you like most about the fashion in Denver and at DFW?

QP: I like that Denver is fresh and open to all styles of personal expression. Walking for DFW represents overcoming several challenges in my life.

Carolyn Lewis

Name: Carolyn Lewis
Age:
66
Night: 
March 22
Designer: 
Steve Sells

Denver Fashion Week: Is this your first runway experience or have you done a show before?

Carolyn Lewis: This will be my first runway experience and I’ve never attended a DFW show or any other.

DFW: What has been the most challenging part of being a model in Denver or trying to break into the industry?

CL: The most challenging thing for me is to quit thinking that the younger models won’t accept me. The ones I’ve met have been wonderful and very supportive. I’ve had lots of fun with them!

DFW: What do you like most about the fashion in Denver and at DFW?

CL: I know very little about it so it’s all a learning experience for me!

DFW: What are you looking forward to most about DFW?

CL: Meeting others in the industry and having the opportunity and privilege to be a part of this event.

DFW: What is some advice that you have received and/or given about modeling that you want to share with other models?

CL: Be professional, arrive on time and remember that you’re selling a product, not yourself. You’re part of a team. Modeling should be fun. Put yourself out there — you never know what you’re capable of accomplishing until you try.

Denver Fashion Week is March 18-25. For more information, visit denverfashionweek.com. Tickets for each night can be purchased hereDFW is sponsored by European Wax Center, Whole Foods, Visit Denver, Denver Arts & Venues, Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, Quantum Water, and LivWell Enlightened Health.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *