Denver Fashion Week (DFW) is one of the city’s largest fashion showcase featuring emerging designers, local boutiques, national brands, hair stylists, makeup artists and models. Every season, the production levels up for an enticing experience. This is especially true for the gamut of designers. Of course, we love the veterans but there’s something magical about the new designers. They bring a fresh outlook to each night and best of all, they bring variety. This year we wanted you to get to know some of these fresh-faced designers before their big nights. Take a look at the DFW Fall ’18 freshman class.
Felicia Benavidez of Vintage Frame of Mind
The Lowdown: Denver native, Felicia Benavidez, designs clothes with one objective in mind – to empower women by promoting positive self-images. She created Vintage Frame of Mind with this as a driving force. “When I first started, my passion was styling clients and selling vintage clothes along with pieces that were not from your trendy stores. As time passed, I realized that the pieces I wanted to put people in were not available and I had to do something about it. My mother used to sew and design clothes, so fashion and sewing were in my blood. I took a stab at it and haven’t stopped sewing since.”
Mario Conte aka Mars of Station
The Lowdown: This co-owner of Five Points mainstay, Station, is excited about being added to the lineup this year. “Station is a microcosm of mine and co-owner, David Bywater’s personal style. What we had in our closet is what we put on the rack, and it was brands that we were personally fans of. My image permeates throughout Station — what I like is what I stock in there and it’s what I think is strong and trending in the streetwear world.” As a musician, Conte lives for street style. You can expect Outkast and Beastie Boys vibes from this one.
Madi Hadel of Rebellelion
The Lowdown: Madi Hadel grew up dressing her Barbie dolls in paper clothing. Her creations inspired her to create her first clothing in middle school. That was only the beginning because years later she made “Rebellelion” her business. Uniquely, this clothing line is a bazaar for fashion — artistic experimentation fueled by the spirit of doing it yourself. Hadel wanted to ensure her line was focused on eco-friendly and ethically sourced fashion. With this in mind, her goal is to build a creative community through local events and collaboration. One of her denim jackets was even featured in a previous issue of Teen Vogue. “I want Rebellion to show ordinary people that they can have style without needing to be rich or have a fashion background, they just have to do it and that’s all it takes.”
Mowgli Miles of Interracial Friends
The Lowdown: “I was just in my old neighborhood waiting for a friend and I saw two kids walking. They looked photogenic this day, with a red shirt and a green shirt,” Mowgli recalled. “I got one picture. I thought to myself, ‘wow, they’re interracial friends.’ That’s a sick name, and that’s a sick thing I’m seeing right now. If the world could take a message from what I’m seeing right now … we probably wouldn’t have racism.” The Founder created the mission of Interracial Friends with the ultimate goal to eliminate racism as much as possible to the best of our abilities. He believes we are all equals. Interracial Friends is run by him and only him. His goal is to simply spread awareness of racism.
Shayna Ariel of DarkmOth Industry
The Lowdown: Shayna Ariel holds many titles from trained vocalist to fire dancer to designer. This season we get to indulge in her latest obsession — fashion. The East Coast native wanted to design a collection free of gender norms and typical size standards. Ariel shared, “Darkm0th Industry in a few words is dark, minimal, industrial and futuristic. It is important to me that any person who enjoys futurism and luxury but the simple aesthetic is able to wear my clothing. Art should not discriminate towards any person or group of people. If you enjoy it, you should be able to enjoy it fully. Fashion should not be difficult.”
Mariah Hodges of Electric Bubblegum
The Lowdown: Electric Bubblegum (EB) equals finding your sparkle. EB specializes in liquid glitter products that exude fun. Mariah Hodges creates earrings, futuristic jackets, vests, bags and more with the sparkle in mind. There is no question, EB is fun, fearless fashion. “I’ve always loved bubble gum. When I went to Savannah College of Art & Design in Georgia, I did some projects inspired by bubble gum. I wanted a name that was fun but also captured people’s attention.”
Dalton Bidula of Shape Streetwear
The Lowdown: Dalton Bidula is the youngest fresh face of this year’s gang. The teen created Shape Streetwear after his interest in trends. “I have always said wearing Shape Streetwear isn’t just an outfit but a self-expression of a mentality that states anything is possible with hard work,” Bidula said. The name was conceived from the brand’s motto, “Find Your True Shape.” Bidula aimed to add a mentality behind the fabric and thread. Much like him, he designed Shape for the striving individual who continues to push their physical and mental limits through consistent work and overtime on their dream or goal.
Lynsi of Pleiades Designs
The Lowdown: Pleiades was founded because of Lynsi’s desire to clothe kids with uniquely-designed, heirloom-quality pieces. The Boulder resident has an encyclopedic background — from design, art, astrophysics to engineering. With Pleiades, her dream and her passion are aligned. She knew her heart yearned to develop a children’s clothing line that translates the magic and wonder of childhood into wearable pieces of art. Also, Lynsi wanted to give back so Pleiades supports Reintegra, a non-profit organization with a stateside location in Boulder that strives to help survivors of human trafficking in Mexico City thrive and take steps to reclaim their lives.
Allison Nicole of Allison Nicole Designs
The Lowdown: At the very tender age of eight years old, Allison Nicole Designs creator, Allison Nicole Berger, was ignited to create beautiful things. She has always found inspiration from everywhere and everything, especially nature. “I remember thinking about how something so small, starting from almost nothing, grows into this strong flower or plant full of life with natural beauty.” Undoubtedly, though, her biggest inspiration was her grandmother, who taught her to sew. In 2017, Allison Nicole Designs was born specializing in bridal, evening and red-carpet gowns with an elegant yet ethereal aesthetic.