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Fashion Week MN is back, ready for a series of spring shows — with in-person and virtual options

22April 2021

After a one-year hiatus because of the pandemic, Fashion Week MN (FWMN) is back for a spring 2021 installment. This time around, expect a shorter event and fewer shows than the usual one week’s worth of 20-plus events from the biannual gathering, But also expect some new features as the series spotlighting local design and creative talent evolves.

“Awake: FWMN Spring 2021” will run from April 28 to May 1, with seven events on the roster.

“The thought was, there are so many talented producers and designers and we are trusting them with the process — let’s give them the support that they need to be successful,” said Susan Leppke, FWMN’s new chief operating officer. For example, “Instead of just a week of events, we could do other events throughout the year.”

Leppke added the group is stepping up efforts to help businesses such as local shops and boutiques become more sustainable, as well as connecting with private and public sectors — including partnering with local nonprofits.

In addition to ticketed in-person events with limited seating both indoors and outdoors, spring FWMN will be streamed virtually. That way there is a virtual option of watching from home for those not quite ready for gatherings or if these smaller capacity shows are sold out. In-person events will have safety protocols following CDC guidelines, including requiring masks and seating spaced six-feet apart between groups who RSVP/attend together.

The mix of shows and events will include those from well-established producers and couture designers as well as the up-and-coming.

Susan Leppke, COO, Fashion Week MN (Courtesy Susan Leppke)

“This year you’ll notice a lot of events have a mission purpose. A lot are giving proceeds back to certain charities,” Leppke said. Causes range from combating homelessness to animal rescue.

FWMN’s spring theme, “Awake,” is meant to have significance in more ways than one.

“Globally, the fashion industry is changing in a way that is necessary and also exciting. As a community, we’ve been able to take this time to understand the important role self-expression through fashion plays in our ability to connect with others. We are awakening to be more conscious of who makes our clothes, the quality of the items, the stories behind the artists and ultimately, the way the clothes make us feel,” said Sarah Edwards, FWMN co-founder and CEO. “After wearing sweatpants for a year, we are all looking for ways to be re-inspired through fashion and connect through creative storytelling. Fashion is a powerful conversation starter.”

For more details, including ticket and virtual streaming information, go to fashionweekmn.com

FWMN events:

SIP ‘N BLOOM PRESENTS URBAN GARDEN

Wednesday, April 28: Sip ‘N Bloom, an industry leader in DIY floral design events, makes its Fashion Week MN debut by throwing FWMN’s season-opening event. Interactive and immersive experiences are in store, featuring the haute couture designs of Karen Morris Millinery and Joynoelle. Expect a labyrinth of mystical blooms while interacting with the landscape and models who are creating a designer flower arrangement. Finished floral masterpieces will be silent- auctioned for a cause. (VIP 5 p.m.; general admission 6 p.m.; show begins 7 p.m.; virtual streaming available; ElseWarehouse Rooftop (North Loop in Minneapolis)

IAMMOODY PRESENTS DRESS 4 COLOUR — A BENEFIT FOR SAVE-A-BULL RESCUE

Thursday, April 29: IamMoody, producer of fashion shows in the Twin Cities for over 30 years, joins forces with Save-A-Bull, a nonprofit volunteer and foster-based pitbull rescue in the Minneapolis area, for this runway show. In addition to featuring local designers and diverse models, adoptable pitbulls will also walk the runway. A spoken word performance by Sarah Kamsin will also be spotlighted, too. (Virtual general admission and limited VIP in-person admission; show begins 8 p.m.; The APT MPLS in northeast Minneapolis)

SUN50 PRESENTS ENDLESS SUMMER: CHECK YOURSELF

Friday, April 30:  SUN50’s mission includes creating eco-friendly, easy-to-wear, fashion-forward pieces as an integral part of skin cancer prevention. In keeping with those philosophies, producer Danielle Everine has created an outdoor swimwear fashion show (an entire city block will be shut down for the show) that will shine a light on Huxley Optical and Sun50’s SS21 collection styled for the runway under the theme of summer sun protection. Expect a tropical vintage vibe that will give plenty of inspiration for a dreamy summer, while providing education on skin cancer prevention. The show will also feature artwork by those affected by skin cancer. Guests and viewers will be able to purchase bandanas printed with the featured artwork. (In-person general admission and VIP; virtual general admission; show begins 7 p.m.; Ooh La La Boutique, Excelsior)

AMBER GRIFFIN AND ZAGAZA PRODUCTION PRESENTS NORTHWOODS COUTURE

Friday, April 30: This show will transport guests and viewers to a woodland fantasy. Live art and couture pieces from Zagaza Productions, Shae by Day, Tammy Rice, Mariahmac Designs and Anyse Fashion are part of the lineup. (In-person and virtual general admission; show begins 7 p.m.; W Minneapolis – The Foshay, downtown Minneapolis)

THE LYNHALL, DR. ZWACK AND ANDY RAMSRAN PRESENT GOLD LION

Saturday, May 1: Dr. Zwack, who has produced and featured her collection all over the world in places such as Singapore, Poland and China for International Fashion Week and in New York for NYFW, will spotlight her latest couture collection in this virtual runway show. A live sketch segment will also be featured. Local charities will be highlighted throughout the event. (Virtual general admission; show begins at noon; The Lynhall, Minneapolis)

EVERYDAY EJIJI PRESENTS EVERYDAY EJIJI: WOMEN-OWNED MINNEAPOLIS

Saturday, May 1: Producer Ashley Becerra will feature women-owned boutiques showcasing vintage, resale and secondhand looks in this runway show highlighting fashion from Everyday Ejiji, Down the Rabbit Hole, Glamdiggers Vintage, PROJEKT von Anna, Zifa’s Boutique and Arway Bags. (In-person and virtual general admission; show begins 3 p.m.; Canopy Minneapolis by Hilton, downtown Minneapolis)

THE FITTING ROOM PRESENTS EVOLVE

Saturday, May 1: The Fitting Room is back this season with a runway show featuring Minnesota designers. This is FWMN’s season-closing event.  (In-person and virtual general admission; show begins 7 p.m.; Morrie’s Luxury Auto in Wayzata)


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Author: Nancy Ngo

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