Missouri Style Week Comes To CoMo!
An Alexis Cook design
Adding to its high-profile position in the Midwestern fashion industry, Missouri Style Week’s third year takes to the road, expanding its St. Louis runway events to include an opening night in Columbia, the state’s fourth largest metropolitan area.
With all the glitz and glamour that Style Week goers have come to expect, the three-day event kicks off at Columbia’s Plaza Event Center at Parkade on Wednesday, Aug. 26, with an evening of fabulous fashion and fun. Missouri Style Week will move to St. Louis’s magnificent Westport Plaza for fashion extravaganzas on both Friday, Aug. 28 and Saturday, Aug. 29.
Co-founders Kristy Lee and Cillah Hall opened up the event to give Missouri designers a broader opportunity to showcase their designs across the state.
Hall, executive producer of the event, said the goal is to reach the masses and help support Missouri designers, while providing opportunities for the public to share in a high-end fashion experience.
“Missouri Style Week is very strong in community and culture and offers everyone a chance to experience the magic that a collaborative effort of nearly 100 participants from different ethnicities and backgrounds can produce,” Hall said.
In both Columbia and St. Louis, designers, models, celebrities, fashion mogels, vendors and fashionistas will come together to share in the exciting world of fashion in all its forms – “bringing a little of New York to the area,” Hall said.
And this year, for the first time, Missouri Style Week will present its first annual $10,000 Designer Challenge, sponsored by Bates & Associates Architects, an award-winning design firm with offices in St. Louis and Springfield, Mo. The challenge offers nearly a dozen regional designers the opportunity to share their vision by creating a look using fabric or non-fabric material that will be worn by a runway model at the design challenge showcase at Style Week’s Saturday evening event. The look must be inspired by a local, regional, national or global landmark of the designer’s choice.
Saturday night will close out this year’s event and will feature celebrity guest, Emmy Award-nominated costume designer Rita McGhee, who “dresses” the cast on the new hit series, “Empire,” and will also serve as one of the Design Challenge judges.
Celebrity designers will include Eddie Guerrero of Venezuela and Puerto Rico, a world class, innovative fashion designer who has worked with some of the biggest names in music, design and the fashion industry. International designer Jaer Caban, who has styled a number of celebrities like Nelly Furtado and Pitbull for various award ceremonies, will also showcase his designs.
Additional designers and brands participating in Missouri Style Week include Richard Cotto, Felia Davenport, Nasheli Juliana, Alexis Cook, Kristen Kempton, Barbara Bultman and Shermonda Green, all from St. Louis; Rachel Frank (Rachel Frank Designs) of Madison, Wisc.; Tiffany Rae of Saint Robert, Mo.; Abaya Dake of Chicago; RFD by Rachel Frank – Milwaukee, Wisc.; Emily Horner and Kara Henry – both of Columbia, Mo.; Aaron Conway and Dillan Watson, both of Springfield, Mo.; and Kechena Richardson of Kansas City, Mo., along with Muse Clothing and Swank Boutique – both out of Columbia, Mo.
“Our international and celebrity designers serve as mentors and inspiration to emerging and local designers who work alongside them,” Hall said. “It’s an exciting and rewarding experience for everyone.”
Missouri Style Week serves as a platform for creative designers to explore fashion as a commodity and as an art form. It offers an affordable alternative to expensive events like New York Fashion Week, which also requires long-distance travel. From contemporary fashion to street wear, to experimental ideas and avant-garde collections, Missouri Style Week has it all.
Each evening offers a separate experience with a different designer list.
From 6 to 7:45 p.m. all three nights, there will be a bustling “Style Marketplace” with shopping, red carpet, music and entertainment, and complimentary hors d’oeuvres. At least 20 vendors will offer a range of stylish designs, featuring clothing, handbags, jewelry and other accessories.
Every night from 8 to 9 p.m. is the performing arts opening and runway show with several seasoned designers and a number of emerging designers from university partners like St. Louis area’s Lindenwood University, Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., Missouri State University in Springfield, and University of Missouri – St. Louis.
Missouri Style Week is produced by the “Gazelle STL” and “Gazelle West” magazines team. For more information, visit www.gazellestl.com.
Tickets for Missouri Style Week are $50 for VIP front row seating; $37.50 for VIP second row seating. General admission is free. Tickets are limited. For tickets, schedule lineup and more information, or if interested in participating as a model or designer, visit missouristyleweek.com. If interested in becoming a vendor at either location, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Missouri Style Week
The event is a showcase of established and emerging regional designers who work alongside some of the most gifted national and global talent. The diverse cultural flavor of participating designers, models and exhibitors makes it a one-of-a-kind production in the Midwest. In 2014, 20 local, national and international designers showcased their collections on the runway. About 1,600 guests attended. Each night featured more than 20 fashion and beauty exhibitors, music entertainment and a guest list that included the “who’s who” in fashion, music, business and the arts.
About the Founders
Kristy Lee and Cillah Hall both have a long, storied career in fashion and event production, and joined forces to bring the very best of both to the St. Louis area and beyond. Hall is also the publisher and editor-in-chief of “Gazelle STL” and “Gazelle West” magazines and founder of Xanadu Public Relations. Lee is fashion designer and St. Louis Art Institute fashion merchandising professor.