Today’s Solutions: June 27, 2022

This spring, Fashion Week Minnesota features new shows that showcase local designers and creatives that are underrepresented in mainstream fashion, giving voice to their collections and cultures.

Fashion designers from Asian American and Pacific Islander, Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities in Minnesota have showcased their work throughout the state over the years, however, many of these designers are only known within their own communities, and don’t have the same reach as more privileged designers.

Delina White, an Indigenous fashion designer who’s been doing beadwork and making fabrics for bespoke clothing since she was a child, is now producing Minnesota’s first all-Native fashion show Native Star Light.

Since 2015, White has produced other Native-centered shows with her I Am Anishinaabe collection, but neither she nor the Native Star Light designers have a physical retail space and rely solely on word of mouth to generate interest for their made-to-order high fashion pieces.

Being allowed to showcase their work at Fashion Week Minnesota is a chance for their brands and cultures to be recognized within the mainstream space.

“Shows like this are recognition that the work I do is fashion,” White told Axios. “This isn’t just me sewing up a little something—it’s something that’s considered couture and that people want to wear and find beautiful.”

Fashion designer Mao Xiong is the producer behind another show, Coalesce, that highlights creatives from the underrepresented AAPI community.

Every single person who has a hand in the making of this show, from the makeup artists to the DJs, is part of the local AAPI community. Plus, not just models walk the runway at the end of the show, but everyone involved gets to strut their stuff to celebrate all their hard work.

These shows dedicated to lifting marginalized voices are valuable steps in the right direction to get underrepresented creatives more mainstream attention. 

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