Fashion Week Kicks Off With Youth Designer Challenge

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Indiana Fashion Week in Indianapolis is underway and a group of students from throughout the state is getting a chance to show off its creativity. The Youth Designer Challenge gives the students, who have little-to-no design experience, the opportunity to create designs with a limited amount of material. The students come from Evansville, Pendleton and Indianapolis to participate in what is described as a Project Runway-style challenge.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Indiana Fashion Foundation Director Denisha Dlang Ferguson said the competition aims to teach more than just design.

"This is a challenge for them," said Ferguson. "It's to build confidence. It's to build skill sets and it's actually to show them that they can take an idea and make it reality. It's more of a life lesson that we want to teach them. We help them walk away with just knowing that there's more things out there. If they have an idea, they can create it."

The challenge started with a 20-minute shopping spree at a local Goodwill Outlet store in which the students only had $20 to spend, followed by an ideation session. The second day features the students working with mentors to design their looks made entirely from the materials purchased during the shopping spree.

Ferguson says the participants will walk away with gift bags from Baby Lock, which sells sewing machines, as well as other supplies from sponsors. 

Indiana Fashion Week will also feature an industry day conference Friday featuring interviews and panel discussions. First Lady Janet Holcomb will present New York Fashion Week creator Fern Mallis with the inaugural INDFW Legendary Trailblazers of Fashion Award. The week will culminate with a runway show featuring the INDFW Fashion Week Emerging Designer Competition. Mallis will lead the judging of the competition along with local and international fashion experts.

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