Denver Fashion Week (DFW) is less than a month away. With that being said, the eight-night extravaganza will be packed with wearable art never seen before, innovative designs, local and emerging designers and so much more. Each DFW season brings new and up-and-coming designers — here are seven designers showcasing their work for the first time at DFW.
READ: Designers Coming Back to the Runway for Denver Fashion Week 2022
Designers: Cameron Smith and Kyle Nymberg
The Lowdown: The name Ironpulse is forged for hard workers with go-getters mentality, something that Smith and Nymberg have. Right after college, they both wanted to venture into fashion, fitness and helping others find their entrepreneurial drive. It wasn’t until March 2020 that they decided to add Iron Pulse to their Visionwear brand.
“When most businesses were unfortunately shutting down, we were just getting started,” Smith said. “Knowing that we wanted to create something unique, we were confident that our passion and drive for entrepreneurship would lead us to create something that we would be proud of.”
Ironpulse is designed specifically with entrepreneurs and passion creators in mind. With their loyalty program, Ironpulse invests directly back into customer’s businesses and customers have the opportunity to share or tell their story on the Ironpulse Podcast.
“We truly understand the hardships, early mornings and long nights that it takes to create something more than yourself,” Smith said. “When we created Ironpulse we knew we wanted to create something that gives back to our community of like-minded people.”
For Smith and Nymberg, every piece is designed to help customers stand out and conquer with confidence on the go. With this in mind, expect to see modern fashion mixed with peak athleisure performance at DFW.
Designer: Ray Howard
The Lowdown: Created in Memphis, Tennessee in 2017, Rabbitjax Clothing fills the gap in the fashion industry through the creation of gender non conforming clothing. Howard began his brand after leaving his job at Starbucks and investing in a $5 sewing machine from Goodwill where he created a pair of overalls out of his apron. From then on, Rabbitjax Clothing has been featured on Phoenix’s Good Morning News Channel 3 and Phoenix Fashion Week.
“We’re special because we’re making genderless fashion for those with vivd visions and dreams for their wardrobe,” Howard said. “Our ideal customer is effervescent and fun, loves life and lives it to the fullest but is still serious when the time calls.
Rabbitjax’s vibrant color choices and modern silhouettes refashioned for the contemporary make it the go-to brand for the person that is fashion forward and open-minded. With silhouettes that defy gender roles, Rabbitjax challenges western styles and creates designs that are statement pieces and conversation starters.
“One of the founding principles of Rabbitjax is that clothing is meant to help people feel more confident and at home in their own skin,” Howard said.
At DFW, Howard is debuting, for the first time ever, a full 19 look collection called the Homeroom Collection.
“The school ‘uniform’ is a staple on runways lately, but I went to public school, so Rabbitjax Clothing is using the school archetypes in a new way as inspiration for this collection,” Howard said.
Designer: Analysse Woodford
The Lowdown: Two years ago, in the heart of the pandemic, Fashion Curator was born with the intention of spreading love through vintage clothing. From a young age, Woodford has always had a love for fashion, thrifting and vintage so combining them all into a business was a no-brainer.
“In today’s world, large corporations and fast fashion can dominate our closets and our feeds,” Woodford said. “I’m striving to show others you can choose sustainable options by shopping vintage while still looking current, on-trend and fabulous.”
Fashion Curator focuses on high quality clothing but also styles that are relevant and wearable in current times. The name comes from the idea of being a place of which others can go to for a highly curated collection of clothing as well as a source for their daily fashion inspiration.
“I want others to find the joy in dressing up and showing up for themselves again through the clothing they wear,” Woodford said. “I fully believe that you dress for the life you want.”
Woodford’s DFW curated collection will showcase vintage pieces from the 1920’s through the 1980’s — all of which will be up for purchase at her pop up shop on Nov. 16. The collection focuses on incorporating vintage versions of this season’s trends in a high-fashion, wearable way. Think glamorous, energetic and fresh takes on vintage looks. Lots of color, texture and unexpected twists.
Designer: Brandon Rutherford
The Lowdown: Not only is Irari Ford a clothing brand but a model agency, storefront and “a lifestyle,” Rutherford said. The name means leader, someone who doesn’t want to fit in but takes risks.
“I started modeling all over the country and saw what brands lacked and what they could do to improve,” Rutherford said. “Now with New York Fashion Week under our belt, we are a brand here to stay.”
Irari Ford is created for those to have a high-end luxury wardrobe that is fit for every day including days off.
“Irari Ford is not only a brand but a lifestyle,” Rutherford said. “Anybody that wears Irari Ford or has Irari Ford branded on them will feel and look sophisticated, elegant but also comfortable.”
The name Irari means to be a leader, one who isn’t afraid to stand out. With this mindset, expect Rutherford’s DFW collection to be filled with breathtaking pieces such as sexy loungewear, dresses, men’s suits and even gym sets.
Designer: Ethan Christe
The Lowdown: WARMING started in 2017 when Christe was in graphic design school at Arapahoe Community College. He mostly made 1/1 jackets, tees, hoodies and customized Vans using a vinyl cutter and an airbrush.
“I knew since the conception of the brand that I wanted it to be rooted in “streetwear” with graphics and a sense of rebellion but I wanted to elevate the clothes into what could be considered “high fashion,” Christe said.
After he graduated with an associate’s degree in graphic design he went to the Philippines to study fashion design and then fully immersed himself in WARMING in 2020 after he returned.
The name WARMING was inspired by a text message Christe received that described the soft warmth of a cabin fireplace — “IT FEELS SO WARMING.”
“I found it interesting how the original intention of the word is completely flipped when typed in all caps due to its obvious resemblance to “WARNING,” Christe said. “I thought “WARMING” in all caps perfectly encapsulates this idea of opposing ends merged as one — warming and WARNING.”
WARMING, thus far, showcases Christe’s ability as a graphic designer and screen printer. At DFW, he wants to “show that a “streetwear” brand can be much more than t-shirts and hoodies,” he said.
Christe compares his debut collection to a self-titled album which is why his collection is called “WARMING c/o Ethan Christe,” a title meant to say “this is WARMING,” as well as an ode to his design hero, Virgil AblohTM.
“Since this is my debut runway show, the collection will consist of garments that express the ethos of the brand tweaked through the lens of my life, interests, and heritage,” Christe said.
The Lowdown: Described as “more of a tribe than a brand,” by Mikobi, MDC STXDIO is a brand inspired by his culture and passion for clothes — something that he has always been surrounded by at a young age.
As a first generation immigrant kid from the Democratic Republic of Congo who fled during the Civil War in 1999, Mikobi wanted to leave his legacy behind through his brand name, MDC STXDIO.
“I never forgot where I came from, that element played a big part in the creation of the name,” Mikobi said. “I wanted to stamp my name in history just like my father has previously done and the leadership qualities attached to it but also be at the crossroads of inspiration and collaboration. Hence, Mikobi Design & Concept STXDIO aka MDC STXDIO,”
The name itself, like his designs, invokes collaboration and partnership which are key elements of Mikobi’s business.
When it comes to clothes, Mikobi takes inspiration from his world travels to Antwerp, Amsterdam, New York and Denver. He heavily focuses on storytelling with each design, silhouette and proportion.
With this in mind, his DFW collection will not only have elements of his travels but high essence of details, layering, fun color schemes and more.
Designer: Jake Perez
The Lowdown: What started in 2022 at the 2.0 Upcycling Fashion Show has turned into a debut DFW collection. Perez combines designer names like Moschino, Balmain, Versace, Balenciaga and more to create bold sustainable high fashion looks.
READ: Local Stylists and Designers Returned to Void Studios for the Upcycling 2.0 Runway Show
Through each design, Perez hopes to bring elements of a fashion house to Denver.
“My inspiration is to bring high fashion looks to Colorado like an Italian Fashion House,” Perez said. “Just because we live in the mountains doesn’t mean we can’t have that.”
In every eye-catching, classy piece he designs, Perez wants people to embrace and invest in their own style because “fashion is big and all we need is our creativity,” Perez said.
As of now, GlamItColorado is doing a high fashion Vogue-inspired photoshoot to help models with their portfolios. The concept combines top designer brands like Saint Laurent, Dolce and Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli and his upcycling collection.
Perez says that his DFW collection will be of high fashion glam as seen at New York or Milan Fashion Week.
Designer: Chris White & Jens Nicolyasen
The Lowdown: In 2014, White and Noclyasen launched their brand Shinesty as an online vintage store selling products for, “life’s social moments like holidays, music festivals and any themed party imaginable,” White said.
The name Shinesty is inspired by a Moonshine called Shine On, something that White and Noclyasen used to drink, and the term dynasty. The concept of the brand is focused on entertaining first and selling second.
“We want to make people laugh,” White said. “There’s a lot of serious stuff in the world today, but underwear doesn’t need to be.”
White hopes that through each product, people are able to smile, laugh and have a level of comfort they never thought possible.
With the idea of entertaining through clothing while also still providing comfort, Shinesty will be debuting their 2022 holiday line of Christmas suits, dresses, underwear and more at DFW.
See all designers make their debut at DFW on Nov.12-20.
Haven Collective by Allie Marchese and Michelle DeHaven will also debuting their first-ever collections at DFW.
Editor’s Note: Updated on October 24 to add Shinesty, update gallery, designer names and link as well as headline.