Sol Inspirations Innovations 2018
*All of the runway images in this post were taken by the extremely talented Alex Butterfield. I could not include every photo due to length restrictions, but loved every look at this show*
I sat down with Ashelyn , Nikki and Michelle mid April at a local creatives brunch at the W Minneapolis hotel. It was amazing how easy it was to speak with three women I had never met before. We bonded over experiences in other countries, a love for style and a vision for the future of the slow fashion movement. Finally being able to get the in-depth details of what the Sol Inspirations Innovations show would look like was like a kid opening their presents on Christmas morning. This is what I live for: emerging talent, sustainability and local businesses all in one.
As the show got closer, I started to reach out to the vendors who would be participating and was pleased to find that I had a pleasant experience with each representative. I had just wrapped up a collaboration with Spoils of Wear (see here and here) that was very successful, had previously done an Instagram post showcasing the work of Global Mamas (see here), had done a giveaway with CRAVE by Carli Rae and was excited to meet the members of the other ethical businesses like The Icon Effect, Slate Collective, Fair Anita, Sseko Designsemail@example.com (see their earrings here) and Joeleen Torvick (see my post that showcased her denim dress here) in real life.
In preparation for the show, I had also met with Heidi from Way The Label who generously gifted me with this beautiful dress for the show!
The show was broken up into three parts (which I personally think is genius because then you never get bored): The first part featured student designers Gabriella Kalema (MCTC), Asiya Youngmark (U of M), Ka Ying Lee (U of M), Zoe Pizarro (MCTC), Vera Swan (MCTC), Ayotomide Babalola (St. Catherine's University), Alexandre Kadlec (MCTC), Kai Johnson (U of M), Anna Leticia Rosales Chase (St. Catherine's University), Lena Pelini (MCTC), Maxine Britt (U of M), Emily Laurich (U of M) and Erin Connor (Iowa State University). Every one of these outfits was made of materials that were heading to a landfill, instead they got a second life and became a part of a beautiful creation.
The second section paired up local stylists with local boutiques to create fresh spring looks. The stylists were Shayne Barsness, Janay Henry, Alyssa LeSavage, Ivan Martinez, Molly McMahan, Cierra Taylor, Nashea Tucker, Samantha Schaff, Sara Stamschror-Lott, Lizann Villatoro and Meghanlee Volkman Phillips.
The final round of the runway was taken over by all of the ethical brands that I mentioned earlier. It was so encouraging to see local companies who have ethical standards of pay, work conditions and human rights take over that building.
A BIG thank you to Sol Inspirations for asking me to be the featured blogger for the evening! It was such a blast getting to know other creatives, fair trade lovers and business owners. Ethical business practices should be the first thing a customer looks for in a company. Making sure that the brands you purchase from are sustainable, made by people who are working in safe conditions and paid a livable wage or have a giveback program associated with them are easy first steps to making sure that your buying power is noticed by the fashion industry.
I look forward to what this group has up their sleeves next year. Until then, remember, clothes aren't going to change the world, the women who wear them will.