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Denver Design Keeps it Cool

by Amelia Gray
Fashion Career Center Columnist

The biggest city in Colorado may be an unlikely fashion capital, but Denver's stylish citizens feel right at home. Denver's confident, eclectic style regularly pulls designers back from larger markets.

One such designer, Brandi Shigley, grew up in Denver and found she couldn't trade it for the sun of trendy Southern California. On her website Fashion Denver, Brandi shows her local roots: "It's completely unnecessary to have to rely on LA and New York fashion," she writes, "when we've got style right here in our own backyard!"

If Amy Haimerl is any indication, Denver fashion has a sense of humor. Amy's blog, The Cat's Pajamas, serves up sideline commentary to local fashion events. "And we all know how Cat feels about pants under formal dresses," she writes. "Just don't do it." A recent post had her offering style suggestions for local politicians, featuring a pinstripe suit accented with a camouflage cap.

New Look, Fresh Spin
Denver takes its cues from the trendy West Coast, and adds a casual spin that involves more thrift-store finds than expensive boutique pieces. Students at fashion design schools in the area might spot the next hot trend at Denver's seasonal fashion markets, which attract clothing, handbags, jewelry, and accessories designers from across the state.

Brandi--who herself was recently spotted in a vintage dress paired with a white petticoat and chunky black boots--started Fashion Denver to plan and promote the local fashion markets. She was inspired by California's Fashion Co-Op and WearHaus to create a style market in her hometown. Because of Brandi's efforts and the overwhelming support she's received from the local fashion community, graduates of fashion design schools in Denver find themselves in an environment that often supports local talent over nationwide brands.

From every angle of fashion design, the style community in Denver maintains a welcoming attitude towards its newcomers. It's a rare attitude in an industry that thrives on competition, and a breath of fresh air for local designers.

Sources:
Fancy Tiger DIY Boutique
Fashion Denver
Westword Fashion Blog

About the Author
Amelia Gray is a teacher and freelance writer in San Marcos, TX. Amelia earned a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature from Arizona State University.