This Sunday, April 24, Fashion Week Minnesota will kick off with style. Opening this year’s spring fashion showcase is Rose + Bull, a dynamic duo of locally based stylists whose fashion show, La Vie En Rose, will highlight talented local designers and celebrate Minnesota’s vintage community in the first event of a week of runway shows and forums for discussing and celebrating Minnesota fashion.
Before Fashion Week commences, meet a few of the producers and designers who make this week not just possible, but truly special. Some are well-known veterans of Fashion Week and some have just burst onto the fashion scene, but all these creatives share a passion for uplifting the best and brightest of Minnesota’s style community.
Jalyn Anderson and Lizann V. of Rose + Bull
Rose + Bull’s show La Vie En Rose invites you to “see the world through rose colored glasses.” This creative duo of producers has become a staple in the vintage enthusiast community and believe the cyclical trends of fashion lend themselves to sustainable shopping choices. The fashion show will take place on Sunday, April 24, at 1 p.m. at Hutton House, where there will be a pop-up market where attendees can shop the styles as they come off the runway.
Jalyn and Lizann originally bonded over a love for vintage fashion and officially began working together in 2019. Since then, the pair has produced several shows with vintage vendors, and this year’s theme is inspired by romantic interpretations of ’90s styles with “some local twists.”
Since the team behind this show is especially committed to making positive social change in the Twin Cities community, a portion of the proceeds from the show will be going to Creative Kuponya, an organization that provides community and mental health resources in south Minneapolis. “We’re excited to give back and have fun,” Lizann says.
Keiona Cook of Qe’Bella Couture
Keiona Cook began sewing at just 6 years old, and her natural talent and drive took Cook all the way to the prestigious Savannah College of Art and Design. Now in her 40s, Cook is not only an established fashion designer with her own Minneapolis-based brand, Qe’Bella Couture, but she also runs Lovely’s Sewing and Arts Collective, a nonprofit that teaches children practical sewing skills and nurtures their love for fashion and design.
For Cook, fashion is more than a career or creative outlet. Cook says she created her nonprofit because wanted to mentor the children in her community and teach them to believe in themselves and their skills. “The reason I love design is because I love making women and girls feel empowered and beautiful from the inside out,” Cook says.
Cook’s Qe’Bella Couture line, known for its “IT factor” flare, will be featured on Wednesday, April 27, at 6:30 p.m. in the Luxe Streetwear runway show, which showcases styles for bold fashionistas and the avant-garde.
Sarah Butala of Strey Designs and Danielle Everine
Also on Wednesday, April 27, Into the Studio takes you behind the scenes of the fashion world inside the Northrup King Building, the largest art complex in Minnesota. Not only will this runway show feature sustainable fashion creations, but the designers will discuss sustainability in business and fashion, plus share a bit about their own creations.
Danielle Everine and Sarah Butala, two of the designers behind this runway show and discussion, share a passion for sustainable practices in their work, especially when it comes to making high-quality items that are long-term investments in your style.
On Wednesday, Everine is debuting a new collection inspired by the French Riviera and nostalgia for travel. Her bright and colorful designs are digitally printed onto organic cotton right here in Minnesota. Butala’s Minneapolis-based accessories brand, Strey Designs, features unique hand-painted bags that use pineapple fibers, a vegan alternative to leather.
Gerae Stack of Bedroom Floor Longerae
This is Gerae Stack’s first time producing a runway show for Fashion Week, and while she says it’s been challenging, she’s also excited to share everyone’s hard work and is “thrilled to be a part of it!”
On Sunday, April 24, at 6 p.m., Dirty Laundry at Hook and Ladder Theater will be a one-of-a-kind fashion show that includes up-and-coming designer talents like AGE, s.c.r.a.p.s., Olim, SHExclusive, Style by Kari, and Damon Productions, plus a dance performance, all closed out by Stack’s latest collection of lingerie.
Stack worked in a costume shop in college and, after graduating in 2015, she began to make her own lingerie designs. “My goal is to make lingerie that is like a love letter to one’s body. It is for any and all bodies through all stages of life,” Stack says.
Arianne Zager is a painter, producer, opera singer, and fashion designer who hails from New York but has entrenched herself in the Minnesota fashion community, which she describes as “supportive.” On Friday, April 29 at 7 p.m., Zager is producing Black and White Night, a black-tie event and runway show at the W Minneapolis Hotel that will do much more than showcase local talent. The proceeds from the event will go toward the Mikel Freeman Foundation. Founded by Zager’s husband, a former professional soccer player, the foundation aims to fund a sports facility in Sierra Leone to develop young soccer talent and attract the attention of professional scouts, hopefully beginning the careers of the next generation of soccer stars.
Zager’s own collection will close out the show with designs inspired by mamiwata, a mythical Sierra Leonese mermaid who would drag swimmers out to sea. Zager loved the story because mamiwata is “a woman who takes what she wants” and was inspired to use fisherman-style nets and mermaid silhouettes in her collection.
Zager will also be showing several designs at New York’s Fashion Week this fall and says she hopes to take many Minnesotan models and hair and makeup artists with her.