In Black Fashion Week MN‘s (BFWMN) first year, founder Natalie Morrow says all of the events sold out because everyone was surprised by the announcement—but they neglected to realize Morrow had been producing fashion shows for more than 20 years. Now, in her fourth iteration of the semiannual event, the focus has rightfully shifted to its growing network of creatives.
Take, for instance, the A List Mixer and Panel that has been a part of BFWMN from the beginning. Morrow loves it because not only does it bring attention to the non-white talent in the Twin Cities area and beyond, but it provides a way for her to meet people with connections when they have an idea. “They can call us, and we’ll see a partner and we can showcase what they’re doing,” Morrow says. It’s laying the groundwork not only for the future of BFWMN but creating a platform for individual designer growth.
This year, Fall 2019’s Black Fashion Week MN runs from September 27 through October 5, the same week as other fashion weeks across the country and one week after Fashion Week MN. Its events include other mainstays such as 40 Luxury featuring Lexurie (September 28), where all of the models are over 40, and Black Man Magic (October 5), which has been graced by street style icon Karl Kani in the past. New events include Opalescent (October 4), a four-designer event inspired by the iridescence of opals, and Cocktails and Couture, where longstanding BFWMN participants Tim+Thom extend farm to table into farm to fashion and, with the help of the Textile Center and the North Star Farm Tour, created edible couture.
BFWMN was created out of an expansion of the Twin Cities Black Film Festival’s Hollywood fashion night, an organization that Morrow founded 17 years ago. The Black Film Festival’s fashion night still goes on, so for more fashion by people of color, keep an eye out for the schedule announcement (the film festival itself runs October 16-20).
With all of Morrow’s work, it’s no surprise she’s one of the honorees during FGI International’s Fall Into Luxury fashion and awards show on October 17. She is being honored with the Phoenix Award, while Tim+Thom will receive the Inspiration Award.