Minneapolis-St. Paul Fashion Week lives on

Mpls.St. Paul Magazine and Ignite Models are leading the Twin Cities fashion scene toward a bright future.

Kimberly Jurek founder of Kjurek works on a piece for the  upcoming fashion show Envision 2014 at Showroom in Minneapolis.

Elizabeth Brumley

Kimberly Jurek founder of Kjurek works on a piece for the upcoming fashion show Envision 2014 at Showroom in Minneapolis.

Hannah Germaine

In January, the nonprofit MNFashion announced that it would stop organizing two of the main shows at Minneapolis-St. Paul Fashion Week.

Since the announcement, other events have moved to the September style celebration’s spotlight, even with the absence of the affair’s former organizer.

This season, the event is set for Sept. 12-19, but stylish events are popping up throughout the month. Mpls.St.Paul Magazine and Ignite Models sustain local style aficionados beginning this Friday with their longstanding runway shows, Fashionopolis and Envision.


Mpls. St.Paul Magazine’s senior style and shopping editor, Allison Kaplan, said Fashionopolis is a live component of the magazine’s September issue. This year’s edition is billed “Overexposed.”

“What we were struck by was exaggeration — anything with that extra bit of flair and movement,” Kaplan said.

She cited trends like metallics, billowing skirts, statement coats and fringe as inspiration.

“Another thing that I’m excited about is pastels for winter,” Kaplan said.

Since softer colors are associated with spring, their presence on winter materials, like suede, is striking, she said.

During Fashionopolis’ first run last year and again this time around, the event’s tickets have sold out.

“We have the benefit of being a known and trusted brand,” Kaplan said. “I think we really know our audience.”

Not all new ventures are as successful as Fashionopolis, but Kaplan said she believes even smaller events can grow and burgeon.

“People always want to do fashion shows and events,” she said. “Some might work, and some might not.”

Kaplan said the local industry isn’t large enough to necessitate a fashion week in the Twin Cities, and a month of affairs is more fun for consumers anyway.


Ignite Models’ Envision has been a fixture of Twin Cities fashion since 2006. Last season, the style showcase relocated to Orchestra Hall.

“It’s a wide range of people that come out to the event, and I think once we moved it to Orchestra Hall, people really stepped it up,” Ignite Models President Allison Vaillancourt said. “It just added a sense of glamour to the event.”

Like Fashionopolis, Envision features current autumn looks.

“We do this to connect designers and boutiques with current customers and [so that] people can see what’s in stores now,” Vaillancourt said.

Envision functions as an independent entity and sets its own dates, Vaillancourt said.

That model contrasts with MNFashion’s exclusive partnership with Ignite Models, which she said can lead to fewer opportunities for models and designers not associated with the organization.

“We’ve always coexisted with MNFashion,” Vaillancourt said. “We always supported each other. There’s a lot more people that are looking for somewhere to showcase their collections and their work. Doing a solo show can be really expensive and is difficult for designers in Minneapolis.”


What: Fashionopolis: The Fall Fashion Show

When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Aria, 105 N. First St., Minneapolis

Cost: $40-60 (SOLD OUT)


What: Envision Fall 2014

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Where: Orchestra Hall, 111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis

Cost: $30-75