Does Colorado Have What it Takes to Be the Fashion Capital of the West

Town Hall Meeting: Does Colorado Have What it Takes to Be the Fashion Capital of the West

When I sit down to write I always think, “How can I tell this story?” Simply put, a lot of fluff will risk losing your audience– not a lot of words, but a lot of fluff. First I’m not a big talker, I’m a writer who never took to using a lot of adjectives, and a doer– so I’m not big on fluff anyway. I like to see things happen and, in my own way, I believe I am an influencer to really make things happen. This is a little fluff, but thanks for reading!

Denver Town Hall Meeting on “Does Colorado Have What it Takes to Be the True Fashion Capital of the West?”

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Last night, I attended the second town hall meeting in a series to address the presence and future of a sustainable fashion industry in Denver. The JTA Group of Denver assembled a panel of leading professionals in the community, which included Maggie Burns, Designer and Owner of Marie-Margott Bridal Couture, Katherine Salzgeber, Professional Jewelry Designer and Owner of Boutique de Bijou, Mona Lucero, Owner of Mona Lucero Design Boutique, Andrea Tucker, Owner of Studio: A Collective of Stylist, Crystal Gardner, Owner of Crystal Gardner Marketing and Michael Beckerman, Professional Photographer and Owner of michaelbeckermanphotography.com.

The first town hall meeting was said to host a full house; but the second, although small and intimate, “Was a success as well”, says Kwarteng of The JTA Group of Denver, Executive Town Hall Meeting Coordinator. The leading topic of discussion was, “Does Colorado have what it takes to be the true fashion capital of the West, if yes, how?” With a follow-up question about the frustrations, struggles and concerns of the fashion designer in Denver, the conversation was held from 6 to 8:30pm.

The good news is every member on the panel agreed that Denver has the talent to be a true fashion capital, like Charlie Price, Shear Genius Star and Creative Director of 303 Magazine recently talked about in an interview with First Class Fashionista. However as a budding fashion community, the bigger issue in Denver seems to be networking and getting connected. The panel suggested a draw when it comes to competitiveness. As a fashion community of entrepreneurial spirits, Denver is in the midst of blazing a trail for a fashion boom and we realize we need to redirect our energies and harness the power of collaboration and team work to make things happen.

“I was told a story about a man who was fishing and he never caught anything until he changed his bait,” says Burns.

I always reminded my daughters that bees come to honey, and I told them to stay sweet and kind and it will take them a long way. With that said, Beckerman suggested that the Denver fashion community take a more assertive and aggressive route– “Get out of your comfort zone and push the envelope.” And, here I agree. This is great advice. A combination of being kind enough and considerate enough to help your fellow man / woman, and a willingness to be aggressive and assertive when needed is what will build better businesses.

Pushing the envelope and making your voice heard is how we will make a sustainable fashion industry in Denver. Whether it’s networking with your friend, family member, coworker, other business owners or the larger, global community on the net, this is how we will blaze the trail and become a force to be reckoned with– In our own right. So get connected!

Note: Concerning the frustrations, struggles and concerns of the fashion designer in Denver, the speakers on the panel expressed the frustration of getting raw materials and labor at a cheap enough price. Most of the members on the panel didn’t seem to believe a trade show would be a viable solution, as proposed by Kwarteng.

To build a more supportive and thriving fashion community in Denver, the designers are encouraging you to buy local! The next town hall meeting is August 16th. See you there!!!

Related Story: Colorado Fashion Week