Locals mingle during stylish meet-up

At Fashion Week Columbus’ annual industry mixer on the evening of Oct. 26, people from different backgrounds converged to share their love of design, especially fashion done Columbus-style. This affair was touted as the dress-up event for the week, and was sponsored in-kind by CreativeDrive and Il Moda PR.

After getting checked off the invite list, attendees glided through three sections of CreativeDrive’s sprawling studio space on the east side, in the vicinity of the airport. A video art piece loomed large above the drink counter, featuring images of fashion in the urbanscape. A backdrop featuring the evening’s logo—the first of several photo ops—served as a gateway to the next space.

Once further inside the event, onlookers gazed as a rotating handful of the models parading among the crowd posed atop white pedestals wearing outfits from local designers Akili Cooper, Juan Jose Saenz-Ferreyros and Alexander Marr. Sharing the quasi-stage was local artist Don Doncee Coulter, who created an original piece of art over the course of the evening.

The third and final space was highlighted with a kaleidoscopic black-and-gold runway where, later in the evening, attendees gathered for the highlight of the mixer: a pop-up runway show featuring the local designers as well as a dress from fashion week’s headlining designer Laurel Dewitt, whose metallic designs have branded her as a stylist to stars including Beyoncé and Alicia Keys.

Moving between three spaces, attendees were decked out in fashion-forward formal attire ranging from a guest in a full-length gold gown to another in a plaid coat with red, thigh-high boots. All paused to snap photos along the way, grab hors d’oeuvres and greet and meet other guests. The event succeeded in bringing together a wide range of people with varying interests. Designers mingled with people coming from their day jobs, apparently looking for a collective artistic breather. Industry newcomers eagerly chatted, hoping to learn more about moving inside the Columbus fashion industry.