Get ready to feast your eyes on another Indiana Fashion Week/Indiana Fashion Foundation blog! I've been photographing for Indiana Fashion Week/Indiana Fashion Foundation for the last couple of years since they put on their first conference and fashion show. (You can view the 2019 Conference HERE, 2021 Fair Shoot HERE, and 2021 Fashion Show HERE.) Denisha and Michael, who put on Indiana Fashion Week and run the Indiana Fashion Foundation really pour their hearts and souls into making these events a success. AND they do sooooo much more than just the runway fashion show that you are used to seeing. They put on conferences like this to help strengthen the fashion community, mentor and guide young fashion designers, support the Indiana fashion and creative small businesses, and so much more. If you haven't attended an INDFW or INDFF event, you need to in the future, they are great!
Keep reading through this blog post to see what all happened at the Making It In Fashion Conference and Award Gala this year. AND be sure to click on the links of the designers, award winners, speakers, etc to learn more about them and support them.
The Making It In Fashion Conference took place at Saks Fifth Avenue at the Fashion Mall in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was a two day conference.
When you entered the conference, you were greeted by some amazing designs by Yemisi Sanni with her fashion line, Stylenspire.
This pink dress on the left was my favorite!
Day one started off with Denisha and Michael giving a talk on "The Fashion Dilemma".
So many great questions from the crowd about Indiana is fashion.
The next talk was "Where Do I Fit in Fashion". It was a panel discussion with Raemia Higgins- Freelance Wardrobe Stylist and Apparel Buyer for Finish Line, Dauss Miller- Fashion and Lifestyle Photographer with Dauss Photo, Sarah Moreland Byrne- Digital Media Specialist and Creator with IndyDressed, and Dylan Hodges- Digital Editor with Indianapolis Monthly.
Next up was "Model Citizen" with Edwin Pierrot- Model and Founder of Curl Daddy with Chantsler Underwood- Fashion Model moderating.
Then it was time to end day 1 of the conference with "So, You're a Fashion Designer?" with Brenda Polanco- Founder and CEO of The.Dott (NYC) with Yemisi- Stylenspire moderating.
Then it was time for Day 2! Day two of the conference also took place at Saks Fifth Avenue and Denisha opened up the day with a few words.
Then it was time for the first talk of the day, "Indiana Is Fashion" with Paige Sharp- Deputy Director of Programs with the Indiana Arts Commission and Ronan Marra- Founder of Storefront Theatre of Indianapolis.
The next talk was "Leveraging Fashion to Impact Bottom Line" with Jai Robinson- St. Channel Marketing Manager Delta Faucet Company, Joe Pellman- Executive Director Regional Image Marketing Indy Chamber, Julie Petr- Executive Director Dress For Success Indianapolis, Mandy Royston- Concessions Operations Coordinator Indianapolis Airport Authority, and Erika Austin- Sr. Marketing Manager Indianapolis Colts moderating.
Next up it was time for the "Emerging Designer Pitch Event" where three of the emerging designers, Misty Dodson- Bond Girl No. 9, April C. Elliot- Autonomy, and Emily Gartner- Emily Gartner Designs, pitched their fashion lines.
Day 2 ended with "Diversifying the American Fashion Industry" with CaSandra Diggs- President Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) with Elliot Carlyle- Consultant, Speaker, Coach moderating.
Once the conference was over, then it was time for the Gala and Awards Ceremony on Saturday. The Awards Gala was held at the gorgeous Columbia Club in Downtown Indianapolis.
Attendees and honorees, mingled, networked, and ate before the award ceremony began.
Denisha and Michael welcomed everything and shared a bit of their vision for Indiana Fashion Week and the Indiana Fashion Foundation.
First award was to Nikki Blaine of Nikki Blaine Couture. She was awarded the Designer Award. Before she gave her speech, a few models came out in her designs.
Next it was time to honor Ella Kistler of E360 Designs with the Future Leaders Award.
Then it was time to honor Nate Beaman with the Collegiate Award. He is a Fashion Merchandising major at Ball State University and was of Indiana Fashion Week and Foundation's interns for the year.