Local fashionistas might be seeing less action on the runway this year.
MNfashion, one of the leading organizers behind Minneapolis-St. Paul Fashion Week in the spring and fall, recently announced that it is re-evaluating its business model. As a result, the nonprofit will not host its signature series of events in 2014, including The Shows and the Emerging Designers Showcase during the seasonal fashion weeks. It also will not produce Voltage, the popular rock/runway show.
“It takes a ton of behind-the-scenes work to pull together our events and to maintain or exceed that level of quality, so we need to make some changes,” said Tara Murphy, MNfashion managing director.
But some shows will go on. Murphy says many local designers have achieved enough success to produce shows of their own, and are planning to do so in February. Events by designers Tim+Thom, plus the annual Red Dress Collection to benefit the American Heart Association, are in the works. The changes at MNfashion will not affect Envision Artopia, which has scheduled its spring show for April 19. Envision expects to pick up some of the designers who can’t yet produce their own shows, said Allison Hamzehpour, president of Ignite Models, one of that show’s sponsors.
“We’ve worked closely with MNfashion to make sure we’re able to support each other,” Hamzehpour said. “It’s always been a delicate balance to make sure we’re not showing the exact same collections.”
As for the future of MNfashion, Murphy said, change is good.
“This may mean changing from doing business as a purely nonprofit to some sort of nonprofit/for-profit hybrid,” Murphy said. “We’re really looking into how we can best serve everyone at a quality level above and beyond what they’ve come to expect. If this means evolving into something else, which it likely will, so be it.”