On a recent Wednesday afternoon, Jason Matheson of KMSP-TV, Channel 9, was surrounded by a small crew during his fitting for a custom-made tuxedo at King Brothers Clothiers’ northeast Minneapolis studio.
“Do you have your pose figured out?” fashion designer Kenny King asked Matheson.
“Yeah, I’ve been practicing in a mirror,” replied the jovial morning TV host.
Matheson is one of the 23 Twin Cities area celebrities, media figures and professional athletes set to walk the runway at Loews Minneapolis Hotel this Saturday, modeling scarlet looks by Minnesota fashion designers as part of the Red Dress Collection benefit.
Now in its fifth year, the event created by TV host Carly Aplin continues its mission to raise funds and awareness for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign.
Aplin founded Minnesota’s version of the event after attending the original Red Dress Collection at New York Fashion Week in 2011, where designers such as Oscar de la Renta, Monique Lhuillier and Marchesa created looks for stars such as Patti LaBelle, Taraji P. Henson and Dita Von Teese.
“We have the talent and recognizable faces to put on a great show of our own,” said Aplin, “so I thought, let’s take that idea and tailor it to the Twin Cities.”
This year’s show, which features designers Caroline Hayden, Christopher Straub, Samantha Rei and others, also includes a live auction, pop-up shopping and a performance by country singer Chris Hawkey. Celebrity “models” include fitness star Stacie Clark and KARE (Channel 11) anchor Rena Sarigianopoulos.
Fitting for Kings
But while “red” is still the operative word on the runway, this Red Dress Collection is no longer an all-female, dress-only affair.
The benefit also will celebrate menswear with male celebs, including Matheson, the 6-foot-2 bespectacled host of the entertainment-centric “The Jason Show” on Fox 9 and co-host of “The Jason & Alexis Show” on MyTalk 107.1 FM.
The fashion designers assigned to style Matheson are the King Brothers, aka 27-year-old fraternal twins Danny and Kenny King. After starting their own neckwear brand in 2011, the Kings moved into custom suiting. Now they boast a client roster of Minnesota professional athletes, including Twins manager Paul Molitor, Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, Timberwolves player (and No. 1 NBA draft pick) Karl-Anthony Towns and nine Wild players, two of whom will walk the Red Dress runway — Matt Dumba and Jason Zucker.
“We used to do some modeling, and — do you remember the Euro-turn?” Kenny King asked Danny King during Matheson’s fitting, before demonstrating a runway walk that contained a 360-degree spin, mid-stride.
Matheson’s black-pinstripe tuxedo features red satin lapels, red buttonhole stitching and a stripe of red satin going down each pant leg, and its accompanying white tuxedo shirt has red buttons and a red monogram bearing Matheson’s initials.
“When we met with Jason to design the look, we were like, what can we do that would make it different from what everyone else is doing?” explained Kenny King. “For all practical purposes, nobody sees red satin. So we found it, and I think it turned out really nice.”
“I was ready and excited for anything,” said Matheson. “I almost bought red [eyeglass] frames at InVision a couple weeks ago.”
While the Red Dress show is ostensibly a glamorous way to highlight the issue of women and heart disease, Aplin said it’s also about showcasing the talented fashion designers who live and work in the Twin Cities.
“The people who are involved in this show are doing it solely out of the kindness of their heart,” she said. “It always amazes me — the designers are busy with their own collections, yet so many of them come back every year. It feels so good to know this community is willing to give so much.”
Jahna Peloquin is the style editor of Minnesota Monthly and a freelance writer and stylist in the Twin Cities.