Clothing designers and consumers from across the city came together Wednesday night for a runway show celebrating local fashion.
The runway show held at Monona Terrace was part of the inaugural weeklong event, “Strut. Madison Fashion Series,” a fashion week for the city and surrounding community, according to the “Strut.” website.
Wednesday’s runway show, “Catwalk, Couture & Cocktails,” and the Saturday show, titled “Local Lookbook Runway Show & Fashion Market After Party” are the two featured events for the week, according to Natalie Bass, owner of Madison boutique Zip-Dang. Both shows will feature local designers and boutique owners from Madison and the surrounding suburbs and showcase both men and women’s clothing, she said.
“[Strut.] is about independent artists and people who are creating clothing lines getting recognition in Madison,” Bass said.
Wednesday’s event featured a diverse group of people and clothing, from bridal wear to t-shirt designers, Bass said, adding that the runway show was an opportunity to meet other designers she was unfamiliar with and see what other people are doing in the city.
Strut. allows people to experience a lot of different types of fashion they may not know is going on in the city, Bass said.
Sheryl Batten, one of the owners of Middleton Dress Co., said Strut. is also a marketing opportunity for the company.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for introducing us because we are a new company and it is an opportunity to show our fashion,” Batten said. “A runway show is a great way of promoting what we have to sell.”
Kelly Miller, the marketing director for Lu Anders Boutique said in an email to The Badger Herald that Lu Anders chose to participate in Saturday’s runway show to expand their market reach. The boutique serves many customers in the 35-and-older age category and is looking to appeal to a wider age group, she said.
“We are hoping a lot of different groups of people attend this event,” Miller said. “College students through sophisticated professionals can find looks they love and can afford.”
According to Batten, the city needs more progressive or high profile events for the fashion industry.
There are not a lot of fashion shows in the Madison area that show off the talent of designers and the lines local boutiques carry, Miller said. Strut. is designed to bring attention to designers and shops few people know about, she said.
“I hope this event makes people appreciate all the fashion trends available right here in Madison and that they can support their local boutiques in the process,” Miller said. “Keeping it local helps the economy.”
While Madison is on a smaller scale than other cities when it comes to the fashion scene, Miller said she hopes Strut. is well-received by the city. Fashion can still be appreciated in the Midwest because women of all demographics love to look and feel good, she said.