Midwest Fashion Week Goes to Paris

The popular designers of Midwest Fashion Week travel to Paris.

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For years, Midwest Fashion Week has been about celebrating haute couture with runway shows in Indianapolis and Chicago. This spring, they’re taking their show on the road. Beginning next Wednesday, March 3, eight Midwestern designers will show their collections live during Paris Fashion Week.

“The idea and concept of Midwest Fashion Week has been to bring fashion [to] the Midwest, but we have always been playing with the idea of bringing the Midwest to the world,” said Berny Martin, founder of Midwest Fashion Week, in an email.

Next week will be a challenge, for sure. “Paris Fashion Week is not going to be an easy format,” said Martin. “We hope that we can play a vital part in what American style and sense of fashion [mean] to the capital city of fashion.”

Midwest Fashion Week will also continue throughout the spring season in its staple cities of Chicago (March 24–26) and Indianapolis (April 4–9).

Though the core of Midwest fashion is clear and concise—a timeless, meaningful Americana look with enduring taste—the way in which it is presented is anything but predictable, according to Martin. Every city will feature the Midwest’s top styles, but will come with a new flair and flavor.

“Each city that we are engaged with, our production is involved in the lifestyle of that city,” he said.

And don’t be fooled. Any notion that Midwest Fashion Week is solely about sending clothes down the runway, Martin combats with a broader outlook on the message their company works to convey.

“We don’t necessarily produce fashion shows in all of our events,” he said. The fashion maven cites education, marketing, research, lifestyle, and socialization as some of the company’s primary focuses at its events. With dedicated fashion communities growing in cities outside of the longstanding hubs of New York and Los Angeles, Martin has high hopes for cities in the Crossroads of America and beyond.

“We are hoping that we can inspire Indianapolis and the entire Midwest to seize the moment in fashion,” he said, “and not be afraid to express themselves on what it means to be from the Midwest.”

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