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Alternative Fashion Mob Celebrates Six Years of Alternative Fashion Week

Taijuan Moorman Taijuan Moorman Alternative Fashion Mob Celebrates Six Years of Alternative Fashion WeekPhoto by John Crider.
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Alternative Fashion Mob, a collection of fashion designers and industry professionals, will kick off the sixth annual Alternative Fashion Week on March 10 with inclusive fashion-centric programming through the 25th.

As with every year, Alternative Fashion Mob says its goal is to showcase “beauty in all shapes, sizes, and looks” with the week’s events.

The group’s first event is a partnership with the Wexner Center for the Arts’ annual art party and fundraiser, Off The Grid. The group will showcase some of their favorite looks from the last five years of Alternative Fashion Week in a runway show during the party.

On March 16, Chef Brooke Kinsey of Bleu & Fig will design Couture Cuisine, a four-course meal inspired by looks from local designers. On March 18, local artist and designer Cortez Johnson will teach a class for kids on creating wearable art at the Columbus Museum of Art.

And Alternative Fashion Week’s main event, the Grand Finale Runway Show, will take place at Express Live! on Saturday, March 24, with a fashion marketplace to follow.

The show will feature 18 independent artists and brands, including: Philpped Fashions, Amamre, Raw Steele, Glamazonjayne, Anti.Label, Katelyn Mary McClain, Mav Creative, Jessica Driscoll, Marchell Lavon Designs, Discord Threads with Gypsygem jewelry and accessories, Summer LI, Shannon Maria, Gerald Fitzpatrick, Shiree Houf, TezCustomz and Tabitha Abney.

This is Alternative Fashion Mob’s first time holding the final runway show at Express Live! In the past, the group has gone the more DIY route. But Alternative Fashion Mob’s founder and owner of Anti.Label, Kelli Martin, says the decision to move to a bigger, more prominent venue was  simply just easier.

“In the past, we’ve done shows anywhere from old warehouses to not-quite-full-service venues – and we’ve had to bring everything in and create the environment,” Martin says. “Express Live! has everything at the ready, so it’ll enable us to focus more time on the show and the creativity and the partnerships and connections.”

However, the group may consider sticking to the warehouses they’re used to. “We strongly debated whether the more prominent venue really sticks true to our underground roots! It’s a tough balance,” Martin says. “There’s something great about us being able to create our own environment, and something about it seems to encourage our designers to be freer with their creativity as well.”

To close the week, the group will host a plus-sized clothing swap while serving brunch and mimosas. Clothing Swap: Diva Edition will take place at Bleu & Fig on Sunday, March 25.

Since Alternative Fashion Mob’s first fashion week, Columbus has seen a growing number opportunities for independent designers. However for Martin, Alternative Fashion Week was, and continues to be necessary for these designers. “What we do is still very necessary because we really help our designers fully accomplish their creative vision in a way they’re not able to in a lot of local outlets,” she says. “More and more local people are seeing fashion as a part of our Columbus story, and looking for ways to tell that story.”

For more information on Alternative Fashion Mob, and Alternative Fashion Week, visit alternativefashionmob.org.

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