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Fashion Week brings runway to campus and Columbus

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Credit: Courtesy of Lubna Designs, Inc.

Credit: Courtesy of Lubna Designs, Inc.

Although London and New York’s fashion weeks have already wrapped up, another is preparing to start right here in Columbus.

The 2015 Columbus Fashion Week is set to take place October 3 through October 10 and will showcase a wide variety of Columbus talent with shows featuring design in kids, human rights, philanthropy, weddings and more.

While some of the biggest fashion cities are New York, Los Angeles, Paris and London, Columbus is slowly fighting its way to become a part of this elite group.

Tamara Holder, designer and owner of Baydian, LLC., says it’s because of the many opportunities.

“We have large amount of designers in this small little state on the map … we are competing with New York and L.A. a lot now,” she said.

Holder, whose style is heavily reliant on her Caribbean heritage and combines art with culture, will be one of this year’s finale show designers, but says she’s an artist first.

“What got my interest in design was art … I went from art on paper to textiles, like painting it on fabric, and then about two years ago I started my company based on that whole textile art aspect,” Holder said.  

Lubna Najjar, another finale show designer, said that this year is different than shows before.

“This year is a really interesting year, because we have a lot of new elements. The brands are chosen a lot more carefully this year,” she said. “Not that they weren’t in the past, but they were curated this year to strictly be Spring/Summer ‘16 or special occasion.”

Credit: Courtesy of Coldren Photography

Credit: Courtesy of Coldren Photography  

Najjar, the founder of Lubna Designs, Inc. and IL Moda PR & Brand Development, will be featuring menswear and says that one reason Columbus has been a success in the fashion world is due to local education and programs.

“We have two amazing design schools, (Ohio State) and CCAD, that are just cranking out talent year over year,” Najjar said. Najjar said that many of these students continue their careers right here in Columbus.

OSU’s Fashion Production Association is also in the midst of gearing up for a fashion show of their own. Although not until next semester, the club’s director in marketing, Tiana Ahmed, said that preparation is already underway.

“Right now designers have shown their sketches … they are already deciding what garments will go in what acts,” said Ahmed, a third-year in marketing.

While the club won’t be showing off some of their designs during Columbus Fashion Week, Ahmed said they still try and capitalize on the event.

Credit: Courtesy of Lubna Designs, Inc.

Credit: Courtesy of Lubna Designs, Inc.

“Anytime there’s an opportunity involving something outside of us especially in fashion we always tell our members and encourage them to go to these things,” she said. “For designers it’s definitely a source of inspiration for them … it’s just a big inspiration for us to watch what everyone else is doing.”

While most events during the week will require a ticket, the Industry Mixer & Accessories Presentation on Oct. 9 will be free to all ages. Najjar, whose company is presenting the event, says that it is a great social event for college students.

“It’s a nice event to come and meet some bloggers, meet some media, kind of mingle and have a drink with some fashion people,” she said.

Holder expressed why Columbus Fashion Week is more than just a rare opportunity for everyone.

“You get a chance to dress up, which is actually rare in Columbus, or Ohio in general … you get to express yourself in whatever fashion that you are comfortable in … why give that opportunity up?” Holder said.

Columbus Fashion week kicks off on Saturday October 3 and the Fashion Production Association’s show is set to take place on April 16, 2016.

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