Three years ago, Denver fashion merchandising major Johanna Rodriguez started CatWalk, JWU’s fashion club, with two main goals: to highlight JWU’s fashion merchandising and retail marketing program while drawing more attention to Denver’s high-end fashion scene.
Fast-forward to 2011: CatWalk’s annual fashion show, DiverCity, has grown so quickly that this year’s event took place at Union Station, a landmark building in downtown Denver.
Find the Perfect Venue, Put on a Show Hosting an event this big, and with so many participants — 15 local fashion designers, four salons, three makeup artists and a trio of local bands, as well as caterers and DJs — was a collaborative effort involving not just the principals of CatWalk but the talents of student volunteers from all majors.
“We got everyone involved,” says Lea Workman, CatWalk co-president and fashion merchandising major.
Culinary students handled the catering, while student bands and DJs supplied live music. JWU senior Juan Jimenez showed new looks from his haute couture line, and junior Kenon Thompson photographed the event.
Focus on the Details“We benefited from having different personalities in the mix,” says Katie Natoli, CatWalk co-president and food service management major. “Some focused on the big picture, others on the tiny details. In the end, we were able to stay focused and get everything done.”
To do so, they learned to delegate and not sweat the small stuff.
“We kept reminding each other that, although each detail might not be perfect, the show was still going to be a success,” says Lea.
Gain Exposure for Local Labels Models strutted down the catwalk decked out in looks from 15 local designers, including Fashion House of Rae Marie, Kimono Dragons and Oh! Pretty Please Couture.
For Jimenez, showing runway looks at DiverCity was great exposure for his brand. “After the show, strangers were asking me to include my clothes in their shows,” he says. “It really helped get my work out there.”
Workman and Natoli sum up the event as “an incredible opportunity to apply what we learn every day.”
They’re equally proud that they helped raise awareness for the Colorado Historical Society’s efforts to remodel Union Station. Notes Workman, “As a group, we try to be good professionals who are socially responsible at the same time.”