September 9, 2021
Community Spotlight: Samantha Joseph & Alicia Myers bring Diversity & Inclusivity to the Denver Fashion Scene
Denver fashion enthusiasts will be treated to two nights of runway magic at Color of Fashion, happening on Friday, September 17, and Saturday, September 18, 2021. Color of Fashion is the brainchild of Samantha Joseph and Alicia Myers, fashion models who recognized the lack of diversity and inclusivity within the industry, and saw an opportunity to both amplify the voices and contributions of diverse designers, models, hair and make-up artists and to encourage the celebration and visibility of all. The two-day event will be held at Redline Denver and at Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms (each night delivering a different theme for the evening) that will showcase designers such as Alicia Perrillo of Chicago, Aida KaaS of New York, Stevie Boi of New York, Alejandro Geata of Denver and Jasmine Lewis of Denver. I emailed Alicia and Samantha to learn more about their intentions behind Color of Fashion, and what audiences can expect from the much-anticipated event.
What inspired you both to come together to create Color of Fashion?
Our inspiration came from our personal experiences in the industry as Black models/creatives. We have been in countless situations where we felt undervalued and mistreated. We arrive on set sometimes and find makeup artists don't have our foundation shade in their kits or they simply don't know how to match our skin tones. We have had experiences with hairstylists on set who refuse to style our hair due to a lack of knowledge. We tend to get overshadowed by other models who are not of color. We are oftentimes the "token" Black model being chosen solely because business needs to call for a Black model and not necessarily because of our talent or skill. Instead of complaining about the discrimination we've endured, we decided to take change into our own hands.
With Color of Fashion, we cast models of all skin tones, ages, and sizes. We cast based on their skill and level of professionalism. Beyond that, we specifically curated a hair and makeup team we knew could handle all skin tones and hair textures with ease and desire. We want Color of Fashion to be a safe place for all that supports diversity and inclusivity while bringing high fashion to Colorado.
How did you find your designers? Are any Colorado natives?
We chose a diverse set of designers as well. We selected them based on their past collections and how they fit our current theme as well as what they've accomplished and what they represent as a brand. We do have a few Colorado natives: Menez to Society are Colorado natives as well as Reanne who makes up 1/2 of GYIDAH.
What can we expect to see from the two-day event?
Expect fashion to come alive right before your eyes! Night One is an immersive live gallery setting where guests will be engulfed in an upscale museum experience celebrating fashion. Night Two is a refreshing outdoor display of colorful fashions presented by all Black designers on a lengthy runway encompassing the elements of nature.
How can the community support Color of Fashion and future events like this in Denver that celebrates diversity?
Buy tickets! Color of Fashion is a non-profit organization so ticket sales and sponsorships keep us going and allow us to fund future seasons. Open yourselves up to change and recognize the lack of diversity that exists in our industry. Spread the word, we hope to change the industry in Colorado and it takes a village. Be part of our village and join us in promoting inclusivity and diversity.
To learn more about Color of Fashion, visit www.coloroffashionco.com. Follow on Instagram @color.of.fashion.