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Models, designers, influencers strut their stuff during Columbia Fashion Week

Columbia Fashion Week provides four days of fashion festivities. The event is June 19-22.
Columbia Fashion Week provides four days of fashion festivities. The event is June 19-22. Getty Images

You don’t have to live in New York or Milan to make an impact on fashion, or to enjoy a fashionable week.

In fact, you don’t have to even leave Columbia.

Columbia Fashion Week provides four days of fashion festivities. Formerly known as Columbia Style Week, the event was launched in 2012 to help establish Columbia as an emerging and legitimate city for the fashion industry of the Carolinas.

Columbia Fashion Week is for all ages and walks of life, and strives to highlight emerging models, designers, influencers and retailers.

Liliann Pineda, public relations coordinator for Columbia Fashion Week, answered a few questions about this year’s event.

Q. Why do you think Columbia needs a Fashion Week?

A. Columbia needs a fashion week because there is so much talent in our area that is often overlooked. We have tons of aspiring models, designers, bloggers, photographers and creatives in our area. Columbia Fashion Week helps provide a space for them to network, get their feet wet and show off their amazing talents. We can provide an event for them to shine and continue to grow.

Q. What makes Columbia’s Fashion Week unique from others?

A. Columbia Fashion Week is very young and has a supportive atmosphere. Our director, Alicia Ziegler, helps participants build their brands and discover who they are. We have alumni now showing at various fashion weeks, including Paris, and working full time in the industry. The fashion industry can be a little toxic at times; however Columbia Fashion Week is like a family, everyone wants you to excel and will always be there for you.

Q. How can the average person enjoy Fashion Week?

A. We would love for everyone to attend our events. We are still accepting volunteers and vendors (go to www.columbiafashionweek.com to sign up).

We have something for everyone. Are you an aspiring makeup or hair industry professional? Attend our affiliated event on Thursday, June 20 which is a masterclass and networking event presented by the Hairfrenzy Expo.

Do you love dressing up and enjoying a little gala? Come by our ninth annual Beautiful People Party on Friday, June 21 at Lula Drake Wine Parlour. Show off your best look and hear who’s won the 25 most stylish people of Columbia awards. On Saturday, June 22 we have two showcases. In the afternoon come see our children’s and teens runway show, and at 7 p.m. get wowed by our finale adult showcases. Both Saturday events are at the Courtyard Marriott in downtown Columbia.

Q. What should folks make sure not to miss?

A. Be sure to be on the lookout for some giveaways on our social media pages. Follow @colafashionweek on Instagram to stay updated.

Who to watch

There will be several local designers featured during Columbia Fashion Week. Here’s your chance to get to know a few of them:

Stephanie Gives Winckler

Age: 55

Lives in: Elgin.

What was your inspiration for your collection? My daughter Tiffanie.

Where do you like to shop in Columbia? T.j Maxx, Coplans, Revente, Mack Boutique and Stein Mart.

Your style icon: Actress Kerry Washington and my mother.

One fashion piece in your closet you can’t live without? My wrap dress that I can wear several different ways. It’s a lifesaver.

Jen Abraham

Age: 37

Lives in: Aiken/North Augusta

What was your inspiration for your collection? No inspiration, this is my first time. Just merely working with what I have. I hope to develop a theme next time.

Where do you like to shop in Columbia? When visiting Columbia, I mostly shop at Columbiana Mall. I would love to find and support more small business as I do in my hometown.

Who is your celebrity spirit animal? Gabriel Union.

One fashion piece in your closet you can’t live without? A blazer.

RaQuel Kristen

Age: 32

Lives in: Bamberg.

What was your inspiration for your collection? Warm weather and bright colors. Fun in the sun clothing.

Where do you like to shop in Columbia? I love Ross and TJ Maxx. It’s a one stop shop for clothing and home goods.

Who is your style icon? Jelena Karleusa.

Who is your celebrity spirit animal? Mariah Carey.

What is the one fashion piece in your closet you can’t live without? Leggings. They are so comfy. You can dress them up with heels or dress them down with sneakers.

If you go

Columbia Fashion Week

When: June 19-22

Notable: Receive 50 percent off ticket prices for any Saturday, June 22 event by entering code GOCOLUMBIA at checkout.

Details: www.columbiafashionweek.com

Schedule

▪ A Hair Frenzy Expo: Networking mixer for hair stylists and makeup artists only. 6-8 p.m. June 20. Lula Drake Wine Parlour, 1635 Main St. Free.

▪ Ninth annual Beautiful People Party: Don your most fabulous attire and enjoy a live red carpet, light refreshments, drinks, and the crowning of Columbia Fashon Week’s king and queen. 7-9 p.m. June 21. Lula Drake Wine Parlour, 1635 Main St. $12.

▪ Kids and Teens Runway Show: Designers and retailers will showcase collections for children and teens on the runway. Family-friendly event. Showcase is from 1-3 p.m.; show begins at 6 p.m. June 22. Courtyard Marriott Downtown, 630 Assembly St. $20-$45.

▪ Adult Finale Runway Show: More than 100 models from the Carolinas will walk the runway showcasing some of the season’s hottest trends. Doors open at 5 p.m. 6 p.m. June 22. Courtyard Marriott Downtown, 630 Assembly St. $20-$65.

▪ The After Party: Celebrate with Columbia Fashion Week team and enjoy drinks, refreshments and live music from DJ Puff. 10 p.m. June 22. Wet Willies, 800 Gervais St. $15.

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