Normally, Memphis Fashion Week (MFW) consists of a week of runway shows, lectures, shopping events, and much more. Since COVID-19 decided to stick around for all of 2020, Arrow Creative and the designers involved in MFW have had to revamp their usual events to accommodate COVID-related restrictions—but don’t worry, they’ve got plenty of fabulous fun up their well-crafted sleeves.
I got to talk to Arrow Creative’s Executive Director, Abby Phillips, to see how they’ve reinvented this year’s events, and I’ve been assured that everyone’s health and safety are paramount. First and foremost, all of their events will follow social distancing standards and masks are required at all times (so if you have a fun mask to wear, now’s the time). There will be virtual trunk shows, sponsor visits, and plenty of opportunities to safely celebrate the 31 featured designers.
But, enough about how MFW is totally stepping up their standards in the face of the pandemic. Let’s talk about reasons to go! They have a program called the Emerging Memphis Designer Project (EMDP) that exists to elevate local design talent and enhance the design industry in Memphis. Ramona Sonin, the EMDP Liaison, and her team take seven months to educate, promote, and showcase the work of local designers. From submitting sketches and securing sales to creating runway-ready designs, there are lots of steps involved in acquiring a place in the EMDP, but I think that it’s really cool that MFW is giving these artists a platform to learn and make a business out of what they love to do.
“Memphis Fashion Week has such a diverse offering of designs, as well as designers. We’re proud to be showcasing a plethora of races, ages and design esthetics,” Phillips said.
Here’s the rundown for the week:
Monday, August 17:
Arrow will be hosting a gallery show at their Broad Avenue location highlighting the theme “Future of Fashion” in which local artists will be exhibiting their fresh take.
Tuesday, August 18 & Wednesday, August 19
The Emerging Memphis Designers will celebrate their hard work, and display their designs at Railgarten Music Hall from 5PM-8PM (this is a ticketed event). The exhibit will also be on display on Wednesday at Railgarten Music Hall from 10AM-4PM (free to the public).
Thursday, August 20
MFW and Arrow Creative will feature their sponsors all day long, which is a great opportunity to get to know the people who are contributing to such a wonderful, local project.
Friday, August 21
Arrow Creative is hosting a happy hour with 20% off on all apparel at their Broad Avenue location, so go get yourself a new look on discount!