Samantha Joseph and Alicia Myers met at an audition held in Denver in 2018. Soon after, models began noticing microaggressions aimed at their hair. For example, one show stylist completely ignored Joseph and Myers because they didn’t know how to handle their hair. “Usually a hairstylist will either grab you or assign you someone,” he says Myers. “None of those things happened.” Myers endured repeated bleaching until her hair fell out.

Joseph shaved his head so he didn’t have to deal with the emotional toll. So in March 2021, Joseph and Myers joined Color of Fashion (COF), a Denver-based nonprofit with a mission to diversify high fashion. was established.

COF was originally intended to act as a connector for companies looking for talent across the industry, but in September 2021, it will host an independent fashion show, attracting 15 hairstylists, 20 hairstylists from across the country. makeup artists, 15 photographers, 75 models and 11 designers. People of many races attended and the event was an immediate success. COF’s current clients include British footwear brand Embassy London, Cherry Creek’s Clayton Members Club & Hotel, and ultra-chic Highland cocktail bar Room for Milly. “We are a one-stop shop for fashion diversity,” says Myers.

COF is also backed by big names in the fashion industry such as Neiman Marcus, Aveda and Macy’s. This has allowed the nonprofit to expand its mission, including helping designers sell their work directly to consumers. His April of this year, Joseph and Myers held the first auction at his Mirus Gallery and Art Bar Denver. The event was attended by seven of his designers, five of whom were people of color and included brothers Vince and Saul Jimenez, who run his house Menez to Society for local avant-garde fashion. .

Jimenezes will also appear at COF’s second annual fashion show on September 23rd and 24th at the History Colorado Center. Like last year, Joseph hopes to continue to seek more expression in fashion, even though he knows his dream is still far away: “The industry and Denver are changing so slowly. ” says Joseph. “But we make sure everyone doesn’t have to deal with the same kinds of struggles that we do.”

Founders Alicia Myers and Samantha Joseph. Photo courtesy Corey Myers.

on the catwalk

Color of Fashion’s 2022 show will feature three ateliers.

hannah jane art

Owner Hannah Jane breathes new life into old Denver denim, combining multiple fabrics to create unique hand-painted pieces such as the Elephant Jacket ($750).

Noccesso

LA-based No Sesso, which means “no sex” or “no gender” in Italian, brings gender-bending elements to urban wear, including the Lace Corset Trucker Jacket ($515) that can be worn as outerwear or as a dress. Weaving.

Alejandro Gaeta

Reminiscent of 1950s Christian Dior, Alejandro Gaeta features structured eveningwear, such as piece No. 6 ($1,200) from a local maker.



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