Samantha R. Crossland - Samantha Rei
Samantha R. Crossland began her fashion design career with her label “Blasphemina’s Closet”, one of the first Lolita clothing lines in the US, in 2000. After closing “Blasphemina’s Closet” in September of 2013, she started anew with her eponymous label “Samantha Rei”. “Samantha Rei” embodies the sweetness, femininity and attention to detail that has come to be expected from the designer. She’s been featured in Huffington Post, Shojo Beat, the American Gothic and Lolita Bible, Gothic Beauty, Glamour UK and Vogue UK. Samantha was named one of 2014 City Pages “Artists of the Year” and 2016 Best of the Twin Cities “Best Fashion Show” and Reader’s Choice “Best Local Fashion Designer.” In 2015 she authored and illustrated a how-to book on subculture fashion design called Steampunk and Cosplay Fashion Design and Illustration. Samantha Rei appeared as a contestant on Project Runway season 16. Samantha strives to help women feel confident, strong and comfortable in their own skin. She believes they can all be beautiful warriors.
Rammy Mohammed - Ramadhan
My love for fashion and creating things started when I was 10. I saw woman in my country of Oromia making elaborate special occasion dresses and jewelry. That is when my curiosity in fashion design began. I was mesmerized by their beading and sewing skills and began working with my hands to make my own creations. Now as an adult I still get my inspiration from Oromia as well as other countries in East Africa. •||• I design and create beautiful modest clothing, with a minimal and contemporary style often incorporating traditional Oromo design influences into the final design. I work traditional techniques into the clothing making them contemporary. I believe in using high quality fabrics and unique textures, allowing my woman to dress with confidence and sophistication.
Cobilee West - CJW Designs
I started sewing about ten years ago and I have been designing clothing for seven. My inspiration is usually derived from concepts or techniques I would like to know more about. I enjoy the research process and technical design aspects that go into making a piece or collection, and how they take a garment from being a two-dimensional bit of fabric to a three-dimensional, wearable piece of architecture. Fashion design intrigues me as it is a seamless composition of math, science, and art.
Bris Carbajal - YESSENYA
Bris Carbajal is a local designer of her label "Yessenya." She has a strong interest in creating quality designs and challenging the way clothing is valued. Bris is motivated to change throw-away fashion by presenting well-made clothing that inspires us to re-think how we dress. She studied apparel design at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College and has since been featured in publications, such as, The Trend Report and the Culture Piece Magazine. Bris enjoys creative collaboration with local artists and believes in supporting the community. This will be her third year showcasing at the annual Black Hearts Ball event.
Victor Farmah - FRIKA
I am an emerging, ambitious, and PROUD Liberian costume designer. Needless to say, I am originally from Liberia, a West African country. However, due to fourteen years of civil war that engulfed my country, casing six years of separation between my mom and our family, my family resided in Buduburam, a Liberian Refugee Camp located in Ghana. It was there, I was taught the essence of art, the importance of friendship, the core value of family, and the richness of my culture. Furthermore, it is the place that shaped the driven, determined, and dedicated individual I am today. My philosophy is if you can draw it, you can make it.
Vanessa Sadé - Zenobian Moxis
Zenobian Moxis was created from the names of two African butterflies. The name came into play when Vanessa took her first name which means butterfly in Greek. She is half Liberian so she thought why not relate the name to her cultural background. That’s when Zenobian Moxis was born.
Sinéad Odessa Kelly - Sinéad Odessa
Sinéad is recognized by her peers for her appreciation of bold prints, unabashed love of color, and over the top style she utilizes in her designs and day-to-day lifestyle. Raised in a household fueled by adventure and nourished by art, Sinéad always dressed to the nines and decided to pursue her love of fashion through the study of apparel design. Armed with scissors and thread, she seeks to create size inclusive looks for playful and daring people with vivacious attitudes and underlying confidence. Ultimately, she aims to create clothing that will spark joy in the wearer; an unfaltering aspiration that has held true since she first cut up Barbie’s ball gown.
Lucie Jane - EPHEM
Lucie Jane has always been inspired to design for those not in the fashion spotlight. While in college, at the University of Minnesota College of Design, she focused on formal wear for women in sizes ranging from 6-16, well outside the "sample-size" of 0-2 typically used in the fashion world. After graduation, she worked with Minnesota based brand Jennasea designing swimwear and resort-wear for women with D-G cup busts specifically, as well as sizes 2-18. Since graduation Lucie Jane has been designing contemporary menswear under her own label, EPHEM. EPHEM comes from the word "ephemeral" meaning "lasting for a very short time" which is the view Lucie Jane looks at fashion: enjoy it, play with it, but don't take it too seriously because it won't last forever. The inspiration for EPHEM's 2018 line is drawn from two main sources: traditional Scottish clothing, styling, and countryside, and the concept of male masculinity in modern Western society. Starting in 16th century Scotland, male Highlanders wore skirts or kilts as a common form of clothing. These were only worn by the strongest and most influential men as they were utilitarian garments meant for warmth, protection from the elements, and freedom of movement during travels. The concept of strong men wearing skirts is something that our modern society has moved away from. Now, clothing seems strictly gendered and directly correlates to masculinity and strength (even caring about your appearance, fashion, and style has become a "feminine" trait.) Ephem's 2018 line explores the link between modern male masculinity and fashion, and how the true meaning of masculinity is being confident in your true self and however you choose to present that truth.
Lucie Biros - OTHERREALM
Lucie creates art and apparel exploring the vast complexity of the inner world, the subconscious and the imagination. Surrealism, the fantastical, and elements of horror emerge through dramatic silhouettes, outlandish textures and unusual embellishments.
Konnie Yaj - KONNIE
Konnie is an apparel designer and an independent hair and makeup artist based in the Twin Cities. Her design aesthetic is best described as simplistic and innovative, taking inspirations from everything and everywhere, from a button she finds on the street to the massive landscape of the world.
She's always trying to perfect her craft. If she's not at her day job as a Service Coordinator, most likely you'll catch her working on a design for a client, styling a photo shoot, working behind-the-scenes at a fashion show, or preparing a bridal party for a wedding.
On her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and traveling with her partner, Peter, and their Shiba Inu, Misha
Gabrielle Rosas Medel - Gabrielle Ro
My name is Gabrielle Rosas Medel. I was born and raised in Mexico City and I am currently based in Minneapolis MN, USA. My Journey in fashion originates from the environment I grew up in. I was greatly influenced by my mother’s occupation as a fashion designer. She taught me many things about the fashion industry. I also began developing artistic abilities including drawing and creative visualization skills.
Anyse Mellott - Anyse
I am a small town girl that found my passion for art through fashion. It's wonderful to get to express myself by making pieces come to life and watch the expressions people give when they get to be part of the process. My biggest inspiration and teacher was my great grandmother, June, who taught me how to sew and embroider. Hand techniques, like beading or embroidery, are my main go-tos when designing because of the focus and detailing.
Montana native Ivan Idland has been producing innovative and wearable items for boys and girls for the past 10 years. He lives and works in north Minneapolis with his one wonderful roommate and 4 "ok" cats. He has recently launched his online store at www.ivanidland.com and loves opening up his pop up shop at various venues and festivals throughout the country and region. "I always hope for my work to bring joy into people's hearts.
Anahita Champion - Event Ambassador
An award winner event correspondent, Anahita Champion truly demonstrates her charisma and passion through her work. As an on-air talent & emcee, Anahita has captured the attention of thousands of viewers and collaborators. She has interviewed Hollywood A-List stars, athletes and entertainers, emceed fashion shows and award events, and she has been the voice heard by thousands on voice-over projects as well as on-air radio segments. She is also currently in season 3 of her YouTube show, HitaTalk. With a Master's of Art, Anahita's education and ambitions have lead her down a colorful path full of creativity & strategy as a Brand Manager. When she's not out on the town, Anahita enjoys spending quality time with her family, being in the outdoors, sipping on wine, and going on adventures with her husband and young daughter.