Featured Designers

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Samantha R. Crossland - Samantha Rei x Apatico

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.

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Hitomi Wong - Hitomi K

Hitomi resides in Minneapolis and majored in fashion design. Hitomi began experimenting with fabric at the age of 15 and uses fashion to explore the beauty and elegance of dystopia. She looks to self-reflection to fuel her work and leans towards alternative, couture, and avant-garde styling.

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Cobilee West - CJW Designs

Cobilee West is a fashion designer and entrepreneur who specializes in technical design and creative problem solving. She wants to use her designs and collection concepts to help people question and rethink social norms, and to address the problems and negative effects the fashion industry has on the world socially, economically, and eviromentally.

Capsule Designers

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Sydia Reeves - Diays Designs

From the age of 9 I knew I wanted to find a way to bridge the gap of my culture with every day fashion. I am a second generation American. My family is from Liberia, a country in West Africa. My overall goal in everything I create is to see beautiful African prints on display for everyone to admire.

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Océane Théa - TheaCouture

My name is Océane Théa, Co-designer of "TheaCouture". TheaCouture has been a Family brand since the early 1990’s. It was created by my father, Thea Yaya, in Guinea Conakry (West Africa). Our mission is to empower all people to gain confidence in their body by wearing our clothes, with no stigma of what fashion is. TheaCouture is working on branching out to be featured in high end shows, online sales, and to expand as a family. Being a Co-designer has been my dream since my father’s first fashion show (that I attended at the age of 7).

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Mercedes Bergman

Mercedes is known to spend long hours in her studio creating garments with her with ‘assistant’ Armani, a sweet orange tabby rescue cat. As a designer with an artist’s heart, Mercedes was called to fashion design for the challenge to create something beautiful while incorporating an element of functionality. She is drawn to unique textures-- often combining velvet, faux fur, wool and silks to create elaborate high-end evening wear. Exploring new cultures through travel is where Mercedes gains inspiration, and is reflected in the exotic design details such as fringe or tassels that work their way into her designs.

image of EPHEM by Lucie Jane

EPHEM by Lucie Jane

EPHEM comes from the word 'ephemeral' meaning "lasting for a very short time." Fashion is the ultimate example of something ephemeral: ever changing and evolving; never staying the same. For EPHEM's 2019 collection, inspiration was drawn from the melting pot of differences around us and the beauty therein.

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Amanda Peterson - Malachite

Amanda Peterson has an extensive background in product design and development. Her main area of expertise is in high-quality leather goods. Amanda recently left the corporate world to pursue a freelance career in this field. Malachite Leather is Amanda's emerging brand, and she is proud to present her debut collection of handbags and accessories in the 2019 Black Hearts Ball runway show.

Gallery Designer

TIM+THOM

This installation is a multimedia review of a series of capsule collections grounded in our Aztec heritage. Merging post classic Aztec attire with modern street style.