COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Fashion Week Columbus is about to celebrate its tenth year of catwalks and couture.
Since it started, the event has grown from a small few-day event to a full week of shows and fashion.
For the first time this year, Columbus designer Gerardo Encinas will be showing a line of quinceañera gowns re-imagined for the runway. It’s an homage to his heritage.
“I am trying to put everything together, my passion, my style, a piece of Mexico,” Encinas said.
Encinas immigrated to central Ohio 18 years ago and started designing about five years ago.
“I never went to school, or took sewing classes,” he said of learning how to design.
In that time, he has made several lines including a unisex line of clothing and even designed dresses for local celebrity Nina West, of “Rupaul’s Drag Race” fame.
Encinas is one of 10 designers — including celebrity designer Christain Cowan — being featured during fashion week.
“We have swimwear, we have couture, we have ready to wear,” said Thomas McClure, the executive director of Fashion Week Columbus.
Since the fashion show and non-profit started a decade ago, the event has given about $25,000 in scholarships to local design students.
“Since then, we have worked with over 100 fashion designers, over 1,000 models and helped place (local) models with major agencies,” McClure added.
McClure calls Columbus a top-three spot for designers to live and work in the country, a fashion hub he hopes to only see grow from here.
“I have seen the progression of our fashion just in the streets alone,” McClure said.
You can catch Fashion Week Columbus Oct. 13-18. Click here for more information.