Tracker Pixel for Entry

Fargo Fashion Week puts local businesses, sustainability to the forefront

News | April 18th, 2024

By Maddie Robinson

maddierobi.mr@gmail.com

Natalie Sparrow’s love for fashion can be traced back to when she was 14 years old.

Throughout her teen years, Sparrow’s dad would record New York Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week on VHS for her to watch. Afterwards, she studied fashion design at North Dakota State University (NDSU) and has since produced multiple fashion shows with various organizations in the community.

But Sparrow noticed something was missing. Despite its vibrant arts and culture scene, Fargo had yet to adopt its own fashion week.

“I just wanted to have something that was more generating to the purpose of serving businesses and spotlighting businesses and fashion designers in the community,” Sparrow said.

Thus, Fargo Fashion Week was born.

While Sparrow had the idea to plan the event for over 10 years, the first iteration took place last October, with over 20 featured businesses, seven fashion shows and two seminars. Sparrow considered the week a success, but knows there are plenty of opportunities to grow.

Now, with one Fargo Fashion Week under her belt, Sparrow is planning a spring/summer version of the event.

The first-ever spring/summer Fargo Fashion Week will take place April 23-28 and will be smaller and more “digitally focused,” according to Sparrow. Lookbooks and styled shoots will be a big focus of this season’s event, as Sparrow wants to feature local businesses online and provide them as much exposure as possible.

This sentiment of highlighting community businesses is a core tenet and goal of Fargo Fashion Week.

“The initial vision is to be a voice, to help small businesses be seen, to help our designers feel like they have support in the community, our artists, as well as our cultural designers and retailers,” Sparrow said.

While a large share of Fargo Fashion Week content will be virtual, there are multiple in-person events. The week kicks off Tuesday, April 23 with three styling sessions and fashion shows at McCulley Optix Gallery in West Fargo.

The following day, April 24, includes two seminars, “Style at Every Age” and “Make-over Your Make-up Bag,” and NDSU’s fashion show, which is being held on campus at noon in the Memorial Union’s Oceti Sakowin Ballroom. NDSU’s Fashion Show Production class is planning the event, which will feature apparel designed by students and from local stores in the Fargo-Moorhead community, according to an email statement from Sara Sunderlin, a senior lecturer in apparel, retail merchandising and design at the University.

The theme of the show is “Refined Runway – Elevate Your Style” and about 400 people are expected to attend, according to the statement. Not only are students making some of the actual clothing featured in the show, but the class is instrumental in executing all logistical aspects of the event.

“Students in the class plan all parts of the show, including stage set up, music, choreography, store contacts and securing about 60 models for the show,” the statement reads.

The event on Thursday, April 25 is a fashion show fundraiser hosted by My Best Friend's Closet and the Rape & Abuse Crisis Center at the Avalon Events Center. Fargo Fashion Week is not producing the fundraiser show, but Sparrow said her organization will still be supporting it as it is a great way for community members to help an important organization in the area.

“[Fargo Fashion Week is] a place to see and learn and grow, and especially if you're attending something like the Rape & Abuse Crisis Center show, it's a big supporter to the community,” Sparrow said. “It's a big event that helps with that organization.”

Friday’s programming ties in another important aspect of Fargo Fashion Week: sustainability. The event that day is a clothing swap and drive at Beauty Marks Boudoir in Moorhead, with ticket proceeds going toward shipping costs for damaged clothing that needs to be recycled. The idea for a sustainable fashion event came from the fact that the Fargo-Moorhead community has no place to recycle damaged clothing and textiles, Sparrow said.

“[I’m] making sure that we have a clothing drive that is going to benefit the community and helping spread awareness of being more sustainable in your clothing purchases and then making more awareness to brands that also recycle clothing,” Sparrow said. “So, we'll have a very important message throughout the week about sustainability and recycling.

The week will conclude with a new event: the Fargo Fashion Week Top Model Competition. Inspired by the hugely popular top model competitions that emerged in the early 2000s, the event consists of a boot camp and photoshoot on Saturday, April 27 and a final competition on Sunday, April 28.

Sparrow said one of her drives to put on Fargo Fashion Week is the positive response she gets from the community, especially local businesses. By featuring local shops and vendors, Sparrow said the Fargo-Moorhead community can help support these businesses and potentially prevent them from shutting down.

“We need to be there to support our local designers so they don't give up on their dream,” Sparrow said. “We need to be a support to our small boutique so that we don't have one more boutique close their doors. We need to be looking at their website and not just a big-box website.”

While two of Fargo Fashion Week’s biggest focuses are on supporting local businesses and sustainability efforts, Sparrow said, above all, the week’s festivities are for everyone to enjoy.

“Everybody has a style and everybody has a place,” Sparrow said. “Fargo Fashion Week is just simply a place of entertainment and a community event that you can experience that you might not typically experience on a daily basis.”

Learn more on Fargo Fashion Week’s website.

Recently in:

Alicia Underlee Nelsonalicia@hpr1.com A midnight wedding ceremony at the Clay County Courthouse in Moorhead on August 1, 2013 was more than a romantic gesture. Eighteen couples made history on that day by exchanging vows in the…

Need more events? Check out our July 2024 and August 2024 calendars. (They're cleverly split up to save you some scrolling.)MaySpring CrowsNow - June 28, Spirit Room, FargoForty artists display works centered around a crow theme.…

Need more events? Check out our July 2024 and August 2024 calendars. (They're cleverly split up to save you some scrolling.)MaySpring CrowsNow - June 28, Spirit Room, FargoForty artists display works centered around a crow theme.…

Our opinion: Has Fargo lost its cool?By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com On April 24, The Forum reported that Zandbroz Variety would be closing its doors after 33 years, and the announcement hit like a ton of books. Upon hearing…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.comIs It Possible to Move from a Tent on a Sidewalk to a Garage in the Sky? There have been wealthy people who added a car elevator to the mansion for their Bentleys so they could unload groceries…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.com Holiday wine shopping shouldn’t have to be complicated. But unfortunately it can cause unneeded anxiety due to an overabundance of choices. Don’t fret my friends, we once again have you covered…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.com In this land of hotdish and ham, the knoephla soup of German-Russian heritage seems to reign supreme. In my opinion though, the French have the superior soup. With a cheesy top layer, toasted baguette…

By John Showalterjohn.d.showalter@gmail.com Musicians in the Fargo-Moorhead area are often supportive of each other. They will attend each other’s shows, collaborate on projects, play as openers for each other, so on and so…

Now playing at the Fargo Theatre.By Greg Carlson gregcarlson1@gmail.comPalme d’Or recipient “Anatomy of a Fall” is now enjoying an award-season victory tour, recently picking up Golden Globe wins for both screenplay and…

By David L. Newellhistory@nd.gov If your Spidey senses are tingling, it may be because Marvelocity: The Art of Alex Ross is coming to the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum. The traveling exhibition, developed by the Bess…

By John Showalterjohn.d.showalter@gmail.comHigh Plains Reader had the opportunity to interview two mysterious new game show hosts named Milt and Bradley Barker about an upcoming event they will be putting on at Brewhalla. What…

By Annie Prafckeannieprafcke@gmail.com AUSTIN, Texas – As a Chinese-American, connecting to my culture through food is essential, and no dish brings me back to my mother’s kitchen quite like hotdish. Yes, you heard me right –…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comNew Jamestown Brewery Serves up Local FlavorThere’s something delicious brewing out here on the prairie and it just so happens to be the newest brewery west of the Red River and east of the…

By John Showalter  john.d.showalter@gmail.comThey sell fentanyl test strips and kits to harm-reduction organizations and…

JANUARY 19, 1967– MARCH 8, 2023 Brittney Leigh Goodman, 56, of Fargo, N.D., passed away unexpectedly at her home on March 8, 2023. Brittney was born January 19, 1967, to Ruth Wilson Pollock and Donald Ray Goodman, in Hardinsburg,…

By Jim Fugliejimfuglie920@gmail.com I am an old man. I have been a politics junkie most of my life. I have been involved in many campaigns, but have not run for office myself. Each time someone has suggested I do that, I tell them…