Denver might not be a city that comes to mind when talking about high-end fashion, but the fashion design community in the Mile High City is alive and well. Designers have the advantage of a close-knit arts community and the support of several local organizations that make working in Denver a creative haven. As more and more creatives flock to Denver, the talent and competition rises, only pushing the Denver fashion industry to new heights each year. Here are five up-and-coming Denver fashion designers to be on the lookout for.
Duane Topping of Topping Designs has a backstory as interesting as his creations. Topping retired from active military service in 2012 after many deployments, and found the adjustments to civilian life a difficult transition. He was able to take his lifelong love of fashion and channel it into a career and passion to create a fresh start for himself as a veteran. Topping fits his unique designs to the women who model them, striving to break barriers in terms of standards of beauty in the fashion industry.
Gabriela Martinez of Gabriela Designs is an award-winning Latina fashion designer of wedding gowns, evening wear, and special occasion attire for women. She also specializes in restyling vintage wedding gowns. She opened her first shop at the age of 22 in Mexico, importing fabrics from New York and California. She’s been designing in Denver since 2003. She won the 2013 Denver Fashion Designer of the Year award.
Jeremy Willard is a self-taught menswear clothing designer and tailor whose personal style is “a mash of classic menswear, street, punk, and a dash of glam.” He began his career at Denver Bespoke, before branching out into his own line. His most recent show at Denver Fashion Week received excellent reviews for its playfulness and well-crafted ingenuity.
Maggie Burns of Marie-Margot Couture is a well-known fixture in the Colorado wedding community. Her couture gowns are of an exceptional quality that are perfect for a walk down the aisle or the red carpet. Her style is both high-end and “heirloom” in its aesthetic, with plenty of lace, silk, and satin to go around. Burns’ next step is to launch a national, ready-to-wear bridal line inspired by her impeccable couture quality.
This Japanese native with an art school background has settled in Denver and brought her spirit of Tokyo fashion and fairytale inspiration with her. Kotomi Yoshida’s work is more than just a design, it’s a story. Her wearable art for men and women is constructed of upcycled materials and fabrics.