Young, innovative and inspiring, these Cincinnati entrepreneurs are on the forefront of style and sustainability! Urban Blooms and Modern Makers collaborated to create the event that launched Cincinnati into the fall fashion season.
From the moment you walked in, it felt as if you were transported to New York’s trendiest neighborhood. This team took an otherwise empty warehouse and converted it into a venue worthy of hosting an upscale event, the 2016 Style + Sustainability Gala. Complete with living walls full of flowers and foliage, vibrant purple and blue lighting, a DJ mixing the latest music and lots of amazing shopping, this gala had something for everyone. Did I mention that the runway for the fashion show was made of live plants? It was an event unlike one this city had ever seen before. Check it out for yourself…
Behind the scenes was a sharp contrast to the main event, but just as fabulous. I was fortunate enough to make it there before the fashion show began with Urban Bloom’s co-founder, Lily Turner. We entered through what seemed like a secret door that opened into a room buzzing with energy and excitement and filled with models. As I was following Lily at a clipped pace through the chaos of backstage, we managed to sneak in a conversation. “What you see, in here and out there, this is a culmination of eight months of hard work,” she said.
She also said that Urban Blooms had been collaborating with Modern Makers for the past two years because they [Modern Makers] first took a chance on the company’s vision of sustainability and featured a living wall. I lost Lily in the crowd of models and designers as I was snapping the following photos.
The crowd grew quiet as Master of Ceremonies, Pam Kravetz, ascended to the stage and signaled the start of the show. As the first look entered the runway, everyone erupted into applause. Model after model strutted barefoot down the catwalk in clothing created from reused and recycled materials as well as living plants. According to this show, flowers, moss and vines are this season’s hottest accessories. Below are the most iconic looks of the show.
It wasn’t just about the runway. At the heart of this event was the desire to create a more connected, eco-friendly community in Cincinnati. Several local vendors provided food, drinks and shopping to enhance the gala experience as well as promote their businesses. The scent of Gomez Salsa was wafting throughout the hall making your mouth water all evening. You could enjoy a draft beer from Taft Ale House, one of Cincinnati’s most popular breweries. Taft’s partner, Kevin Moreland said, “We got involved with this event because of its vision of revitalization in Cincinnati.” If you were looking for a stylish outfit that is also sustainable, you could wander over to where Asia Lindsay, co-founder of Those Girls Vintage and Custom Clothing, was set up under a huge wall of warehouse windows. “Our brand is all about having fun, being who you are, and wearing bright, vibrant colors,” Lindsay said. “Because we sell second hand clothing, our brand is promoting sustainability and recycling while being luxurious and affordable.”
The best moment of the evening had to be when I found out that the Style + Sustainability Gala was not coming to an end- it was just the beginning. “We hope to make this an annual event,” said Turner. That, coupled with Urban Bloom’s co-founder Tyler Wolf’s goal to make Cincinnati the most sustainable city in the world, gives us hope that this time next year we will be attending the 2017 Style + Sustainability Gala!