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MN designers bring East-African style, luxury streetwear to 'Fusion'

'Energy Gear x Ramadhan Designs Presents Fusion' features several local designers, blending classic and contemporary designs into one haute fashion event.
Credit: Ramadhan Designs

MINNEAPOLIS — “I’ve always had a passion for fashion.”

Ramadhan “Rammy” Mohamed, one of two designers hosting Thursday’s Fusion event for Fashion Week MN and creator of Ramadhan Designs, says her passion was first inspired as a child, watching her uncle make clothing for women in East Africa. 

An Oromo refugee who calls St. Paul home, Mohamed is ready to bring her newest collection of couture and East African-influenced designs to the runway. She says to expect the new drop to be “unexpected.”

“Very sexy, yet classic. You will probably see a lot of crop tops, a lot of manipulations of fabrics,” Mohamed said.

Partnering with Mohamed for the event is Mike Byers, founder of luxury streetwear label Energy Gear. Byers says he feels his designs manifest as representations of the word for which he named his company.

“I feel like ‘energy’ signifies so much in that small word. It signifies health; wellness. It signifies who you are; who you hang around. It signifies what you speak, how you live – what you allow to be invested into your mind. I feel like it represents so many things,” Byers said. 

The two fashion houses will blend – or fuse – their respective styles at the show Thursday, showcasing Mohamed’s elegant, detailed, (and sustainable!) couture, and Byers’ both modern and futuristic streetwear. Serving as a parallel to the classic-contemporary concept, the event will be held among luxury vehicles at Jaguar Land Rover Minneapolis.

“There's a feeling of old school cars – classic, vintage – they still hold a lot of value, but there's also these brand new, super modern, super futuristic, fast cars that also hold value," said Byers. "I think that's also an element that we want to utilize and showcase: the street representation in the modern cars, and couture represented in the classic, old-school car."

Mohamed, boasting a 100% waste-free collection this year, says she’s excited to put her sustainable vision on display, using a dreamy mix of high-quality fabrics with textures and colors you “don’t normally see.” She says there isn’t one piece of fabric that went unused. Drawing inspiration in her adult years from “a girl at the State Fair” to “someone across the world in East Africa,” she’s hoping her designs resonate with her neighbors.

“I went to fashion school and wanted to provide, you know, clothing and options for Minnesotans,” she said. “Very fashionable, comfortable and very appropriate to Minnesota’s weather, of course. I want to play some sort of a role in bringing art – making art – for ourselves, for our community, back into our city.”

Byers adds that although the clothing is what’s being flaunted at Fusion, the designers couldn’t make their collections come to life without help from the community.

“This is what true collaboration looks like within the communities, within our demographics, within diversity,” he said. “We use models of all ages, size ranges. We just like to showcase what's a true community collaboration – that's the type of energy that we want to give out.” 

Energy Gear x Ramadhan Designs Presents Fusion begins at 6 p.m. Thursday with cocktails, a pop-up shop and DJ. The fashion show featuring Energy Gear, Ramadhan Designs, Rashidat Akangbe Enifeni, Venci and Generation Bliss will begin at 7 p.m.

To get your tickets and to learn more about the designers featured at the event, click here.

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