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Fashion Week Minnesota returns for pre-pandemic style events with a purpose

This year, you’ll find a diverse group of shows to check out. But the people involved want you to know, it's about more than just fashion. It's about connection.

MINNEAPOLIS — Fashion Week Minnesota is underway now! This year, you’ll find a diverse group of shows to check out. But the people involved want you to know, this week is about more than just fashion, especially after two years of virtual or smaller events because of the pandemic.

Delina White is a member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe which is located about three in a half hours north of the Twin Cities. She is a designer and also the producer of the Native Starlight show that happened Monday.  

"I think it's very important that the Native heritage, the Native culture and values and beliefs, we talk about it in a way that can't be separated from who we are as a people," White said. "When we bring that into our clothing and our designs I think it's really significant."

The fashion show showcased original Native design and style brought by White, Osamuskwasis from the Great Mountains of the Cree Nation in Alberta, Canada and Lauren Good Day from the Great Plains of the Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara Nation, Fort Berthold, North Dakota.  

White said their show is inspired by their people and experiences. One of her pieces she describes as looking like a traditional Haudenosaunee Smoke Dance dress.

They and other designers are using their creations as connection, which is what Sarah Edwards, the CEO of Fashion Week Minnesota, wants.

"When I think about fashion, it's a way to start conversations, it's a way to bring people together, it's a way to learn from each other and to really connect," Edwards said.

From sustainable fashion, to an AAPI creatives show, to fashion that raises awareness about the west African nation of Sierra Leone, Edwards said this week has now grown over time "because there’s such a need for community, culture, and coming together."  That's why Edwards said they need to grow as well.

"We still have our signature Spring and Fall but we’re actually going to be producing events all year round workshops, educational series," Edwards said.

Because as White reminds us, finding the thread that bonds us is what’s most important.

"We can all feel like we are common and that we share in our connections," White said.

For more information on Fashion Week Minnesota and to check ticket availability, visit their website.

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